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After three years of my career as a professional software engineer, I’ve finally decided that it’s time for me to write and share my journey in the world of software engineering through this website. But why? Why now instead of one or two years ago? What motivates me to begin at this particular moment?

To understand my motivations, let’s take a trip down memory lane.

A Flashback to the Past

In the beginning days of my software engineering journey, I own a personal website that I built from scratch in May of 2022. The resulting website is a barebone website with a short self-introduction and a showcase of personal projects masked with fancy CSS and JS visual tricks without any care for UI and UX principles.

A screenshot of the old version of namchee.dev
A screenshot of the old version of namchee.dev

Back then, my reason for building my old website was to showcase my (admittedly lacking) skills in web development. Aside from a showcase, I treated my old website as my personal code playground to test experimental ideas that popped into my head, as evidenced by the amount of UI interactions I slapped on it.

At first, I believed that my old website would help me grow as a software engineer. However, I soon lost interest in keeping it alive since it was just a collection of random ideas and whatever trends mashed up together in whim without more polished thoughts put on it.

Ultimately, I feel like the old personal website didn’t contribute to my growth as a software engineer. In the end, I made a decision to abandon ship completely and build this website from scratch.

While building this website, I spent a considerable amount of time contemplating the reasons behind the failure of my previous website to support my growth, despite being a personal playground for me to explore and test my ideas. Part of the reason was the lack of commitment. However, the most crucial factor was that I learned almost nothing from building my old website.

At this point, I received a hard lesson that creating my personal website isn’t enough to accelerate my growth as a professional software engineer. What makes people learn then? Pondering for answers for days, I accidentally stumbled upon learning in public. After reading the article, I finally found out the missing part of my learning journey — the feedback loop.

The Feedback Loop

Professionals who strive to excel in their respective fields know that learning is a lifetime process. As an aspiring software engineer, I understand this and truly enjoy the continuous learning process every day. However, what I failed to recognize during my previous journey was the type of learning I was doing — learning in private.

While learning in private isn’t necessarily bad, it’s not the kind of learning that boosts your growth. By learning in private, you walled yourself out from the community and missed out on feedback.

Embarking on a learning journey can feel daunting, and having something that got your back is crucial. It’s normal to lack knowledge or expertise in the subject you’re learning or to want to expand your understanding. The quickest way to gain knowledge or expertise is by learning from someone or something with more experience, either directly or indirectly. However, this is not possible if you walled yourself out from the community by learning in private.

Now another problem arises — how could you get another entity to bestow you the knowledge you seek? Doing it passively by enclosing yourself in your personal haven won’t work since nobody will bat an eye if you are a nobody, which is expected when you’re still on the first step of your learning journey. Even if you are not a nobody, no one will bat an eye since they don’t know what you are trying to achieve. In conclusion, the best way to do this is by actively sharing what you are currently doing, which is the core concept of learning in public.

By continously sharing what you are learning in public, you can continuously receive feedback to fuel up your learning cycle and grow continuously.

The continuous learning loop
The continuous learning loop

As a software engineer, learning in public doesn’t just mean open-sourcing whatever you’re working on and leaving it as-is. Software engineers must also involve themselves in the community by opening themselves to feedback, which is missing from my approach to learning in my previous attempt.

The Blueprint

Moving on from the philosophical part of this post, I want this website to be my personal platform to learn in public. Specifically, this website will serve as:

Knowledge Base

Imagine having a personal library that stores records of all your experiences. Whenever I encounter a problem, I can trace back my logs and check if I have solved similar issues in the past. Not only will it help me resolve my issue faster by reducing redundancy, scouring past logs will also enable others who might encounter similar problems to solve them. In the end, everyone is happy!

Code Playground

Since I found my past experiments to be insightful, I will continue my code playground and share ideas or experiments I’ve conducted as either code snippets or posts. Hopefully, I can test out my ideas and sharpen them through public feedback. Don’t be shy to drop feedback!

Giving Back Platform

I owe a lot for my current position to the open-source community. This website and all its contents will serve as a thank-you letter to the open-source community and keep the open-source spirit alive.

Productive Distraction

In the past, I used to play too much video games during my free time. However, I later realized that this activity was unproductive for my growth as a software engineer. Therefore, I vow to replace it with more productive habits by maintaining this website.

Final Thoughts

With that in mind, I hope that everyone, including you who is reading this, can continuously learn and grow through this website.

I know, I’m very late in the blogging game when a lot of people already started learning in public early in their careers. However, I believe that it is better to start late than never start at all. Cheers!

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Growth

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