Gáspár Nagy on software

coach, trainer and bdd addict, creator of SpecFlow

Blogging under pressure

by Gáspár on January 25, 2016

I started with my independent consultant carrier last year, I talked to many trustworthy people and all of them were sure that frequent blogging was important.  Ok. So let’s do it… but how?

Blogging should be easy. You don’t need any big infrastructure, there are quite a lot free tools available for everything, it takes “just a little time” to write a post. Still, there are not so many people running a blog with regular updates (e.g. more than 4 posts a year…). The reasons may vary.

It is hard to allocate that “little time”. You might be unsure if your thoughts are interesting for others or you might also be afraid to share experience that comes from the confidential-zone of your company. I also went through all these stages, and for me the final problem seemed to be that it was hard to set the priorities and keep a sustainable focus and commitment. Not very formally, but I set a goal for myself for 2016 to make changes and improve in this.

But if you want to do the things differently you also have to change something. I stumbled across John Sonmez’s “blog course” and that sounded crazy enough for me to decide that I would use a coach. A virtual coach, a set of emails that I  receive every week, that are fully impersonal, boring and… you know. Well, this was a bit different to my surprise.

First of all, let me share why I found the idea crazy. If you read the intro of the course, it is visible, that 1) the course is for beginners; 2) the course is for employees seeking for better career possibilities. Actually none of these were true for me, but I was really interested how someone could do a course about such an “easy” thing like blogging. And I thought that if  I was still not able to have a decent blog after taking the course for newbies, then that would be a serious feedback to myself. So I started.

I will not share many details about the course (you can subscribe to it yourself, it is free), but as I said, it has been a positive suprise. Here is just one. Even the first lesson ended with a homework – that might be usual. But the funny thing is that I had to submit the results per email and there has not been mentioned any special formatting rule (like write above this line, subject should be …). I got curious and replied with a few sentence and was waiting for the “thank you for your answers, our robots are still processing your results…” email, but I haven’t got any. After a day or so however, I’ve got a reply from John. And it was a real response. I don’t know how he does it. Whether he invented a super AI algorithm or has dwarfs working on the answers or maybe it was him really… It’s not important at all.. It sounded like John, it said things like John and he was using John’s email, so for me it was John (like duck typing).

This situation reminds me of a legend about a Hungarian writer, who was locked to his room every day by his wife until he finished certain number of pages in his book. He was put under pressure a bit. Who knows if the story was true, but this guy called Mór Jókai eventually became one of the most famous Hungarian novelists and produced many great books. (There is even a traditional dish named after him that you should try if you come to Hungary. )

Sometimes some external pressure (or help? :-) is necessary to move you forward. Don’t be shy, make use of it! At least I will not be, I can promise!

 

I’m not only blogging about BDD and SpecFlow but also have a 3 day course, where you can learn how to use this tool and this technique efficiently. I hope to see you there!

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