Why should Software engineers own a website or an app?
Owning a website or an app helps you showcase your app in your next interview, acts as a launchpad for your future projects, and helps create a personal brand.
We, as engineers, work on different technologies at our place of work. While doing that, we come across a lot of issues.
What do we do then?
We do a quick google search for that issue and click on the first Stackoverflow link that we see. Well, that works sometimes, sometimes it doesn't.
Then we break our heads trying to find a solution to the weirdest issues that we come across. We then find an issue in the third-party library/framework and work on a fix for that.
Don't you think others might be facing the same issue? Such a waste of time. Share your solutions with others, this can only help your credibility.
Start a blog.
You might ask, "Why not just post the solutions on a forum?". You are right, when it comes to coding-related issues, it is a good idea to post them in a forum.
But we are not just developers, we have a life outside of work. We face difficulties outside work as well. Isn't it a good idea to document everything you wish to share with the world in a single place?
I strongly think that it is a good idea.
Now let's talk about an excellent interview you saw on YouTube. Like this one of Naval Ravikanth on the Joe Rogan podcast, I love this one.
Wouldn't it be cool if you could list all the awesome content that you come across on the internet and list it somewhere? That is called Content curation.
List the content you consume when you are off work. Launch an App. Notify your users of the best thing you came across. Expand the app to let your users start recommending content as well.
Possibilities are endless.
I started this website after a similar realization. We, as engineers, work on different technologies. Along the way, we would have researched a lot. It would be a good idea to blog about those.
This helps you showcase all that you have worked on in an interesting way.
Here is why you should own a website or an app.
- You get to showcase your app in the next interview
- Keeps your skills sharp
- Gives you experimental grounds
- Helps you launch your future projects with a good initial boost
- Helps you score a freelance gig
- Works as a passive income
- Helps you create your personal brand
- Helps you network
- Boosts your confidence
Now let's look at each of them in detail.
1. You get to showcase your app in your next interview.
Companies receive thousands of applications every day. An easy way to stand out from all the applications is to showcase your own apps or websites.
This puts you ahead of most people and increases your chances of landing the job.
If you were the interviewer, who would you hire? The person with just some technologies written on a resume or the one who has some working product.
I would choose the latter. He will have a higher chance of wooing the interviewer.
2. Keeps your skills sharp
When you’re working on your own website or app, you’re constantly sharpening your skills.
There are a few things to keep in mind when you're owning a website or app as a software engineer.
First, make sure you keep your site or app up to date with the latest technology. This way, you can show potential employers that you're keeping up with the latest trends.
Secondly, make sure you have a good portfolio of your work. This will show potential employers your skills and what you're capable of.
Lastly, don't forget to market your site or app. This will help you get more exposure and attract potential customers or employers.
3. Gives you experimental grounds.
Engineers like to tinker with new languages/frameworks all the time.
These might not be suitable for your day job as they might be experimental or just not required for the job at hand.
Having your own app helps you experiment on a live project and have it on record that you have worked on that.
You can even blog about what issues you solve daily.
This helps others who might be struggling with something similar.
I recommend Flutter to anyone who wants to try to experiment with something new.
You'll be able to develop apps for Android and iOS with a single code base. (Flutter apps can also run on the web, Linux, Windows, and macOS - but they are not that stable yet)
4. Helps you launch your future projects with a good initial boost.
We all come across ideas for a personal project which we think has huge potential.
And if/once we are done developing that project, then it is time to market.
Having a small audience beforehand with your blog or an app helps you migrate some of them to your new project.
So, all your old websites can work as a launch pad for new projects.
This is exactly what I am trying to do with this website. I am trying to build an audience for my future projects.
5. Helps you score a freelance gig.
When you’re a software engineer, you’re always in demand. But what if you want to be your own boss and work on your own terms? In today’s gig economy, owning your own website or app is a great way to score a freelance gig.
This helps the person thinking of hiring you in making an informed decision.
They can easily see that you have blogged about the stuff that will be needed to develop their website/app.
6. Works as a passive income source.
Having a passive income source is highly underrated.
More bucks in the bank can only improve mental peace.
Passive income gives you the freedom to look out for further great opportunities professionally and personally.
Having a personal blog or an app doesn't guarantee you passive income, but increases the likely hood of it.
Here is a great Naval quote: "Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy. Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible."
7. Helps you create your personal brand
In the past, as there were no social media, it was really difficult to have a personal brand. By Personal brands, I am speaking about Joe Rogan, MKBHD, Mr. Beast, and the likes.
A lot of initial investment, both in capital and manual efforts were required pre-social media to create a personal brand. But today, all the tools needed to build a personal brand are easily available.
If your content becomes increasingly helpful or entertaining to others, you'll grow faster as an influencer.
If at some point you become a social media influencer with a good personal brand, it becomes easier to direct some of them to your next project or a product.
Not just digital, physical products can be launched as well.
You can increasingly see social media influencers selling merchandise after they gather a decent audience.
Best examples of this are, "Yes Theory", "Mr. Beast", "Linus Tech Tips", "MKBHD", "Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell" etc.
8. Helps you network
When you own your own website or app, you have a great way to network with other professionals. You can connect with other developers, designers, and entrepreneurs. This is a great way to meet new people and expand your professional network.
9. Boosts your confidence
Lastly, this boosts your confidence to see what you can achieve on your own.
It gives you an idea of how a project should be structured. The best ways to design your APIs etc.
It gives you the confidence to ask for more responsibilities at work and grow professionally as well.
While there are many other reasons why you should start a blog or create a website, these are all the things I could think of at the time of writing this article.
Hopefully, you'll find these reasons enough to see why Software Engineers should own a website or an app. I wish you all the luck on your journey in creating great products.
Author: Anil Rao K