My first website appeared in ~2003. Neopets allowed customization of a pet's web page using HTML, Javascript, and CSS, and that's how I first started teaching myself how to code. From there: I graduated to phpBB, Wordpress, and eventually desktop applications before formalizing my skills at university.

Since then, I haven't had much of a web presence - at the time, I hadn't considered any purpose beyond self-marketing and job hunting. After a few years of hacking, writing, and self-discovery, I realized there's much greater value than I'd initially thought in putting yourself (and your work) out there.

Looking back at my path of learning how to code, some of the best tutorials, ideas, and clarity I'd stumbled upon came from personal sites just like this one. Those blogs and write-ups served as relatable, accessible teaching to someone who had no idea what they were doing.

With a blog, personal projects don't rot in your ~/old_code/ folder; instead, they might inspire a fledgling developer somewhere. With a blog, your "3 am connecting two esoteric APIs" eureka moment doesn't fade away into the night; instead, it can save others around the world from having to crawl down that same rabbit hole.

Finally, a blog gives you an avenue to express yourself and sharpen your writing skills. As communications become increasingly digital, the ability to wrap your head around something difficult and succinctly communicate it via text is the second best skill you can possess as a technologist.

If you love to code (or cook, craft, anything) and love to write, setting up your own space on the web lets you do both in a way that pays it forward.