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Podcast

The Developer's Content Model

Professional JavaScript: Episode 4

Last Updated: 2021-03-12

The following is a transcript of the latest episode on the Professional JavaScript podcast.

Tagline

Hey everyone and welcome to the fourth episode of Professional JavaScript, the podcast for learning how to grow as a JavaScript developer in a professional environment where the problems are greater than just another todo list tutorial.

Each week, I, Michael Mangialardi, will be sharing what I’m learning as I write JavaScript code on a professional team. I’ll cover tips, tricks, technologies, and other goodies that you don’t always get when consuming other online resources.

Today’s Episode

In today’s episode, I’ll be discussing a content model that allows developers to share their knowledge, improve their portfolio, and expand their network.

Introduction

Gary Vaynerchuk is a serial entrepreneur known for forward-thinking in marketing strategies.

The GaryVee Content Strategy is a brilliant way to grow and distribute a brand’s social media content.

The gist of the idea is to create a solid piece of content, and then generate and distribute smaller forms of content (he calls it “micro-content”) from the original, long-form/macro content.

He calls this a “reverse pyramid” model.

For example, a brand might record a Q&A video. Let’s say that show was recorded on a YouTube channel.

After being recorded on YouTube, “micro-content” could be generated from the original Q&A video.

This could include posting clips on Instagram and Snapchat. Or, post the transcript as a blog post.

The idea, again, is to expand your reach by getting as much micro-content out of the original content.

This content model works great for developers.

Body

If you work in a professional setting as a JavaScript developer, you already have your “macro-content.”

Every time you work on a project, you are learning new technologies, code patterns, and good processes for a developer’s experience.

For example, you work for a company called “ZapShoes,” an e-commerce application that provides the “zappiest” delivery of shoes to your doorstep.

For the past few months, you’ve been working on launching a React Native application so that customers can order shoes from the convenience of their mobile phones.

As you work on the project, you are bound to know more than you previously did as you cranked out solutions, conducted code reviews, searched the internet for help, etc.

Even if you are not working on a project that requires you to work with some new technology, you will certainly learn something – whether that’s a code design pattern, a productivity tip, a common business solution, or some technical trivia.

All this wealth of knowledge can serve as the original content by which “micro-content” may be generated.

Here are some examples of “micro-content” that you can generate from your professional JavaScript role:

  1. Turn a code review comment into a tweet
  2. Share a piece of your code as a public GitHub Gist
  3. Generalize your solutions as an open-source package
  4. Translate what you’ve learned into a blog post
  5. Write a blog post about the success of your project
  6. Translate your blog posts into a podcast

The list could go on and on, but I leave you with those to get the ball rolling.

Personally, I've been writing about design tokens as I'm working on building out a design system in my professional role.

Finally, let me give you some motivation as to why creating “micro-content” from what you are learning in your professional role is a good idea.

First, it naturally grows your portfolio. If you share what you are learning in blog posts, tweets, gists, etc., you are storing up valuable assets that you can share when looking for a new role or promotion.

Companies look for a candidate that stands out. Having more than just a resume will give you an edge.

Moreover, many companies ask for an example of code that you have written. It will be very nice to be able to point to something you’ve already created when applying for jobs than making one on the fly. Sharing what you’re learning is always easiest as you are learning.

Second, it can help grow your network of connections with other developers. The more helpful content you provide, the greater your reach.

It’s incredible to me that after launching a personal blog and podcast, I’ve reached developers all across the world.

You’d be surprised how far you can reach even when your efforts seem relatively small.

This is important because, as GaryVee would say, networking is the new resume.

Even if you’re not looking for new opportunities, growing your network of connections with other developers will help you learn and innovate beyond the walls of your professional role.

Third, it can help with recording your progress in a year, making yearly reviews easier to write.

Finally, it can provide energy in ways that a professional role cannot on its own. As you share your knowledge and benefit a larger range of like-minded developers, it will increase your desire to learn and passion for the field.

Conclusion

There you have it…a content model strategy for developers. What will you do with this strategy?

Thanks for tuning in. Cheers!

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Michael Mangialardi is a software developer specializing in UI development with React and fluent in UI/UX design. As a survivor of impostor syndrome, he loves to make learning technical skills digestible and practical. Formerly, he published articles, ebooks, and coding challenges under his brand "Coding Artist." Today, he looks forward to using his mature experience to give back to the web development community. He lives in beautiful, historic Virginia with his wife.