When I started learning web dev, I had built a portfolio and blog. The work featured mainly websites for loved ones or agency work and a few odd posts. It made it way easier to get eyes on my resume.
However, after VueConf.US in 2019, I lost the practice of maintaining it. I had decided to rebuild my portfolio using Gridsome. Somewhere between npm install gridsome and life, I hit a road block. My portfolio sat in an “under construction” state for ages.
My career progressed forward without it, nonetheless. It wasn’t that I didn’t need one, just that I had established some experience and that was enough to get me hired. Now I’m a senior engineer, and it could be said I got here despite not having a well-maintained portfolio or website.
Except I don’t have anything concrete to look back on except for a one-page resume.
The practice of writing isn’t for everyone, but I would advocate that maintaining some record of your career is a healthy practice to pick up. That could take the form of maintaining a series of side projects, blogging, or even just journaling in private. It helps build a detailed history and breadcrumb trail of your career you can look back at to help remind you of what you learned and when, of the reasons behind choices made, of what you want to avoid moving forward. It’s part of the reason why I’m working on this site, to revive that practice for myself, taking the advice of prolific blogger Chris Coyier.
It’s harder for me now, being a senior engineer and a family man, to find the time to write detailed, technical long-form pieces or long-living libraries. But I still think the practice is worth it, and I know that it will only become easier with repetition. I will never not advocate that developers at all points in their career consider keeping a record of their career, be it as a blog, diary, notes, or heck, even bullet journaling. Just build yourself a history, and preferably on a platform where your data is yours to keep.