I’ve been posting on Stack Overflow for about two years now. It has made me realize that writing bits of my knowledge into the internet can be beneficial.
Before I started, I was pretty unaware of how many people think about questions that my life or career has already made me answer. This seems a little strange because it has never been a mystery to me that others have already answered questions that I have had.
I was also unaware of how much time I waste by repeatedly solving the same problem. There’s something about explaining a concept that makes the concept itself more clear in my mind. I probably refer to my own answers more than anyone else does. That may just be intellectual narcissism, but I do like having a canonical written record of my thoughts on a topic. I’m not sure what number of
.txt files someone has to have on their hard drive before their content starts to seem meaningless, but I know I passed it years ago. Knowing that someone is watching and judging each word I write seems to enforce rigor and standardization. When I write into a Notepad document, I know that there is a 99% chance that only 0 or 1 people will ever read that document once it is finished. And, I know that the potential 1 person is me. The result is thousands of incomprehensible notes that encapsulate epiphany. Basically, it’s a naturally occurring implementation of the opposite of the Facade pattern.
I’m hoping that by making a commitment to write the ideas that I find important into a public forum, I will implicitly make them digestible to my future self. Also, it’s quite possible that others might find what I write useful. This post is the exception. I’m pretty sure that reading it would be a waste of time for anyone but me.