Meditations on when to start an engineering blog

April 7, 2017
Nick Hatt Staff Software Engineer, Tech Lead

When does your startup need an engineering blog?

This question is something we’ve been wrestling with for a while now. Ever since my post on slacking lolcommits, I’ve envisioned Redox as being a source for great innovations which we disseminate to the world. Despite my vision, there are so many other engineering blogs to compete with.Why start an engineering blog in such a crowded space?

Healthcare needs more technical voices

Look at the landscape of engineering blogs and count how many companies write about HIPAA-compliant infrastructure. What about the technical details of HL7, X12, or DICOM? What about the intricacies of healthcare data?

These are all problems that our customers face. Instead of talking about them in our public Slack channel, we should be talking about them in the open, so anyone with Google can find it.

Part of working at Redox involves reflection

Even if the content isn’t valuable, we believe the process of writing is useful for developers. In the words of Luke Bonney:

A major benefit of writing our ideas is that it forces us to clarify our thoughts. Writing is a forcing function for clarity. If we can’t write something down, perhaps what we’re trying to communicate hasn’t been fully thought out.

Every team at Redox does reflection as a regular part of our weekly Sprint-type-things. This is inspired by the US Navy Blue Angels and is part of the startup mindfulness lore.

Whether it’s a project, design, or a particular bug that required heroic debugging skills, writing offers a way to debrief above and beyond our regular reflection.

Why now?

Our engineering team is growing quickly, and writing stuff for the outside world seems like the right thing to do for our customers and ourselves…

As for when to start an engineering blog, I’m going to go out on a limb and say it’s never too early, or too late. As long as people want to write – give the people what they want.