From time to time I get asked why I named this blog “uneremarkabletester” or why my Twitter handler is “unremarkableQA”. The first reason is obviously lack of any knowledge of good branding principles. The second one is that I strongly believe that not all of us are remarkable at what we do but it is still ok to share what we learn. To put our thoughts, opinions and ideas to the judgement of others.
It has been almost exactly 4 years since I started sharing publically, so here is what I’ve learned so far.
If learning by doing is your thing, content creation is definitely something to have a look at.
Because of writing this blog I have learned to write in smaller sentences (my default was 3 lines of text until the first comma). Doing presentations I learned to associate a concept with an image and build a small story around it. In both cases, I had to start using examples to explain my thoughts, something I always avoided in the past thinking it was a bad practice. I had to look into references to make sure that what I was writing was accurate and learned two or three irrelevant but interesting things going down the YouTube algorithm rabbit hole.
If you take joy in helping others with the value of your work, then maybe it is time to publish something.
In these past 4 years, I have written 44 blog posts and put together 4 presentations with my day-to-day learnings. The idea that someone might be helped by one of them to solve a problem a bit faster or to pay attention to avoid certain situations is extremely satisfying to me. Especially if I learned something the hard way, then I find it all the more urgent to put the findings out there to ease the pain for anyone else. Not all of my learnings are useful but at least some of them are worth writing down.
Even if I am aware that I am not writing the most ground-breaking things that will change software development forever, to receive some praise and a kind word is enough to put a smile on my face.
Someone sharing that they found something useful in one of my posts or that they can relate to a point that was made validates that at least a couple of things I put down resonate with others. To have people honour me with an invitation to speak at their event is something makes me want to do better and keep on sharing with everyone.
Sometimes day-to-day work means just doing your job feeling stuck in the rat race.
There are periods that I read old posts and think that I will never be able to write another one. What’s the point of having a WordPress account if I can’t write anything new and interesting? I see call for papers for conferences and there is nothing I feel like talking about. But because it’s been 4 years publishing content, even if it’s not remarkable, it’s hard to admit defeat and stop doing it. How much of it still brings me joy and how much of it has become a habit?
Being an unremarkable content creator means getting used to being ignored.
Each blog post and presentation are extremely dear to me. But to the outside world they are yet another link or notification. Some of them get very few views, some of them go completely unnoticed. I would be lying if I said that it didn’t upset me if a Tweet with my post would get 1000 impressions, 10 clicks and 1 like. Sending presentation proposals and being rejected more often than not. Most of the time I don’t care too much about it, but when it stings it stings a lot.
Being pragmatic about my skills and concious about my limitations helps me set realistic expectations about the reach of my content, avoiding frustration. As longs as I feel I have something helpful to share and I find joy in creating, I will keep at it. Even and despite being unremarkable.