I am sure that many of you have heard of John Sonmez. You might be familiar with his many YouTube videos or maybe you have visited his Simple Programmer website. I just recently became aware of him, but that is understandable considering I am new to this whole programming thing.
I first heard about him when he was mentioned in a forum post on freeCodeCamp. The original poster was a fan and other people commented that they liked his work at Simple Programmer as well. They specifically mentioned his book, The Complete Software Developer’s Career Guide, so I looked it up on Amazon. The reviews were great and the title certainly sounded like something that would appeal to a new programmer like myself so I added it to my wish list.
I watched a few of his videos and quickly realized that even though his website is called Simple Programmer the focus isn’t really about technical skills. His content is more like that of a motivational speaker or a marketing guru than of a programming instructor. In some ways, this is better for people new to programming. While they certainly need to develop technical skills, they also need to learn to stay motivated and to market themselves.
In his videos, he is always mentioning the different guides he has created. Did I mention he is really good at self-promotion? Since I recently decided to start a blog (thanks for reading this by the way!) I went ahead and signed up for his Create a Blog to Boost Your Software Career guide.
The guide is totally free, but you can buy a companion book for $5 that includes bonus lessons and tips. Since I am a starving programming student, I opted to not pay the extra $5.
The guide consists of seven lessons that are emailed to you on Mondays and Thursdays. The lessons include standard topics like deciding what to name your blog, registering a domain name, and finding a self-hosting site but they also focus on more big-picture ideas like the importance of consistent content and how to increase traffic to your blog. To me, that is where the real value is in these lessons.
There are tons of resources out there that will help walk you through the technical steps required to create a blog. It is a lot harder to find good advice on how to make your blog stand out from the many other blogs out there. That involves being high energy and knowing how to market yourself and those are two things that John Sonmez definitely knows how to do.
Now John Sonmez may not be for everyone. As I mentioned, he comes across as more of a life coach than a programming instructor. The focus is on motivating the viewer and promoting the Simple Programmer brand, something he does A LOT. Whether you are a fan of this type of approach or not, there are things to be learned from it. I’ll be honest, I do find his constant self-promotion to be a little infomercial-like at times, but I still find value in some of what he has to say.
If you are thinking about starting a blog or looking to get the most out of your existing blog then you should check out this course. It doesn’t cost anything and even if you only take away one or two tips then it was still worth your time.
Good luck and good programming!