A new tech blog sees the light of day. As if there weren’t enough of them already, there is now another one that imposes itself. One might think.

2011 was the year in which I decided to step back from my career as a chemist and switch to computer science. The reasons for this were manifold, and maybe I write about it in another post.

As a scientist, of course, you read a lot. You have to research very meticulously. Every piece of information has to be checked for its correctness. Sources are analysed and verified. (Specialist) Literature of all kinds is met critically and analytically — the same counts for learning during studies. There are a few standard works that you should read, as well as specific articles and papers. However, even here you never rely on one work alone, and you often pull several sources together. In general only the “official” editors of books, journals and articles are interesting.

Blogs are not consulted at all.

Well, in the natural sciences there are indeed reasons for this, but we don’t want to explain them here. However, at this point, I would like to link to an excellent (German) video by maiLab on the subject.

So the change to computer science has led me to buy tons of technical literature to familiarise myself with different topics. Operating Systems, C++ for beginners, books about OOP, IT networks and much more. In the course of my studies, however, I noticed that much of what is in the books were either already obsolete or incomplete. Especially when it came to translating what I had learned into practice, the books hardly helped. So, in my situation, I was looking at the Internet and found countless articles on the subjects and problems I had, but most of them from private individuals. Sceptically, I first looked for answers from the big players. Maybe Google once wrote something about C++, or maybe Mozilla documented something more exact somewhere what I needed. However, that was not so.

So I dared to take the step to read private blogs. Moreover, after the shortest time, my problems solved themselves. Not only that: I even learned a lot more. Many of the articles didn’t just deal with the problem superficially but explained in more detail what it is all about, why it exists and how it can be solved and why it works that way. It was great, and I was excited about the information content and quality.

Today, many years later, reading blogs and articles is part of my everyday life not only as teaching material but also as a platform for open exchange and knowledge transfer. Of course always critical and analytical - one should not believe things just because they are written. However, it has broadened my horizon in a very own way.

I don’t know where I would be today if there weren’t a community that would report so selflessly and qualitatively on its experiences. Now I would like to add my own experiences to this already incomprehensibly vast and valuable treasure to hopefully help other developers, computer scientists, journalists, curious people, students and stranded chemists to find their way in the crazy but wonderful world of computer science.