Don't be afraid to share

posted on

I don’t consider myself a web accessibility expert but I’ve learned enough in a relatively short time to feel comfortable enough to share my knowledge in blog posts, workshops and talks.

Here’s some advice, if you want to share stuff but are wary about doing it.

1. Find something that interests you and stick to it.

Fullstack is bullshit and so is trying to be an expert in everything. Pick that one thing that interests you the most (design, js, css, a11y, ux,…) and try to be really good in that specific area.

(PS: it can change over time)

2. Read, read a lot.

Find experts in the area that interests you and subscribe to their blogs and follow them on social media. Read as many articles as you can. If you can afford it, buy books or videos. If not, ask the author if they’ve got promo codes for you (some do that).

3. Share!

I learn the most by explaining stuff to others. If you want to learn something, write an article about it or give a talk at a meetup. You can do that even if you’re not an “expert”. I did that with this article and it helped me and many others.

4. Share even if it has been shared before.

Don’t limit yourself to topics and content that hasn’t been shared before. New perspectives, ideas and approaches to old topics are often interesting and valuable.

5. Don’t be afraid to write/talk about basics.

It’s easy to feel intimidated by the seemingly endless knowledge of people you follow on twitter. For every person who knows more about something than you, there are many more that know less and would enjoy you sharing “basics”.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback.

Before I published my first few articles about accessibility, I asked people I look up to (@aardrian, @heydonworks and others) to give me feedback. I figured if they don’t think it’s shit, it probably isn’t. I still do this with every article I write (by the way, @cariefisher expect a DM next week :)).

7. Publish on your own website.

It’s not just that the quality of third party platforms like Medium might decrease at some point, but you also feel much more comfortable expressing yourself and sharing stuff if it happens on your personal website. (+ you own the content.)

8. Find a mentor.

Okay, I don’t know where you would find one but if someone you respect offers you their support, take it. @AaronGustafson was my mentor for a year and he helped me in so many aspects.