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Ask HN: Why should I write tutorials/how-tos for others?
7 points by irregular-john 10 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 8 comments
If I think a certain software pattern I use in nearly every project of mine is unique and frankly worth a lot of money (read: less time spent engineering and more time available for additional value-adding elsewhere), why should I write a tutorial on that pattern for others to consume/learn from?





a) It opens you up to criticism, to find potential improvements to your style - if you think that your style can't be improved, then sure: hold onto it and never let it go!

b) If everybody held onto their knowledge because it was valuable, I'd venture to say that you'd only have a fraction of the knowledge you have now - since there wouldn't be any resources for you to consume yourself

c) It disseminates your work, more people know what you're working on, and that means that when you make a claim regarding the value of your work, people will take you seriously. How am I supposed to judge the value of your work if you don't have a readily available body of work for me to cross-reference against.

d) If your pattern truly creates value, then others will start to use it in software you don't contribute to; which will mean more rapid progress that you can again benefit from.

Human knowledge acquisition is not meant to be solitary, so if you don't want to share; thats up to you. But you need to realise that sharing is always a game of give and take.


A lot of great points. I definitely acknowledge that I wouldn't be where I am without a lot of others' tutorials.

I particularly like your third point - I obviously can't share the proprietary work I've done, but this is something I could share and would demonstrate (hopefully) some of my competencies.


Because spreading your knowledge is one of the best ways to pay it forward that there is. (Among many other reasons!)

If you publish it, you'll become famous. Then people will pay you lots of money because they'll think you're competent. Discoverability is the path to perceived expertise.

Sneaky approach - I want to see your code now!

I think it showcases your expertise. A future employer might stumble upon your write-up and reach out to hire you.

You might want to write a book that includes the subject in the future. If you get good feedback on the article and lots of eyeballs on it, this validates this idea.


Sharing knowledge is a great way to give back to the community, meet other developers, potentially obtain consulting engagements and/or build an audience.

- There is joy in giving

- It is not a zero sum game




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