There’s power in asking why. I’ve found out that in asking why, the underlying source and/or reason for anything can be found. Asking why also enables one to have a clearer view of the purpose of something, and thus, have sound foundations for decision-making. So why?

To improve my technical communication

I live among people, and to get my thoughts across to them, I have to communicate.

I’ve learnt from Will Sentance’s courses on Frontend Masters that technical communication skills is one of the important skills of a computer engineer. The ability to get others to understand what my thoughts are about a concept is a valuable skill in code reviews, mentoring, writing documentation, and most importantly, writing clean, maintainable code. And what better way to get better at communicating than actually communicating?

For the things we have to learn before we can do them, we learn by doing them. Aristotle, The Nicomachean Ethics

For service and contributions

One of my favourite developers is Jon Skeet because of his immense contributions to solving many code-related problems in his field. Although I don’t write Java or C#, it’s awesome that many people have been able to code easily and have a better understanding of these languages because Jon Skeet answered their questions on StackOverflow.

Out of gratitude for the value I’ve gotten from well-meaning developers who have written articles that have helped me, I choose to contribute to helping others understand and practise easily. It is easier to walk through a path that has already been cleared the than one you have to clear by yourself. In the words of Victor Frankl in Man’s Search for Meaning,

I therefore felt responsible for writing down what I had gone through, for I thought it might be helpful for people who are prone to despair.

For record and keeps

More than once, I’ve heard developers talk about how many of their articles had helped them solve problems they had even months after writing them. This is one source of motivation for me. It’s like saving for the rainy day.

If I understand something very well today, I should keep a record of my thoughts and how I got to understand it. In the blissful moments of understanding, I have the concept at the forefront of my mind. Tomorrow, I will have something else, and it goes on and on.

I may not use what I understand well now so frequently that it becomes second nature. As admitted earlier in this article, I’m human. I’ll forget. I should keep a record of my understanding and my path to it for future me.

Diary Cartoon Illustration - People illustrations by Storyset