by Brian Douglas
March 8, 2022
My career began in technical sales in 2008, mainly selling networking equipment for large companies. At that time, Facebook was the place to share your life and updates. Still, my introduction into the workforce was met with Facebook being discouraged for leveraging business opportunities (weird times, but I did it anyway). Can you believe the recommendation was to separate your work from social media? Today my online persona on the internet supports my work, and I am fascinated by the idea of documenting my work experience as they happen.
Fast forward, my first full-time developer job was in 2014, and by then, I had spent six months highlighting my failures and accomplishments through my personal developer blog. I have yet to be in a position where the work where the content I create did not come in handy when talking through situational interviews or used for reference. I got to where I am today by learning from free resources on the internet. Many of those resources were written by inspiring professionals that do the same thing as me. I constantly share my recently acquired knowledge through blog posts and videos because I see the value in leveraging that experience for future growth. The challenge is that the frequency of content can be overwhelming to catalog when life or work gets busy. Today it is normal for me to produce a video, blog post, and a podcast in the same week, and when weeks look like that, I need a place to collect these engagements.
Why I Polywork
Working professionally as a developer advocate and content creator, you work on many things at the same time. I started a newsletter to begin to colocate all the work I do during the month while also making it helpful for folks to find what I do, but I also look back on my content to reflect on what went well and what didn’t. Once I started doing that, I realized I had way too much content to fit in one newsletter, but I still wanted to share a list of previous videos and blogs posts I made.
Engineers write code, but also blog posts. Developers write remote conference talks but also record TikToks. Polywork leans into celebrating the variety of content we create by providing an array of tags to share our content.
My formative Facebook years were spent as a huge Kanye fan, and I emulated his approach in documenting a lot of my career through content, as we learned recently in the Jeen-yuhs documentary. Being proud of what you create and sharing what you make is how we participate as Polyworkers.
Polywork allows me to share that experience in a way that is a perfect flex. Every YouTube video and TikTok gets a highlight. When I write my newsletter, I go to my Polywork profile to pick out the best moments from the month. I also point all my Twitter and social followers to Polywork so they can stay up to date with me there.
Polywork is the perfect place for oversharing my work. The community includes content creators, and I enjoy scrolling through to read up on the accomplishments of my peers. The newer collaboration feature is also nice to connect to mult-faceted individuals for collaboration on future content. I have used these features to discover designers who are doing great work and expanding my network outside of just developers.
Things I Polywork
Polywork has become my defacto place to summarize my month in a discoverable way.
When I appear on a Podcast as a guest, I have always found it challenging to keep track of when and where they live. But as of late, I have been including another part of my work that is a bit ephemeral; open-source contributions. When I make contributions to mine and other open-source projects on GitHub, they get to merge and tagged for the release, and that’s it. Work in open source keeps moving forward, and I have found it pretty valuable to include my contributions on Polywork as a nice way to look back and decipher what those endless green squares represent.
In my project, Open Sauced, I have contributors do the same and showcase the great things they are doing in the project. This is helpful to celebrate folks and recognize their work amongst other open source tagged Polyworkers. GitHub is still the home for open source contributions, but the platform is really focused on collaboration across teams.
Merged pull requests are not highlighted as "content" in many circles, but I love that my community is doing this and paving the way for others to do and celebrate. If you are interested in content creation, investing, and open-source find me on Polywork: b.dougie.dev.
Coming from a world where Facebook was not a place for work highlights, I am happy that a platform like Polywork exists to share content and accomplishments. Whether I am looking for future coworkers or a Tiktokker that creates developer content, Polywork will be the first place I look for folks sharing content.
Want to check out Polywork? You can use this link to skip the waitlist