2016 was my first full year (not including the few odd blog posts before that) where I tried to post once a week. Well... I didn’t make it through the whole year - about half - but I am still immensely proud of the effort and genuinely surprised by the content, topics and feedback from readers.
Thank you to everyone that read or commented (yep, there were quite a few corrections along the way, keep them coming!) and I hope to work on some interesting posts in the near future.
Here were the top 5 posts (in terms of views) for 2016:
- What Makes a Great Software Engineer?
- It’s Impossible to Validate an Email Address
- Unit Tests That Write Themselves: Property-based Testing Using Hypothesis in Python
- How to Write Your Own Recommendation System
- SQL Transaction Levels Explained
More importantly is what I leaned writing a blog in 2016:
- It’s way more work that I thought. It seems silly to say now, but it really is a lot for work to research, produce working code, write up articles (even if it’s on something you think you understand backwards) and then promote them to the right audiences.
- Often the posts that I would have thought would be the most interesting turned out to have the least views, and visa-versa. This was not a hindrance for me, but rather made me even more excited to write articles about very niche topics.
- Picking topics to write about was much harder than I thought. Even when I did come up with a topic that was interesting to write about I invariably forgot or realised there was too much or little content for it to be viable.
- Albert Einstein has a great quote that really resonates more and constantly with me now: “If you can’t explain it to a 6 year old, you don’t understand it.". Writing about topics that I thought I knew quite well - turns out I didn’t. But I really enjoyed the extra learning for myself as well.
The moral of the story is: It's tons of work, but even if nobody reads your articles it still remains a great personal learning tool and gives you a great sense of achievement with each new post.
Looking forward to 2017 (yay!):
- New blogging platform! I am now using postach.io which lets me edit and publish real-time from within Evernote (definitely one of my favourite and most used apps).
- I will try to continue to post regularly and with interesting topics. I guess interesting is subjective, you’ll just have to wait and see! :)