Farewell 2016, Hello 2017!

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:

  1. What Makes a Great Software Engineer?
  2. It’s Impossible to Validate an Email Address
  3. Unit Tests That Write Themselves: Property-based Testing Using Hypothesis in Python
  4. How to Write Your Own Recommendation System
  5. SQL Transaction Levels Explained

More importantly is what I leaned writing a blog in 2016:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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!):

  1. 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).
  2. 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! :)

Originally published at http://elliot.land on January 18, 2017.

Written by

I’m a data nerd and TDD enthusiast originally from Sydney. Currently working for Uber in New York. My thoughts here are my own. 🤓 elliotchance@gmail.com

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