2020 in Writing

Credit: Stocksnap

I sent 13 WTHIC letters from three countries, had five articles in Qz. I was also on the UK Channel 4 News.

This blog was seen by just over 25K visitors for a little more than 41K views, and I published just 20 posts (many of which just linked out to the proper post elsewhere). This is down from 40K visitors and just under 60K views in 2019.

In 2019 I wrote that it hadn’t been a great year for writing, but 2020 was worse. I started the year determined to rebuild the habit, with a friend and I meeting in coffee shops on Tuesday evenings, but that came to an end when the pandemic hit, and between the stress and boredom of that, the loss of my usual writing places (planes and coffee shops, mainly), and changing jobs I didn’t feel I had a whole lot to say anyway. I did write some things I’m proud of, a couple of which remain unpublished (working on it). I’m happy that coming into 2021, I am finally coming out the other side of writers block, and focusing on rebuilding the habit of publishing reguarly.

Most Popular Posts 2020

  1. How I Offloaded My Anxiety to Trello. I wrote about my life admin management system, and how I use Trello to keep track of and make progress on the different areas of my life.
  2. Hotfixes for Your Newly Remote Team. The written version of a talk my friend Eli and I did together, put together to help engineering teams adjusting to the new way of working.
  3. The Great DomestiCation. I did a detailed post about the complete house renovation I did in 2018-2019.
  4. #RFRW? #RFRW! Post about a webinar I did at the start of the pandemic with Nicole Sanchez.
  5. Building Alignment with Co-Leadership. I wrote about the Co-Leadership course I took in SF with my then-coworker, Beau.

Most Popular Posts Pre-2020

* indicates that this was also on the pre-2019 list last year.
** indicates this was on the 2019 list last year.

  1. Testing Intents on Android: Like Stabbing Yourself in the Eye with a Blunt Implement*. Intent testing was not particularly straight-forward, or well documented, and I shared what I found in a weekend of fighting with it. I think this is one of my best technical posts, and it’s nice to see it still getting the attention it deserves! I want to believe this is because more people are writing tests now.
  2. Unfriending on Facebook. For some reason, in 2010 this search term was sending a significant amount of traffic to my blog, so I wrote an explainer.
  3. Rest Day – Buffer Day – Focus Day*. A post from 2015 about having different kinds of days and themes to make progress.
  4. Creating and Comparing Images on Android*. Technical work from Show & Hide (2015) – I replicated my work on iOS to create test images, and compare images against each other in tests.
  5. Mastering New Leadership Styles**. I am fascinated by the different leadership styles, the need to switch between them, and people’s flexibility or lack thereof. An attempt to distill the ~15 page original article in a more actionable way.
  6. Creating Test Images and Comparing UI Images*. More technical work from Show & Hide on iOS (2015) In which I nerd out about UIImages, creating test images, and comparing them pixel by pixel.
  7. Testing Code that Depends on Remote APIs*. A technical post from 2010 outlining the difficulties of testing code depending on external services and how to work around them.
  8. On Improving Diversity in Hiring. I wrote about various tactics to improve diversity in hiring process, considerations of inclusion, onboarding etc. This is from 2017, and I’m still using many of the things outlined and finding them effective.
  9. Honey, I Left the Tech Industry*. Some reflections a year after I left The Conglomerate – what I expected and what I found.
  10. The Disillusionment of the Early Career Engineer*. From 2013, some thoughts on common themes I heard in talking to early career engineers.