I Wrote More Than 90 Articles on 2021: Here Is What I Learned

This article summarizes my experience as a writer during the pandemic year 2021

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Below you will find many resources and tools, and my method and tips for writing a lot.

TL;DR: Several advices to write great articles

My Background

  • I have a degree in computer science. 👨🏽‍🔬

  • I use the scientific method and Occam's razor.

  • I have researched for 30 years both in the academic and industrial fields.

  • I don't have the absolute truth.

  • I try to support my opinions with evidence. 🔍

  • They are my opinions and are very subject to change.

My tools and secret sauces

  • I Have a (very) long list of draft articles.

  • I often skip the waiting queue and write about some inspirational source (and quote it).

  • I use a different template in all my series.

  • For example, I have an empty Code Smell template.

  • I write Everywhere 🗺️

  • I proofread all my articles with HemingwayApp, Grammarly, and Google Translate (all free) 🔡

  • I parse the markdown in my articles and convert them to HTML to republish on many platforms at once.

  • I heavily use the canonical URL tag to avoid search penalties. 🔎

  • I Follow very interesting people on Twitter and blogging platforms. ✨

  • I take a new course every week, usually on a subject that is far away from my comfort zone.

  • I add many references and quotes to my articles.

Time management

  • I read a lot of articles early in the morning and bookmark them during the day. 🌅

  • I use Trello, Inoreader, Pocket, and Obsidian.

  • I Use The Pomodoro technique to focus when writing. 🍅

  • I avoid perfection. I publish them when they are ready.

  • Then I make corrections following other people's comments. Even after months.

  • I Garden my articles.

Dealing with Criticism

  • I have different opinions than many other developers.

  • Software Design is a creative activity.

  • My articles are suggestions and not rigid rules.

  • I try to have intelligent and polite discussions.

  • I have zero tolerance for hate speech and unprofessional comments.

  • I never feed the troll.

Common Criticism

  • I get the same comments over and over again, these are the common critics I get and my opinions:

Opinions

Revealed Truth

  • I don't have the same opinion as many people.

  • If you think [NULLs|Undefined|Singletons|...|Whatever] are awesome, I have a different point of view.

Readability

I need to see the complete code in a sheet

  • If you need to see long methods/scripts to understand your solution, that's fine.

  • I prefer to have small/reusable/testable functions.

A 15 lines long method is not 'long'

  • IMHO, a 6 lines method is too long

  • You can always break them using refactorings. 🛠️

  • You don't need to see the big picture and the details at the same time. 🌳

  • Trust your implementation and write good tests.

The code in your articles is not Compiling/Working/has errors

  • I try to add code samples for clarity.

  • Most of the code snippets work.

  • Some of them are pseudo-code for educational purposes. 👨‍🏫

  • I have used 25+ different languages in my articles.

  • Whenever possible, I test the code in a repl.it

  • I am not an expert in NONE of these languages.

  • Languages are accidental, and Software design is essential.

Why do you rotate the programming languages?

I use different languages on purpose.

Some Code Smells are language-dependent.

Imagine what would happen if I write them in, for example, Javascript.

Everyone would argue and associate Javascript with those languages.

No language is perfect and that is my point.

I Have a trick in INSERT LANGUAGE to improve the code.

  • Most of the articles are language-independent.

  • The solution tries to avoid language perks and cleverness.

Performance

Your solution is not performant/optimal/memory efficient

  • I write about backend business software. 🖥️

  • This is the domain I've been working on.

  • I know that some tasks require more performant solutions (for example DApps).

  • I will always choose long descriptive names over smart performance optimizations.

  • First, make the code right. ✔️

  • Then, optimize it only if you have strong evidence.

  • Complexity is not enough evidence.

  • You need a genuine benchmark in real use case scenarios. 📈

  • If I need to sort 20 elements in a collection, I will always choose bubble sort because it is easier to read.

Premature optimization is the root of all evil. 😈

Anti-Patterns

Helpers, DTOs, Singletons, Nulls, Setters, Metaprogramming, Castings, Comments are standard. 🙈

  • I write a lot on these anti-patterns with the reasons why I think we should avoid them.

  • You can keep thinking they are good and that's fine.

  • My arguments against them are in all articles.

  • I reply polite comments about them.

Your solutions have too many indirections

  • Coupling is our worst enemy. 🙅

  • We need to avoid direct relationships.

I Hate the word 'Code Smell'

You have too many rules and constraints

  • There is just one rule

-- Always follow the bijection 🔀