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
Table of contents
- My Background
- My tools and secret sauces
- Time management
- Dealing with Criticism
- Common Criticism
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
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.
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.
- I get the same comments over and over again, these are the common critics I get and my opinions:
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.
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.
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.
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. 😈
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'
- I didn't coin it. I was Martin Fowler.
You have too many rules and constraints
- There is just one rule
-- Always follow the bijection 🔀