A Year of Tips

A Year of Tips

I started my Developer Tips Weekly newsletter a year ago this week – today the 53rd tip is being sent. It hasn’t always been easy, even though often the tips are very short and simple. Publishing at exactly 10am every Wednesday without fail has taken some discipline. Along the way, I’ve learned a few things, which I thought I’d share.

Numbering is Hard

Apparently I’m not very good at incrementing numbers by one. You might notice a few gaps or repeats in the sequences of tip numbers. I went through and checked to see when I sent out the first tips and confirmed the numbering from there, and realized that this week’s is the 53rd, not 52nd. But hey, it’s a software development resource, and we’ve all encountered off-by-one errors, right?

Recent Dev Tips

Some off-by-one numbering errors…

Keep It Simple

I’ve gone back and forth a bit between putting more content in the emails themselves, versus putting more effort into a blog post and keeping the emails short and to the point. I’ve definitely landed on the latter approach, which I prefer because the emails are ephemeral, while the blog articles have more permanence and reach. I also have tried to include some kind of image in the emails, which I think helps, but it’s not something I manage every week. I don’t think it’s a huge detractor if sometimes I don’t have a fancy stock photo, and so far I’ve not received any complaints.

Stay Consistent

It hasn’t always been easy, but scheduled emails make it easier to ensure that the tips go out at the same time, ever week, like clockwork. I’ve been pleased with MailChimp and plan to stick with them.

Feedback

I’ve gotten some great feedback over the last year from subscribers. That’s been very rewarding and is really one of the things I most appreciate about the time I spend creating content that hopefully helps some others get better. Last week’s tip about imposter syndrome and teaching generated several responses I thought others might appreciate:

Many heartfelt thanks for this Newsletter; it really struck a chord with me.

Do you truly suffer from the Imposter Syndrom, or did you write that just to make your readers feel better? The thought, that you might be an imposter strikes me as absolutely preposterous!

Yes, I’m not immune from feeling like my knowledge and skills are inadequate. Honestly, I think some of that is healthy, as it helps drive me to constantly be trying to learn new things.

In the spirit of your article,  I wanted to mention that I am planning my first talk at my local .NET user group. I’m planning to talk about software engineering topics – starting with common design patterns. I started learning about the design patterns from our website and have since gone on to try them, read more about them, etc.

This is awesome! If you’ve ever thought about speaking at a local user group, I strongly encourage it. Or if that’s too much to consider right now, at least attend a local meetup or group, and get to know some of the other people there. It can be a great place to learn and network, and you never know what kind of opportunities it may open that you’ll look back on years later and realize you only had because you chose to go.

More to Come

It’s not always easy coming up with a novel tip each week, but I have a few more left in me and will keep on going until I run out. If you’re not already on my list, you can join here. If you have feedback about any particular tip, please leave a comment or just reply to the tip emails – they come from my personal address. Thanks!

  • Mike Lawton

    Kudos on a year of posts. I have certainly learned a few new things along the way. Also, they serve as a nice reason to reflect on things I might have already known but now can reassess given more experience. Perspectives and opinions change, and this has been a nice catalyst for comparison and contemplation.

    I look forward to your posts each week. Keep up the great work… and thanks!