'End of Line' blog 2016 year in review
This is a similar article to the Celebrating one year of 'End of Line' blog one from 2015. End of the year is usually a good time to reflect on the past 12 months, so even though I had to renew the domain on October 31 again, I decided to write the article only now (the fact that I didn't have time to do it before was also convenient, I will admit).
So, I want to check on how I did with the goals I set the year before, and lay out what I want to accomplish in 2017.
Previous year goals
In the anniversary article mentioned above, I set myself 2 goals for the second year of the blog:
Goal #1: write more than 12 articles
Funnily enough, I was certain that I failed on this one (again...), but when I actually ran the numbers, it turns out I posted exactly 13 articles between September 2015 and August 2016 (which were the months I used for counting the number of articles posted in the first year of the blog - 9). Because of that, I think I can give myself the thumbs-up on this goal.
Goal #2: get some comments on article(s) other than the GitFlow ones
The goal was actually originally phrased as dethroning the GitFlow articles, but it seems that will be a tall order (looks like I'm a one-hit wonder...), so instead I settled on the less ambitious formulation of having somebody comment on an article other than the 2 GitFlow ones.
At first I though this one will be tricky, as the first-ever non-GitFlow related comment on the blog was posted soon after publishing the one-year anniversary article, in the Java 8 streams benchmark article. And while that was great, I was worried that it was "cheating" - as the comment was directed at an old article, not one written after the goal was set. Fortunately, later comments appeared on the GOOS book code and Demystifying the test types, part 3 articles, so I can safely give myself the thumbs-up on this one as well.
So, I went a perfect 2 for 2 in goals in the previous year. What do I want to accomplish in 2017?
Goal #1: write an article every month in 2017
I'm still not ready to try an kick up my blog productivity to something like 24 articles in a year, mainly because 2017 is shaping up to be a very busy year for me (more details to come in a later article), however I want to accomplish something which I failed to do in 2015: publish an article every month. Even though I managed to hit my goal of at least 13 articles in the entire year, both in the first and the second year of the blog I wasn't able to produce at least one article each month - both years had "gap" months, during which I haven't published anything. In 2017, I want to try and make sure there is at least one new article appearing on the blog each month.
Goal #2: revamp the design of the site, with a focus on Mobile
Let's face it: the current design of the site is starting to feel a little dated (not that it was that great even in 2014). In 2017, I want to re-build it from scratch, to make the blog feel more modern.
Another thing is that the site currently looks pretty badly on Mobile devices. In 2017, there's no excuse for a poor Mobile experience, so the new styling's #1 priority is to look great on phones and tablets.
Goal #3: revamp the tech stack running the site
As I said in the anniversary article, the site currently runs on Ruby on Rails. And while it was an interesting learning experience, I'm pretty much fed up with Rails. There are much more interesting technology stacks that I want to dabble in (maybe the Play 2 framework? Maybe something in Go? Perhaps a static site generator?), and so the third goal of 2017 is to get the blog off of Ruby on Rails.
Goal #4: write a proper description of anti-GitFlow
As I said before, I've pretty much made peace with the fact that the GitFlow articles will be my blog's biggest hits for the foreseeable future. In that vein, the most commonly requested thing in the comments of those articles is having a proper description of the anti-GitFlow workflow described in them. In 2017, I want to devote some time and make sure there is a professional, well-written description of anti-GitFlow which can be easily referenced and linked to, same as GitFlow's description is.
So, those are my 2017 blog resolutions. In 12 months, I'll write another summary article, and we'll see if I managed to hit my goals.
Have a great 2017!