I've written more in the past two years than ever before in my life.
After making the career transition from CTO to writer and then growing an agency with over 60 clients, I've had a lot of unique experiences to share. Every week, I'm inspired by an interaction with a client, a question from a writer, or my own self-doubt about running a business.
So this week, I thought I'd do something a little different for the newsletter and highlight 10 of the pieces of content I wrote that resonated most with readers. Chances are, one of these articles brought you to my mailing list, so I hope you'll find a few more of these to be good reading as well.
PS: I'm taking a couple weeks to unplug at the end of the year, so this will likely be my last issue until January. See you in 2022!
I have pretty strong (mostly negative) feelings about stealth startups.
Several founders reached out to me about this piece trying to justify their stealth startup's case for staying underground. Look, I'm not here to argue, but I still think most of them are just too scared to launch.
I had some strong feelings at the beginning of 2021, I guess.
I stand by my assertion here: consulting for early-stage startups is really hard. I'm not saying you shouldn't start there if that's where your network is, but we learned pretty quickly at Draft.dev that before product-market fit, it's really hard to work with startups as customers.
I've been bullish on low-code for the past few years, but this piece for the Stack Overflow Blog might be my favorite one I've done on the topic so far.
And anecdotally, I'm excited to see the perception around low-code changing in software engineering circles. Many of our clients at Draft.dev fall somewhere on the low-code spectrum and I hear very little pushback about these products.
Inspired by many of our open-source clients and the book More Awesome Than Money, I wrote this accounting of open-source financial models. It quickly started to rank on Google for terms related to making money in open-source, and I get a lot of founders reaching out because of it.
This is one where I almost didn't write it because the topic seems so basic to me, but I realized that it only seems obvious because I've spent the past 10 years using open-source software. Plenty of people out there don't have the same background and want to know more about it.
"Engineers in middle management write for 50% to 70% of their day; those in senior management reportedly spend over 70% and as much as 95% of their day writing.” - Jon Leydens
Writing regularly had a huge impact on my engineering career as well as my career post-code, so I really enjoyed putting this one together for Stack Overflow. After interviewing several peers who have done both writing and engineering, I got some really great perspectives to fill out my own experience.
On the more tactical side, I compiled this huge guide for writing better technical content at the beginning of 2021. I still feel like I'm barely an above-average writer, but I hear from engineers all the time who found this guide to be helpful.
I wrote a few pieces showcasing productivity practices I've found for running Draft.dev, but this is the one I share the most.
I believe Slack is a huge step backwards for communication in many industries, and it being cemented as the standard in tech is one of my biggest pet peeves. I may be the only one left on the hill against it, but I'll be here as long as I can.
I have a whole shelf full of software engineering books leftover from my time as an engineering manager, so I was long overdue to write this article.
After being shared widely on Dev.to and Medium, this list now brings in a steady stream of engineers to my site each week. It's really rewarding knowing that resources like this are helping thousands of people improve as developers!
I still don't think of myself as a marketer, but after being featured as one in TechCrunch this year, it's going to be hard to shake the association.
I compiled this guide based on dozens of sales calls with developer marketing teams at Draft.dev. While it's not the most exciting piece of content I've ever written, I think it does a good job outlining the channels most developer marketers use.
Titles are somewhat arbitrary, but so many bootcamp graduates ask me about becoming "senior" engineers that I decided to compile my tips and observations. This piece quickly took off on Reddit to mostly positive feedback.