I’ve made it a tradition to post something about the last year just after the New Year’s, so here’s another look back at the last 12 months. Next Tuesday, we’ll be back to the regularly scheduled programming!
In 2021 I promised a new article every Tuesday. In 2022 I managed that, and in 2023 too (although just about), but I have to admit I’ve pretty much used up my backlog of unfinished articles at this point… 😅
As my career development has taken me to a less technical role, I also have fewer technical topics to write about (I’d have plenty of other topics to bitch about, but that’s another story!) and I don’t really expect to be able to keep this up in 2024. But we’ll see.
Anyway – once more, my review of the last 12 months.
Just like last few years, let’s take a quick look at my content in 2023.
Overall, the visitor counts were trending down for a change in 2023 with some 700k visits during the year.
Maybe AI played a small role in that already, but I suppose the biggest reason was a Google Search algorithm change some time last Fall. Weekly traffic was cut in about half. Remains to be seen if that’s the new normal, but I don’t expect this change to cause any big differences in how I write this blog.
The biggest single difference was probably Google disabling structured data snippets like the How-tos that I have used very heavily on this website. I guess converting them to standard content would be the dutiful thing to do now, but not sure if I have the extra time that I’d need to spend to appease Google.
Most popular articles
My most popular articles in 2023 were these 3:
Number 1 for the second year in a row! Happy to see I’m not the only person struggling with WSL. And I’ve actually been struggling even more lately. Maybe I’ll post another article about everything being broken and how to come back from that…
This is an old article that made a come back. My posts about AADSTS -related errors usually get a wave of new clicks after Microsoft makes a configuration change that causes more people to run into the error (or a variant thereof).
Well, this one, even more so than the previous one, resurfaces any time Microsoft makes a configuration change and usually comes and goes.
Best new articles in 2023
I had no new real “hit articles” in 2023, but some of the new ones were still more popular than the others. Here’s a few of the most read ones:
Some 6000 hits on my simple tip on how to read custom, random files in a MAUI app. Such a simple thing – yet, so elusive when you’re hacking it together.
My second most popular new article was the one I wrote about Visual Studio randomly breaking down after an update. It, too, was related to MAUI workload, and it got about 3000 hits.
My first non-MAUI -related new article was this annoying one about Azure DevOps. All pipelines just suddenly broke down without explanation – and I needed to find a workaround. About 1300 hits, so we’re definitely in the “long tail” now…
Oh boy, I remember how frustrated I was since Uninstall-Module appeared to do absolutely nothing at all. Stupid, sexy PowerShell… Some 1 100 hits on this one. Glad I wasn’t the only one with this particular issue.
Maybe that’s enough of the new ones – most of them received under 1000 views, so not super popular. But I’ve already needed a couple of my 2023 articles myself (and MANY of the older ones!), which was always my primary reason for writing this blog… 😃
In my 2022 “review” post I kind of bitched about 2022. But personally, 2023 was even worse than 2022.
However, I don’t consider this blog to be my therapist, nor do I feel like writing about myself, so I’ll just leave it at this meme:
At least work was fun!
I’ve been in Software Engineering in some form for almost 20 years now. My current position is 100% remote, with me being the only employee in the whole country and my colleagues being in Ho Chi Minh City and Stockholm, and I’m loving it. It’s my first not-that-technical position, though, and that brings about constant challenges.
On the other hand, it’s really nice to feel like I have an impact in my position, this time beyond what I can do as an individual contributor. Leading a small but non-trivial part of a global SaaS company’s business (and being actually responsible for some KPIs now) has been a nice new challenge. And having to think about the viability of not only what my team is doing, but also how the whole machine functions and how my team’s contribution fits into that big picture.
It’s interesting to find how many ways there are to “do software stuff” without really making money – and tricky yet satisfying trying to find the ways that do work. In an international setting, with the cultural conflicts and practical implications that brings about.
Talking about international stuff – I’ve also enjoyed visiting Sweden a couple of times per year (not a sentence I expected to ever write), since meeting colleagues is a lot of fun when you don’t do it too often 😉
On an unrelated note – being a remote worker, I’ve always thought of myself as being a low-carbon-footprint individual, so I wanted to figure out what’s the balance between traveling and commuting: I calculated my CO2 emissions if I was commuting to Tampere 5 days per week. Contrasting that with flying to Stockholm twice per year makes a remote worker like myself pollute more than your standard office drone.
Damnit. I guess this lifestyle isn’t really all that sustainable after all.
I’ve also experimented with taking a ferry instead of flying, as that’s in line with the company’s environmental goals. It’s a massive waste of time (it takes almost 24 hours instead of a just a couple), but fun for a change. More expensive, too. But what wouldn’t one do for the environment (and tax free alcohol), right? 😅
Ad revenue supporting Ukraine
In 2023 I donated most of the ad revenue from the site to support Ukraine. I’m writing more about that here: Whitewater Magpie
In 2024, I plan to do the same, as I consider it an investment and humanitarian work.
See, peace is good for business, and against fascists with imperialistic tendencies (Russia), you don’t achieve lasting peace unless they get a bloody enough nose.
What’s to look for in 2024?
I’m looking to publish at least 30 articles, but we’ll see. I’ll probably skip a week here or there, but the basic premise should stay the same. While I think privately 2024 will be at as bleak as 2022 & 2023, hopefully work will remain at least as interesting as in 2023.
And hopefully I’ll even make it to the MVP Summit this year!
That said: Happy 2024.
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