Meta: Researching Engineering Blogs for Engineering Blogs

Alert! This is an engineering blog talking about starting and researching an engineering blog…

With a world jam packed with quality engineering blogs, where does one start? Moreover, who starts them? And once you start, what do you do to maintain quality content each week/month/year?

One of the best places to start is to look to others and see what they are doing well, or perhaps what they are not doing well. Let’s dive further into how and what this research looks like, some great engineering blogs, and what those blogs have inspired our team to begin contributing.


Res-urchin

When diving into starting a blog or painting, one of the best places to start is to look at the incumbent greats in the space. The problem is, how does anyone unearth these blogs? Engineering blogs (or links to them) don’t exist on the home page of these consumer-facing websites: Airbnb, Netflix, and Uber for example.

I’ve found that one of the best places to unearth opinionated responses is over on Quora.com, who themselves have a wonderful engineering blog. The wonderful, contributors to Quora have already started a few threads that encapsulate great engineering blogs. Moreover, Quora still has strict terms of service that encourages quality above quantity which yields much better responses.


What’s Everyone Talking About

Now that there is a solid list of engineering blogs to explore, what are some of the underlying themes that are being blogged about?

  1. Data: OH boy is this a hot topic these days. Everyone from Pinterest to AirBnB and back to Etsy is talking heavily about the behemoth that is data. The hotness in engineering blogs around data is likely due to the newness of the field with writers sharing findings, new methodologies, and etc. In addition, the way that engineers utilize data to better understand customers is at the heart of many startups.
  2. Maintenance: The nitty and gritty parts of building and maintaining applications. Examples here could be managing and building state machines, making images performant, monoliths versus microservices, and Javascript. It’s not an engineering blog if there isn’t a post (in the first 10) about React, Redux or Types in Javascript.
  3. Internal processes: If engineering is anything, it’s a gigantic ball of processes. This concept is magnified as an engineering team grows along with the complexity of the project. Hot topics here include code reviews, continuous integration, and educating engineers. It used to be that process sharing at this level would only occur if someone from one company moved to another. Now blogs like this exist and allow great processes to disseminate outside of a companies walls.

Our Roadmap

The above covers what everyone else is doing but, what are Glossier’s plans?

One thing that isn’t clear to outsiders is how amazing our culture is from an engineering and design standpoint. It follows closely to the overall company culture, which we share exceptionally well through Instagram. But “into the tech” (the name of our tech blog, get it?) will specifically focus on the people aspect behind the code.

We will also be doing many interviews ala Uses This style, sharing our opinions (currently) on the state of open source e-commerce, and building delightful products in 2017.

There will be a healthy amount of people, process, tech and fun on the horizon.