re-engineering
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re-engineering

Re-engineering

For the last two to three weeks I’ve been posting my learning notes, written every weekday, onto a WordPress blog that I’ve created specifically to make me find one learning a day and share it. That blog is LearnDaily.life and I’ve started questioning whether that was a good decision.

vague vision

I only had a vague vision of where I was trying to go with the learn daily blog. I wanted to:

  • create a mechanism for myself to learn continuously in the craft of software engineering
  • normalise the state of not knowing something and the response of going to learn it in a short amount of time

Okay, to be honest I had a loftier goal: maybe I could figure a way to make learndaily.life (what a great domain name!) a community of some sort. You know, where people commit to learning at a particular cadence and keep one another accountable so that collectively, everyone keeps on developing into more and more sophisticated and nuanced human beings? Yeah.

there are free hosted sites with a plug-and-play community

But then the more I look at learndaily.life as it stands at the moment, the more I realise that it’s not the best choice.

Hosting my own WP website just to share my learning notes in 2022 is like paying 50 euros for an app just to try it. Just use the free alternative!

But aside from having to pay $6 per month to host my own WP site on DigitalOcean, the bigger disadvantage I’ve come to realise is this: there’s no community around a new WP site, whereas there is a huge one, hungry for good writing, on sites like Medium.

hello again Medium

I used to love Medium until the paywalls came up (which was touted as a good thing for writers to get paid and is probably true). It felt like yet another bleeding startup.

I don’t know if it’s true now. It could be. But really, I don’t care that much anymore if Medium sinks and takes down my posts together with it. I think I’ve overplayed the importance of owning my own writing, and that has made me write — and therefore, learn — less.

Medium has a ready community of readers (with a big proportion of them being programmers or being in some kind of technical role at work). I’m a person ready to write. Sounds like a good marriage?

why not dev.to?

Another place I could post to is dev.to and the reason I’m not going there and am picking Medium instead is that I know myself — I don’t only care about learning software development things.

Not everything I learn about (and therefore write about) will be technical. Some things that I might reflect and share might even be several degrees removed from engineering or tech, like life philosophy, society, how to learn, and so on.

Medium’s audience, judged by the stuff I see appearing as Medium articles, seems more spread out than dev.to. So I’ll try it first. dev.to’s audience feels too restrictive to me.

declaration bullet points

So here goes a list of things you can expect from me:

  • one learning post every weekday posted here on Medium — follow my account to get new posts show up in your feed
  • sunsetting of learndaily.life in its current form (I’ll still be sitting on that beautiful domain — shoo!)
  • vulnerable, honest, sincere and clear writing

That’s it.

Oh, and one last thing — I think I’ll put my posts into a Medium publication just for fun. Maybe I can pick a few people to contribute to it with their mostly-software-development-related learnings in the future, too. It’s here for you to subscribe: https://medium.com/re-engineering

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Nick Ang

Nick Ang

Software Engineer @ Shopify. Dad, rock climber, writer, something something. Big on learning everyday.