2020 Year in Review

What I've been up to this year...

The year 2020 has been a turbulent year, but it was also a year of personal and professional growth:

  • This year I published 11 articles. This is consistent with my personal goal of publishing every month. 7 of these articles were about Python, and the other 4 about SQL.

  • According to my analytics, my articles were viewed ~400K this year. Given the target audience of my content this is most likely an underestimation, but it's still double the previous year!

  • My articles appear on other sites such as Medium and Real Python. From the sources I have data on, my articles were viewed an additional 380K times on other sites.

  • At the beginning of the year I started a mailing list. Since then, more than 1.1K readers subscribed to the mailing list. If you want to get an email when I publish something new you can subscribe to my mailing list.

  • Four of the articles I published this year spent a fair amount of time on the front page of Hacker News, which brought in a fair amount of traffic and new readers.

  • Some articles did very well this year on social platforms such as Hacker News, Reddit, Lobsters and Twitter.

  • Gave two online live training sessions for O’Reilly. My collaboration with O’Reilly started back in 2019 and eventually came to light at the beginning of this year, when I did two live online training sessions titled SQL Next Steps: Optimization. The class was inspired by my article 12 Common Mistakes and Missed Optimization Opportunities in SQL along with some additional content (and many examples). You can find the slides here.

  • Wrote two tutorials for the Twilio Blog. The tutorials were inspired by the work my team and I did on an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system. Developing an IVR system was a unique experience for us, and I ended up writing two tutorials about it: Building an IVR System with Python, Django and Twilio and Testing an IVR System With Python and Pytest.

  • Published two articles on Real Python. I've been writing for Real Python for several years now and it's been a pleasure. They have a very strict publishing process which can be intimidating at first, but they helped me polish my writing and improve my style. This year I published How to Provide Test Fixtures for Django Models in Pytest, and a month later How to Move a Django Model to Another App.

  • Collaborated with PopSQL. PopSQL approached me about their product earlier in the year, and I thought it could fit nicely with an article I was working on at the time. The article was Simple Anomaly Detection Using Plain SQL and I thought readers could benefit from an interactive editor to experiment with.

  • Gave a talk on PostgreSQL Build 2020. Late this year I gave a talk in a conference organized by EnterpriseDB. The talk was inspired by my article 12 Common Mistakes and Missed Optimization Opportunities in SQL.

  • Collaborated with pgMustard. I met Michael from pgMustard back in 2019 when he pointed out some things about my article Be careful with CTE in PostgreSQL. I was impressed with the work they've done on the Explain Glossary, so before I published Some SQL Tricks of an Application DBA I reached out to get a quick review on the article.

  • I decided to give web monetization a chance. I signed up for coil and added the meta tag to the site. I think it's an interesting idea, and I'm curious to see how it evolves.

  • I started to self host my analytics. I really want to stop relying on Google Analytics and experiment with different, self hosted analytics solutions. I initially went with Fathom. It worked fine for a while, but then they switched from Go to PHP and that was the end of it for me. Mid-year I started using Goat Counter instead. It's a privacy focused analytics solution written in Go. I was able to get started quickly, and i've been using it since.

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