Web Dev Stories

written on 02/08/2021

Starting 2021 right - January Review & February Goals

This year, I have made the goal to set monthly goals and review them. The first month of the month is over and January was crazy. I worked crazy hours, but the results were not so happy. But I am in here for the long run. So let us have a look and see what is planned for February.

January Review 2021

You can read the 2020 year review here. I mentioned many goals that I will list here now and reflect on.

Migration of this blog to Next.js

  • Goal: Migrate this current blog to Next.js
  • Status: Done ✅

I set the goal at the end of 2020 to migrate my blog away from Gatbsy to Next.js. The reason why is quite simple: I wanted to have it simple. Working with Gatbsy was becoming more and more problematic because I did not know the ecosystem well and it was a bit complicated with all the GraphQL setup. Far too sophisticated for a simple blog. You can check the code here now.

Blog articles on this blog

  • Goal: Create 2 blog articles on this blog
  • Status: ✅

Another goal was reached. I continued to write and published two blog articles at the beginning of the year. Remote MDX with Next.js and Personal Branding as a Software Engineer. The first article was created because I struggled a lot when migrating this blog from Gatsby to Next.js. I wanted to use MDX instead of normal markdown and the approaches in the official docs somehow caused many problems for me. I wrote down the approach I was taking now and also got into contact with other developers which is great.

The second article I wrote was about personal branding for Software Engineers. I started to write this article because at work a discussion erupted that was handling the topic of branding of personal GitHub or LinkedIn profiles. I just wanted to write down my thoughts and help some other Software Engineers with their marketability.

Blog article on Klarna's Engineering Blog

  • Goal: Write one blog article on Klarna's Engineering Blog
  • Status: 0/1 👷

Unfortunately, I was not able to finish the blog article. I started writing it though. It will be about Technical Design Documents and how we use them in my team to document our progress but also look back at our technical decisions.

Launch caseconverter.pro on Product Hunt

Image of the Product Hunt launch of caseconverter.pro
Image of the Product Hunt launch of caseconverter.pro

Probably a separate post will come about the launch of the product. It was not a success, to be honest. But a lot of people have told me now that it is a hit or miss on Product Hunt these days. I had a lot of fun creating the graphics around the launch and the launch itself went super nice. I reached out to many of the contributors of igeligel/react-in-out-textarea and they enjoyed it as well. I am still convinced I could grow the app in the long-term with SEO strategies that I might apply at some point.

Landing Page for linkedium

  • Goal: Create the basic landing page for Linkedium
  • Status: 👷

That was a difficult one. But I am almost done.

I am quite happy about the results so far. I have implemented the design, wrote a blog article, and implemented the waitlist with the awesome getwaitlist.com API tool. It is a pleasure to work with that. Also, I streamed most of the progress on Twitch. I Will work on the landing page in February.

Write 30 LinkedIn Shares for getworkrecognized

  • Goal: Write 30 LinkedIn Shares for the page and see what is engagement is like
  • Status: ✅

I wrote more than 30 shares on LinkedIn for the getworkrecognized page. Some got a bit of traction but nothing of substantial value. It is most likely because I do not provide so much value on the platform itself but most often link to articles or the career ladder explorer of the project. I think I would need to allow linkedium to also to different types of posts to increase engagement but also invite my connections to follow the page.

Page view statistics of the company page of getworkrecognized on LinkedIn
Page view statistics of the company page of getworkrecognized on LinkedIn
Visitor demographic of the company page of getworkrecognized on LinkedIn
Visitor demographic of the company page of getworkrecognized on LinkedIn

Reach 500 followers on Twitter

  • Goal: Reaching a bigger audience with my tweets and also to do better promotion of my content and products.
  • Status: 506/500 ✅

Wohooo 🎉 Another goal hit. I have made it my goal to increase my follower count by at least 15 and reached 21 which is quite good. I am not engaging so much on Twitter but super happy with the results. I should probably set aside more time to do this.

Optional: Work on a bookmarks page

At the start of the year, it is normal that a lot of new content gets pushed to the web. I saved a lot of helpful links to resources and many other things. But I still did not start to create a bookmarks page. My mobile phone is breaking from time to time now opening chrome because there are simply too many tabs opened. I have to finally clean them ahhhhhh.

Review of January 2021

Overall, I was really happy with January 2021. I was super productive and achieved a lot of things. It was quite a hectic month and February will be even more chaotic I guess. But let us see.

Goals for February 2021

Now, that all goals for January were discussed we can continue with the goals for February this year. On the 7th I will turn 25, so I can finally start to have a quarter-life crisis (woohoo). No, but I will focus a bit less on side projects but actual blogging. Currently, I am not focused and I believe writing could help me with breaking free mentally a bit more. So let us jump into details now.

Blog articles on this blog

  • Goal: Create 2 blog articles on this blog
  • Status: 0/2

I have one blog article in the pipeline that is almost finished. It is about how I manage my money as a software engineer in Germany with worthwhile tips and tricks on how you can save money in Germany and invest to achieve financial independence. Another article that is planned is about the biggest tech companies in Berlin. I will try to extend this series to the whole of Europe because a lot of people are asking on a specific European subreddit for advice on how to find the best companies.

Promote older blog articles

  • Goal: Reach 3000 Users on Google Analytics for this blog
  • Status: ⚙️

Currently, this blog had 2650 users in January 2021. I want to reach 3000 users by posting more of my old content on Linkedin, subreddits, and relevant Facebook groups. Creating content is difficult but I have some plans to increase engagement on LinkedIn and Facebook groups that could grow traffic.

Finish blog article on Klarna's Engineering Blog

As mentioned earlier, I did not finish the blog article regarding Technical Design Documents. But this month I should find time to finish it somehow. The current month at work will be a bit stressful but the next months should be a lot quieter, also considering I have a lot of vacation saved up from last year.

Finish migration for caseconverter.pro

I launched the side project on Product Hunt last month with limited success. I mean that is alright but growing it is still possible. Investing time into SEO and content will help to grow this project somehow so at least the ads pay for the project itself. That would be a really good step into the future. A current problem is that I would need to migrate a lot of dependencies and clean up some code. Some part is already open-sourced but would need to be integrated completely which is not done yet. I started that migration but it was not finished.

Setup blog and create 1 blog article for caseconverter.pro

  • Goal: Setup blog and use shared components
  • Status: 👷 Not done

As mentioned in the past goal, I want to try to grow that side project still. For that, I would need content. The current blog architecture is super limited and I will probably migrate it to a technique used on this blog as well with MDX and statically generated content. Also, a lot of parts could be stolen or shared between linkedium and this site so that the blogs will look the same more or less, but improvements could be rolled out more easily to both blogs.

Growing with content should be straightforward as well. There is not a lot of content when it comes to case conversions and I could build on top of that niche.

Linkedium growth

  • Goal: Finish landing page for linkedium + Get 10 people into the waitlist
  • Status: 👷 Almost done with landing page

The landing page is almost finished. Most of the things on the landing page are completed and only the final looks are missing. Also, I need to make the whole site responsive and ideally make the components reusable to be also usable for caseconverter.pro to write content.

Create a bookmarks page

  • Goal: Create a bookmarks page on my personal site here
  • Status: 👷 Not done yet

As written before, in the past month I have collected even more resources for my development and would like to share them. For that, I probably need a bookmarks page. That bookmarks page should work for several resources and should be grouped by topics. I plan to generate a lot of topics and it will be a bit difficult to sort everything but will try to work on that.

Optional: Stabilize linkedium + enabled slide show posts

  • Goal: Improve the customer experience of linkedium
  • Status: 👷

I was using Linkedium over January and overall it worked great. From time to time there were errors though and I would like to fix them. A lot of these errors can be fixed by using the official LinkedIn API that works for company pages but not for personal pages. I guess I have to migrate that at least.

Optional: Create a free trial mechanism for getworkrecognized

  • Goal: Improve onboarding flow of getworkrecognized
  • Status: 👷

I got some traction on getworkrecognized recently because of comments on hacker news and even got some sign-ups which is amazing. Still, I would probably need a lot more users and I believe I can achieve this by giving users a free option to sign up.

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© Kevin Peters 2021