Reviewing 2023 and Previewing 2024

This time of year (holidays and New Year's) means something different for everyone, but for me, they are always a time to reflect on what has been and look ahead at what could be. As I've done in previous years I'm going to review the previous year in terms of this blog and my career as well as look ahead to the next year in the context of what to expect. Let's dive in!

Aaron Bos | Sunday, December 31, 2023

2023 Goal Reflection

Let's start by reflecting on the goals that I set out to accomplish with this blog both in content and general site functionality. If you're curious, here's my review/preview post from last year. In that post, I noted a couple of goals related to blogging.

  • Achieved: Post twice a month (24 times throughout the year)
  • Achieved: Incorporate book reviews into posts

Both of these goals felt natural to work towards and I think overall they helped me maintain traction and find a balance between purely technological content and more general posts. While two posts a month was reasonable, I'll be touching on what I'm planning on for cadence in 2024 👀.

The next set of goals that I set was based on this site's functionality. I set a goal to be completed throughout each quarter of the year.

  • Framework upgrades | Q1 | PR
  • Migrate posts from markdown files to database | Q2 | PR's 1, 2, 3
  • Improve search experience | Q3 | PR
  • Add pagination to posts page | Q4 | PR

You may be wondering why I feel the need to create a plan for making improvements to the site itself. The main reason for this is so that I can avoid the trap of tinkering with the site instead of writing posts and creating content. As a developer, I enjoy writing code and making improvements, but free time is finite and I need to stay focused on the goal of writing blog posts.

Overall I feel good about the content I published last year. There was a mix of technical and non-technical content, which was good for me to practice different styles of writing. I'd like to continue this going forward, but maybe lean back into the technical end of the spectrum more frequently.

Looking Ahead to 2024

For the past three years (woah I can't believe I've been writing posts for this long already 😲) I've stuck with a cadence of two or three posts per month. Two has always felt right, but there have still been times when I've felt a little rushed to complete more in-depth posts in time. I feel best about posts that have true substance to them and require a bit of digging to complete. For this reason, I'm going to create two goals that I hope will strike a balance between in-depth posts and continuing to share my learnings frequently.

  • Post one post per month throughout the year
  • Create a new section of the site for book notes

My goal with writing one post per month will be to set aside around a continuous week to prepare for and write a post in hopes of being able to focus on a single concept at some depth. The reason I'd like to add a new section for book notes specifically is so that I have a place to share notes on books that I'm reading, but is separate from general posts. Book notes will be much rougher and most likely un-edited whereas posts should be more structured and cohesive.

Site Roadmap

Here are my site roadmap improvements planned for the upcoming year, broken out by quarter. As a reminder, these are posted and kept up to date in the GitHub repo here.

  • Q1: Dependency upgrades, code cleanup, rework, and refactoring
  • Q2: Create the new "book note" section
  • Q3: Automatically generate OG images for posts
  • Q4: Content management features (ie markdown editing shortcuts)

That's a wrap for my look back and look ahead for the blog in 2023-24. I can honestly say that I'm as optimistic as ever that 2024 will be a great year for me and I wish you all the same! Let's get out there and crush it!

As always thank you for taking the time to read this blog post!