5 min read

Time Out

Time Out
Cadbury seems slightly less evil than Nestle. Slightly. Better chocolate though.

Welp, I'm done.

For now.

This year felt like it went forever, and I am tired, so I'm going on my yearly hiatus a little bit earlier than I normally would.

Never fear though, I'll be back sometime in January with more words than you can shake a stick at.

Speaking of...

Words Abound!

This year I wrote 54835 words over 47 blog posts. That's one blog post every week without fail since 13 January. The average size of a blog post during that period was 1166 words. The total number of words on this blog now stands at 152154, so everything written this year accounts for about 30% of the whole.

It took me ~5000 minutes to write all of those words. That's ~83 hours, which isn't really all that long when I think about it. Interestingly enough, that's a full 1000 minutes less than I spent on this blog in 2022. I also wrote ~7000 less words, though the number of posts was comparable (47 vs 49).

I like to think I'm just getting more efficient at saying what I want to say.

All things considered, I think the return on investment is enough for me to keep going. I get to shout my thoughts into the void, I get to explore topics for my own benefit and I get to remember things better by virtue of writing them down.

Also, I don't even really think about the weekly deadline these days, so the blog doesn't really generate anxiety anymore. A bit of work here, a bit of work there and it all comes together pretty reliably.

But does anyone care?

Words Are Read?

The blog platform (Ghost) tells me that I have 17 subscribers now, of which 82% were engaged over the last 30 days. 4 more subscribers than last year, though 10% less engaged.

You know how to make those numbers go up? BUTTON!

But seriously, if you want my weekly words delivered directly to you via email, that's a great way to go about it.

As for people who just read my posts directly on the internet like savages, Google Analytics says I have 36 30-day users, which is less than at the same point last year. I peaked at 101 this year.

The chart below is a lot more interesting than a couple of random numbers though.

I'd say my overall readership grew over the course of the year, which is good. That precipitous decline at the end is pretty brutal though, I wonder what is going on there.

Words Are Read!

Moving on, it's always good to reflect on what sequence of words people were actually reading the most. Good old Google Analytics can help with that, so without further ado, here are the top 5 blog posts of 2023 by views.

The one where I talked about getting promoted somewhat against my will.

Pulling The Trigger
Earlier this year in August, I wrote about how Atlassian was getting rid of the M50 level of manager in order to flatten the management hierarchy and speed decision making. I’m an M50. That is to say, I was an M50. It’s been a pretty wild couple of months, but

The one where I wondered if I would get promoted at all.

Gunning For A Promotion
Over the course of my career, I’ve been promoted a few times. There’s nothing unusual about that. It usually comes as a bit of a surprise though. Typically, I’m just trundling along, doing whatever I think is best, and then BLAM, all of a sudden I’m filling a different role

The one where I talked about treating policy and documentation like code.

Take Control
Writing down your policies or processes isn’t exactly thrilling, but it’s a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, it’s far from the last step. Documenting all your bits and pieces stops you from relying entirely on tribal knowledge, which has a tendency to constantly mutate like some sort of…

The one where I talked about the changes to how performance evaluations work at Atlassian.

Five Demon Bag
Wow, it’s been a whole year since the last round of annual reviews. It seems like only yesterday that I was trawling through hundreds of disparate pieces of information trying to draw a cohesive picture together, then struggling to find the right words to communicate that picture. Thanks to the

The one where I talked about splitting a team and how to do it effectively.

A growing team is a good thing. It probably means that you’re doing something right and the business wants to invest more into your situation, or perhaps the business has finally recognised that the size of the team is too small for it’s set of responsibilities. Unfortunately, growth can come

The fact that the top two are related to my own career trajectory isn't all that surprising. Those sorts of posts get a lot of attention on LinkedIn, which is my primary means of drawing attention to this blog.

Words Stop Now

Well, not just yet. There are a few more words left.

First things first, thank you to anyone who bothered to read any of my words. Yes, that means you, person who is currently reading these words. The fact that you spared even a moment of your very limited attention on reading something that I wrote means a lot to me.

With that out of the way, this has certainly been an exhausting year. I don't think I've ever been this mentally and emotionally exhausted before, and it's not because I'm channelling all of that energy into this blog.

It takes a lot to be an effective Engineering Manager at Atlassian right now, and, truth be told, I'm going to need to strike a better balance if I want to keep going over the long term.

Still, first step is to take a break and recharge a bit, then re-evaluate.

Everything looks better after a good sleep.