Post

Deciduous content

🎉 This is post number 50! 🎉

I read a lot before starting this blog about capital-B Blogging, building an audience/brand/etc., and many writings on writing from writers I admired. There’s a solid consensus on content being “evergreen” foremost.

It took me over a year to get started. It wasn’t that buying a domain or setting up a simple static website was complicated. That was the simplest part! It’s that I don’t fit that description at all. I still don’t. Most of my posts aren’t evergreen because most of the things I work with aren’t either.

Writing on technology is a forest. Trees in a forest take many forms.

Evergreen

evergreen

🌲 It is lovely to always be relevant no matter the season. There is a cost to that resiliency. Evergreen trees tend to grow slower than their deciduous counterparts.

My list of questions to ask your interviewer has been in my private notes for at least 15 years, with minor updates on each job search. It took 6 months to write a little blurb on the questions I put a star next to and why I like asking them. The list sat in my “blog ideas” folder even longer. I’d look at it, wonder what future me will think of present me, and decide it’s easier to not share with others navigating career transitions.

Evergreen content is scary. It’s so very tempting to start at “what will I be proud of in 5/10/whatever years?” to remain relevant. The future isn’t always conducive to being predicted. Torturing oneself into projecting ideas into the future, weighing expectations, and editing for the sake of it is anxious procrastination.

Past me had no clue what the present world would look like and had a wholly different idea of perfection. Curating perfection is hard when that, too, is a moving target. Just grow, put down good roots, and worry about the rest when you get there. 🌱

Deciduous

The forest is never finished. Trees and blog posts grow, thrive, and expire individually at their own pace and in their own time. They make the best of the seasons and hold on through droughts and frosts. When a tree dies, it still has a use for many years to come as the forest reclaims it. 🌳

The most popular content here, by far, is the work I’ve done with actions-runner-controller in big enterprises - promoting secure innersource patterns for large-scale and diverse continuous integration needs. That season may be over, but it is still here to provide help to anyone searching for it. It, too, will slowly age into obsolescence like leaves on a forest floor.1

This sounds terrible, but these leaves fuel new growth! The knowledge gained building it and helping so many others hasn’t left. Instead, it provides a foundation to build on.

autumn

Peace

Container-in-microVMs services like Firecracker aren’t as complicated to use as it used to be. Many paper-cuts have been addressed and many more will be in the future. I’ve considered removing that post, as it was written almost a year ago, despite it being one of the most popular posts. A year is a looooong time in technology.

Obsolete tech, architecture patterns that are no longer popular, tasks we simply don’t need to do anymore - these are all part of how we got to where we are. Resist the urge to prune posts that are no longer relevant. It’s fascinating to see how people learned the skills they share. It’s empowering to others who can now follow that path.

Learning in public is the humbling, frightening opposite of evergreen content. Show the seasonal and imperfect reality of being a perpetual work-in-progress. Be the example of how one idea can lead to the next, to new opinions, to new opportunities that relied on what was before. Learning publicly and writing about it isn’t so scary after accepting that it, you, and the whole world is also deciduous.

Here’s to growing another 50 posts! 🥂

spring


Footnotes

  1. I don’t know if/when I’ll stop updating anything. I just updated kubernoodles earlier today, but it is no longer a professional priority to keep it maintained. 

This post is licensed under CC BY 4.0 by the author.