Top 5 Reasons Why "Top [X] Posts" Aren't That Bad by@stphnwlsh

Top 5 Reasons Why "Top [X] Posts" Aren't That Bad

Stephen Walsh HackerNoon profile picture

Stephen Walsh

Hello! I’m a Husband, Father, Moustache Grower, Liverpool Fan, Software Engineer, Constant Learner and Team Leader.

I've been an engineer for a while now and have always been a consumer of engineering blogs and feeds. In the last few months, I've gone on the journey to do a little creating too. It's fun, and a little scary sharing my thoughts with the real world. Unfortunately, I have noticed a trait in me that I don't love. I've added a little extra cynicism to my thought patterns these days and I think not in a healthy way. So, I'm calling myself out.

I have found myself hating the "Top X Things to Know About Y" posts. It's not their content per se more the fact that it's the same thing over and over again. I've noticed them the most with the release of C# 10 and the hundreds and thousands of posts with that type of tile, and the same content. I'm even adding to it here (hypocrisy, right?). My attitude towards them has been terribly negative and I want to change that.

To pivot back I'm going to find the positives in these posts to help me be less of a grump about it all and see the value in what they provide. Come on the journey with me for my own personal top five.

1. Knowledge to Be Shared

The best starting point here is that I don't know everything. It's easy for engineers to always think they know a better way to do something, and that different approaches are wrong. These articles are a good reminder that there are plenty of things changing all the time and that there are new things to learn. Understanding different ideas and perspectives make me a better person and a better engineer.

There are also lots of these articles for technologies outside of my skillset. These articles provide a good viewpoint as to what technologies are gaining popularity and what might be worth investing my time into.

2. People Have a Desire to Learn

These articles are meeting a need. There are software engineers of all levels out there looking to improve themselves and learn new things. These articles provide an avenue to help people fulfil that desire to get better, even if it's only the entry point. Iron sharpens iron; as one person learns and improves, we are all driven to follow. Life without learning would be boring and these posts help us all on that journey.

3. Short and Sharp Avenue to Learn a New Thing

Most of these articles would not be accused of being a long and difficult read. They are short and sharp, and well that's kind of the point. All they are meant to give you are more things to investigate, but they do it in a straightforward way that's easy to consume. That's exactly what some people need and what others are looking for. I started out looking for something new to learn and now I have five new things, great!!!

4. Authors Gain Confidence to Contribute

In taking my time to write this I can now call myself an author……maybe. The jury's out but I'll barrel on anyway. My main fear in even starting to write is that I might not actually have something to offer. I might not have anything worth sharing. These posts are excellent starting points for people getting into writing and in need of building some confidence. It was a big leap for me to even start and I have to give credit to those who take the risk too.

5. Provide Implementation Examples

This last point might be a bit of a stretch, as not all posts do this, but engineers can get some simple implementation examples from them as well. Quite often they're just taken from another source, but they still help engineers gain a better understanding via the code. The great versions of these posts have a more real-world example of an implementation and I find that to be helpful. The real winners combine more than one concept together, I've noticed in looking for examples you always end up trying to mash two of them together to make your code do what you need it to do.

Well, if you've hung in there till this point, I have nothing to say but thank you. You stuck it out with me through an exercise in being positive, which is pretty cool. I still may not love these but next time I see one, I'll be able to remember that they do have value. They help people discover new things, who knows, I might even read it and share it with someone else.

This article was also published here.

Stephen Walsh HackerNoon profile picture
by Stephen Walsh @stphnwlsh.Hello! I’m a Husband, Father, Moustache Grower, Liverpool Fan, Software Engineer, Constant Learner and Team Leader.
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