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Content Woes and The NextJS Stack You Didn't Know You Needed - The Weekly Retrospective

Brock Herion
Brock Herion
Welcome to issue #6 of The Weekly Retrospective, the newsletter where we reflect on the week we just had!
In issue #5, we discussed my first Hashnode article and the first Twitter space I had. Both of those things turned out to be successful, while my YouTube video did not.
In this issue, we’ll talk about my latest article and YouTube flop, along with new technology I’ve been using within my Next projects that has greatly boosted my productivity.
Let’s get into it!

The Week of 10/10/2021 - 10/16/2021
This week started off great because 10/10 is my birthday! We had a great day getting to celebrate with family. Our whole weekend was filled with fun excursions and outings. It was really nice being able to get back out and start doing things again.
I published my second blog post
Part of my birthday was spent playing with Golang and building an API in it. I know, a great way to spend the day! Go has held my interest for a long time. It’s easy to read, like JavaScript and Python, while being as performant as C. I wanted to see how it compared to languages like C# and Java.
I wrote my article on interfaces in Go. Interfaces are a key part of building scalable, robust software solutions. They basically provide a contract that all code that implements them must abide by. In Go, they’re handled much differently than in more traditional OOP languages.
With this post, it didn’t receive the same level of traction that my first one did. I think part of it is that Go is still a somewhat niche language, especially on platforms like Hashnode where there is a ton of content around web development. My first article on REST APIs didn’t focus on one language but rather was about a more challenging topic for developers of any background. The Go article was about a niche language and software architecture, much drier to read. I even found myself getting bored writing it.
Next time, I need to make sure that the content is engaging. People genuinely seemed interested in the Go part of the article, but I think the beginning part on interfaces was a drag. I think if I had split the Go piece and the interface use piece into two articles, both would have been more successful on their own.
You can read the article here
How to use Interfaces in Go
I once again failed on making a YouTube video
Last week I said I scrapped my YouTube video because it just wasn’t good and didn’t fit with the culture and tone I want my content to have. This week, I sat down and created a content schedule for both videos and blog posts. While my blog posts have been consistent this month, my YouTube goals have not been.
I gave myself the goal of two videos per month, posted every other week on Friday. The video should have been posted on the 15th, but I hadn’t even filmed it yet. I did create a general outline of things I wanted to discuss during it, but never actually got around to filming it.
The video is on how I started with software development and learned to code. This is a topic I am asked about a lot on Twitter and thought it would be a great topic for a video. I want to do an interview-style video where I just talked about my journey in this field so far.
Why did I not film it? I just could not find the time to sit down and get it recorded. Part of me spends too much time thinking about lighting, camera angles, sound quality and if I feel like it’s subpar, then I don’t want to post it. I have a tripod and do all my filming on my iPhone 12 Pro Max. It absolutely gets the job done.
Really it comes down to being over-critical of what I created. I need to take an approach to make videos the same way I do my blog. On there, if a post doesn’t do as well, I just have to take a step back and look at why and adjust my content accordingly. Same thing with successful posts and Tweets. I am always evaluating what I could have done better on it or why it succeeded. YouTube is scarier to me because I’m putting my voice and face out there. That’s a little bit scarier to me, so I continue putting off videos and coming up with excuses as to why.
It’s one of those things that I just need to sit down and do. My videos will improve over time and I’ll get more comments speaking on camera. I just need to push through the initial fear and start it.
The NextJS stack you didn’t know you needed
Sitting in on and hosting Twitter spaces has taught me a lot about a lot of various things. One thing that comes up in the spaces I listen to is NextJS. Next is what I would consider being peak React right now. It’s an incredibly powerful framework that lets you build performant and scalable React apps very quickly.
I’ve been using Next for almost a year now and am pretty comfortable with React in general. What I didn’t realize was how far the rabbit hole of Next went. Listening to a Twitter space that had Theo (@t3dotgg) completely changed how I worked in Next. He was explaining his stack, called the t3 stack, and why it was incredibly useful. It includes tools like
  • TailwindCSS for styles
  • TypeScript for type safety
  • react-form-hooks, react-query, and Zustand for data and state management
  • tRCP for a type-safe server that’s easily consumed by clients
  • and more!
I started using this stack for a smaller project and I am hooked on it. I didn’t realize that building web apps could be so enjoyable. Usually, when designing a web app, you need to choose a frontend framework, backend for an API, a database, and a ton more. This stack removes a lot of those choices and lets you focus on building getting a product out. Tailwind lets you customize styles while taking out the boilerplate of responsiveness for you, TypeScript prevents you from shooting yourself, tRCP lets you build an API without even thinking about it.
The whole stack revolves around developer productivity and happiness. The tooling is amazing and lets me work so much faster and more efficiently than if I was to build apps the traditional way.
If you want to learn more, head on over to init.tips. You’ll find the full stack and rationale for each choice.
init.tips - start on the right stack
That’s going to do it for this week!
I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to read through The Weekly Retrospective. If you enjoyed it, please share this newsletter with others. I would also love to hear your feedback on ways that I could improve The Weekly Retrospective and making it more engaging!
Thank you, and let’s have a great week!
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Brock Herion
Brock Herion @brockherion

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