A 2021 Reflection Journal: My Tech Writing Journey, Learning, and More

A 2021 Reflection Journal: My Tech Writing Journey, Learning, and More

Bala Priya C
·Dec 30, 2021·

5 min read

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With the COVID pandemic bringing about a paradigm shift to virtual, a lot of us got to explore and unleash new opportunities—despite all the odds!

I got into technical content writing roughly a year ago. And 2021 has helped me etch a good growth curve in writing.

Getting started with writing

In late 2020, I had started writing tech tutorials on Medium. All my tutorials were summaries of what I was learning back then. So writing those posts really helped me fill my gaps in understanding, and the feedback from the readers motivated me to keep going.

However, as Medium was a paid platform with articles on all things life, work, and beyond—I was looking to start writing on a free platform, where I'd also get to read more developer-focused content—and get inspired by experienced developers.

In November 2020, I joined the writing team at OpenMined, an open-source organization working in the realm of Privacy-Preserving AI. There, I started learning more about the privacy principles guiding ML and the like. I also started summarizing talks from their Privacy Conference in the form of blog posts for the community.

Thus ended 2020; To new beginnings! Hello 2021🎉✨

Leading the writing team at OpenMined

In January 2021, I got the opportunity to lead the writing team at OpenMined. Leading a team of over 30 writers from over 10 time zones—was a challenging yet rewarding experience.

I led the writing team for over 6 months, from January through June 2021. During this period, I coordinated efforts to ensure consistent content influx on the OpenMined blog that members of the community could learn from. And I continued to write a few posts as well.

If you're interested in reading my posts on privacy, and privacy-preserving AI, I've linked to my author profile below:

Joining DEV community

I had also started writing on dev.to in early 2021. I liked the fact that I could now read a lot of well-written tutorials on a wide variety of tech stacks and loved how DEV community is run by the devs for the devs.

I spent my first few weeks reading more, and writing less.

I found features like creating a series, being able to include the canonical URL, writing in Markdown, and the fact that all of the content was accessible for free super cool. And I continued writing.😊

I was following writers like Chris Bongers and could only get inspired more!

Writing for freeCodeCamp

I was trying to code my way through freeCodeCamp's Responsive Web Design curriculum, when I got to know that I can apply to become a writer for freeCodeCamp's publication. ✨ I was super happy when Abbey (Abigail Rennemeyer), who is the managing editor onboarded me as a contributor shortly after.

From June to November 2021, I wrote around 18 tutorials—predominantly covering topics in core Python. And I was also recognized by Quincy as one of the Top Contributors to the freeCodeCamp publication in 2021. 😄


You can find all posts that I've written for freeCodeCamp in my author profile below. And according to stats from Google Analytics, readers spend 1000+ hours every month reading my beginner-friendly tutorials.

Joining AI Time Journal as an associate editor

I came across another interesting volunteering opportunity at the AI Time Journal while scrolling through my LinkedIn feed. It was regarding an associate editor role with their team. As an associate editor, I had the opportunity to interview guests—who were all thought leaders and experts in data science, and subsequently publish interview posts featuring them.

The guests that I got to interview include startup founders in the data-driven decision making and privacy space, and engineering and program managers at Google, Meta (then, Facebook 😄) and the like.

In case you're interested in data science, you can find all the interviews in the link below.

A much-needed break

As a grad student who was and still is trying hard to get past the finish line, I had a burnout. And I decided to stay off the social media radar for a few weeks—deleting a couple of accounts permanently, and checking even school emails sparingly.

This much-needed break indeed helped me get back on track, and regain the lost momentum.

Just starting on Hashnode—Ending 2021 on a high note

During one of the conversations, Tapas Adhikary—one of the best content creators we have—had suggested that I should also consider writing on Hashnode for there's a vibrant and supportive community around it. And I had made my decision at once.😄

Inspired by great and consistent writers like Tapas Adhikary, Chris Bongers, I decided to join Hashnode. It has been a week here, and I love the community already.

And I certainly look forward to a great experience!

I'm super thankful to wonderful communities like OpenMined, freeCodeCamp, dev.to, and Hashnode for having me in 2021. This year has indeed been a great year!

The road ahead!

Though I'm happy with my progress, there's a lot of scope for improvement, and there's a lot I could have done better. But I'm going to be easy on me, and try to get them all right in the coming year. 😄

I'd like to code and write more consistently on Hashnode and dev.to, complete the 100DaysofCode challenge, and help others in their coding journey.

And many congratulations to each of you for staying courageous, and pulling through another difficult year. Do take a moment to reflect on your journey, and be thankful for how far you've come! ✨

For they say, "The more thankful you are for what you have—the more you'll have to be thankful for!"

Thanks again for reading, and have a great year ahead!🎉🎊

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