It’s been just about a week since I posted the last day in the 31 Days of iOS.  Much like when I finished the similar 31 Days of Android series, I thought it would be a good idea to share some reflections I had on posting this series.  Compared with the Android articles, I think I learned a lot more while writing the iOS ones as I had done less recent development for iOS when I started writing.  That being said, this was a huge learning experience.

Commit

When I wrote the Android series I started posting articles when I had only prewritten about 10 posts.  This meant that at the pace I was going, I had finished posting everything that I had already written by the time I got to day 12 or 13.  So I was forced (by myself) to write and get out a new article every single day.  This lead to a lot of late nights working on articles.  I really wanted to avoid that this time around so I decided I wouldn’t start posting articles until I had finished at least around 25 of them.  Since I was giving myself so much leeway, I didn’t start posting articles until about 3 and a half months after I started.  That’s right, I started writing the series in September of 2012 and didn’t start posting until January 1st of 2013.  So while I overdid it last time, I think I kind of underdid it this time around.  I would say that there is a point in between what I did for these two series which would have been more appropriate. 

Plan ahead but be flexible

Just like last time, I mapped out the articles I thought I would want to write ahead for each day in the series.  As I proceeded with writing though, things quickly changed and I had to pull some days out or break other days up into multiple days.  Some articles I fully replaced because they just didn’t make sense with the overall theme of the series.  So if you’re going to start a big project like this, make a plan, but don’t be afraid to be a little bit flexible.

Make sure you’re learning

It’s great to write about stuff you know forwards and backwards so that other people can take advantage of the time and effort you’ve put in.  However, I felt even more satisfaction having to learn quite a bit while I wrote this series.  I guess the overall point here is that you shouldn’t be afraid to be ambitious and say “I’m going to write about X even though that means I need to learn about X.”  This is a great way to commit yourself to learning something.  Additionally, writing about it really makes you want to feel like you understand how something works (though I’m not saying I am a complete expert over all of the subjects I spoke about).

In the end

This was a great series to work on.  I learned a lot from it and I’m already getting great feedback from people who are finding it useful.  Two of my biggest goals with my writing are to learn and to help people.  With a series like this, I’ve accomplished that in spades.

Next up

I’m going to go back to doing some more posts about using Windows Azure Mobile Services with iOS and Android first.  Then I’m going to take a look at the articles I wrote in both the iOS and Android series and see where it makes sense to write updates for those posts.


Chris Risner