DEV Community

Cover image for Notes on ”The Counterintuitive Secret to Shipping Better Articles Faster”
Sophia Brandt
Sophia Brandt

Posted on • Originally published at on

Notes on ”The Counterintuitive Secret to Shipping Better Articles Faster”

In this ~1 hour video developer advocate Sam Julien shares his tips for shipping faster:The Counterintuitive Secret to Shipping Better Articles Faster - Sam Julien at Hashnode Bootcamp III


You’ll need a system that enables you to consistently produce results on which you can get feedback on.

Action + Speed + Feedback = Growth

How to Create Consistently?

The problem:

The “Ultimate Guide” Trap : Trying to write a big, all-encompassing article leads to exhaustion and burn-out. You stop writing for months.

The Developer Content Creator Cycle

  1. Overwhelming to know what to create
  2. Difficult to cross things off the list (unfinished drafts)
  3. Never-ending cycle

Explorer’s Mindset

Don’t think of content (or any other skill you’re building) as a dictionary to memorize.

Instead: think like an explorer.

The secret lies in Consistent Small Wins.

Comfort is the enemy of growth.

(But self-care, too!)

Sam does not encourage the “hustle mindset”.

How to Grow

Do challenging things quickly and get feedback.


  • production-focused (article, video)
  • trackable
  • measurable

Getting feedback:

  • does it work?
  • learning in groups
  • learning in public

Building a Content System

Systems trump Motivation

Build a small but complete system.

1. Draft

  • gathering notes
  • creating an outline
  • first draft

2. Create

  • writing/recording
  • adding images
  • code samples

3. Publish

  • publish on your site
  • adding social images
  • cross-posting

4. Promote

  • Twitter threads
  • forums & chat groups
  • talks

5. Garden

  • Update over time
  • maintain & correct
  • cross-link

Creation Phase (Step 1 to 3)


Scratch pad

Eliminate the distraction of figuring out where to jot something down.

Look for: speed, ease of use, ability to export.

Google Keep, Drafts app, etc.

Knowledge Base

Slow burn your drafts and link your ideas together.

Look for: cross-linking, collections, multimedia.

Evernote, Obsidian, Roam,, etc.

Task Manager

Ship things faster by determining the next action and context for a project.

Look for: works with your brain, ability to add context/tags

OmniFocus, Google Keep, etc.

Tips for Creating Content

  1. In the beginning, move fast to define your process (do tiny expirements).
  2. Start with what you know.
  3. Stuck? Try the TIL format.
  4. Don’t over-engineer too quickly.

TIL Format

  1. Intro: 2 or 3 sentences describing the problem.
  2. Body: describe the solution and how you got there.
  3. Final Solution: Finished code for copy&paste.
  4. Conclusion: 1 or 2 sentences re-capping the problem and solution.

Post-Publication Phase (Step 3 to 5)

  1. Every piece of content has a price tag (promotion & maintenance).
  2. Provide direct value on each platform (don’t dump your stuff).
  3. Be patient.


image credit for the cover image: Andy Li

Top comments (0)