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2021 Year Review

I have been doing some sort of year review since 2017, covering projects I work on, this blog, Github and Twitter. You can find the past posts using the tag #year-review.

2021 has seen the continuation of COVID-19 with the Omnicron variant making its first appearance in the last few months. Currently living in the UK we currently have the highest reported numbers of this new variant, as well as high covid levels overall. Who knows what 2022 will bring.


At the time of writing this, I have written 43 blog posts this year, likely to leave my end of year total at ~47. That’s double what I wrote in 2020. In December I attempted to write a blog post a day, turning out to be too much, but it looks like I should be able to hit a secondary target of a post every 2 days, so ~15 in December.

  • ~40,000 page views, down from 47,664 (~16% decrease, but trending up looking across more years)
  • ~30,000+ visitors, down from 32,197 (~7% decrease)
  • ~47 posts, beating my previous record of 25 in 2018

It’s really easy to see how a single post can skew growth year by year. That post last year was Quickly clearing out your Facebook advert ‘interests’ which alone brought in 10k views, this year reducing to 3k. The peak post of 2020 only has around 6k views.

I quite like looking at most viewed posts so I can get some sort of gauge on what I should perhaps be writing more about, or projects that generally interest people. Development on Windows is the theme of the first 2 posts in my top 10. The majority of the rest of the top 10 are short posts covering problems I have encountered and solved over the years. And, also lasagnes… (more on that below)

  1. Adding git bash to Windows Terminal (was #3)
  2. VSCode & PHP XDebug from Localhost, WSL2 and Docker containers (new post in 2021)
  3. Quickly clearing out your Facebook advert ‘interests’ (was #1, 60% view reduction)
  4. Python3, Using some shared state in 2 async methods (was #2)
  5. Reducing Java JVM memory usage in Containers and on Kubernetes (was #6)
  6. Minecraft Java mod using Bukkit / Spigot (new to top 10 in 2021)
  7. Add Exif data back to Facebook images – 0.10 (new to top 10 in 2021)
  8. Guzzle 6 retry middleware (was #7)
  9. Add Exif data back to Facebook images – 0.1 (was #4)
  10. If you bake 2 lasagnes, and stack them, do you have 1 or 2 lasagnes? (new in 2021)

I really enjoyed writing my blog post about lasagnes, and it turns out this is now the top answer for the question in Google searched with a featured snippet.

It’s a little interesting also looking at the bottom 10 posts.

Many of these posts I wouldn’t really consider being full blog posts, and many are quite old and of questionable quality. But it’s always nice to keep a record of these things :)


According to Github I have made around 3000 contributions this year, up from around 2000 in 2020. It’s easy to spot that perhaps the start of 2021 was a little interesting, as I made apparently maintained a contribution streak up until the end of February. I’m going to put this down to COVID measures.

Most of my commits were to repositories relating to the mwcli tool, both in my own fork on Github and the WMF mainline repo that now lives on I expect the majority of other commits were related to my WMDE work on Wikidata and Wikibase.

This year I also created a profile for Github to stay on top of the main things I’m up to.


Again around 1000 tweets this year, impressions at around 400k this year, up from around 330k last year. October saw peak tweeting for me, and I believe this was down to WikidataCon!

My top tweets were a shout out to @NASASpaceflight during the Virgin Galactic Unity 22 Mission earlier in the year.

And a question to Nat Friedman, then CEO of Github, questioning some Github API request numbers.

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