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Living by the Code

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Before You Begin

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Getting to Work

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17. An Interview with Joe Birch
Written by Enrique López-Mañas

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Joe is an Android Engineer and Google Developer Expert for Android Assistant, Flutter and Google Pay based in Brighton, UK working on the Android team at Buffer. Passionate about engineering, he loves to create robust, polished and exciting projects for mobile and beyond—in fact, he’ll probably be toying with whatever the new thing is at the time you’re reading this! Joe is also a prolific public speaker and keen writer, he loves to share his learnings and experiences with others wherever he can.

Connect with Joe

Twitter: @hitherejoe

LinkedIn: in/joe-birch-80392157

Medium: @hitherejoe


You’re tremendously prolific when it comes to writing articles. How do you manage to write articles with this frequency? Are there any tips that you would like to give to potential writers to achieve the sort of productivity you have?

I often start a draft on my blog based on something I’m doing at work. Even if it’s just a little writing or a few notes, I start something. I go back later in the day or a few weeks later and finish the article. The list of articles I’ve started drafting on my blog contains ideas that are three or five months old that I haven’t gotten around to working on, or things I started but wasn’t in the mood to finish. I always come back to those things. My style is to make notes and start drafts and add things and then I come back to articles when I feel like I’m in the mood. This process keeps me going and provides a regular cycle of subjects to write about.

So I can imagine your drafts list is probably half-full with articles that have not been finished yet?

There are some that just have the title, and maybe I’ll finish, but maybe I won’t. Some are halfway written. I try to do at least one article a week, and sometimes I manage a couple. I feel that it’s good to get into that habit of sharing ideas often and in the open.

How do you negotiate between wanting to put out polished work and wanting to share ideas frequently?

I prioritize getting things out there and focusing on what I think will be useful for people. Of course, I want to make sure what I contribute works properly, with regard to open-source code. When it comes to writing, I do a quick proofread, but I like just putting things out there once they’re done. Sometimes I’ll go back and change things around. Most of the time, I feel like they’re good enough for people to learn something from.

Joe’s Recommendations

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