500 posts - thank you!

Looking up into a blossom tree against a blue sky.

500 posts is a lot. When I started writing back in 2014, I never imagined that I was make it to this milestone. I've thought for a while about what I wanted to do to celebrate, but couldn't think of anything specific - so I wanted to thank everyone who has supported me so far in my journey through University - first in my undergraduate course, then in my MSc course, and now in my PhD.

It was Rob Miles that first encouraged me to start a blog in the first year of my undergraduate course. A few weeks later, and I had gone from a coming soon page to building, followed closely by this blog which I put together piece by piece.

The backend is actually written in PHP - though it is on my (seemingly endless :P) todo list to rewrite it as it's not particularly well written. I've made a start on this already by refactoring the commenting system (and adding more statistics), but I haven't touched the blog itself and the main website (particularly the CSS) much yet.

In total, over the last 499 posts (I'm still writing this post as of the time of typing) I've written 347,256 words in total, counted by doing cat *.md | tr -d -- '-{}\[\]();=><' | wc -w on all the markdown sources of the posts I've written. This is a mind boggling number! I suspect it's somewhat inflated by the code I include in my blog posts though.

On these, I've received 192 (probably) genuine top-level comments that aren't spam (not counting replies, which are difficult to count with jq, as the replies parameter isn't always present in my backend JSON files I store comments in). Each and every one of these has been helpful, and given me motivation to continue writing here - especially more recently on my PhD Update series.

I might have missed some spam comments, so do get in touch if you spot one.

From my first post way back on 29th June 2014 to this post in the present spans exactly 7 years, 10 months, 13 days, and 8 hours (or 2874 days and 8 hours), averaging 5 days 17 hours between each post overall.

I would like to thank everyone who has supported me on this incredible journey - especially my personal supervisor and also my PhD supervisor - both of whom have continuously assisted me with issues both large and small at all times of the day and year. The entire Department of Computer Science at the University of Hull - members both past and present - have all been very kind and helpful, and I'm deeply grateful to have had such a welcoming place to be.

Finally, thank you for reading. While I don't write posts on my blog here expecting that anyone will read them, it's amazing to see and hear about people finding them helpful :D

I can't say where I'm headed next after my PhD (the end of which is still some time away), but I can say that I'm committed to posting on this blog - so it won't be going anywhere any time soon :P

If there's a specific topic you'd like me to cover (and I haven't already done so), please do leave a comment below.

A ladybird in a hawthorn bush.

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Art by Mythdael