DZone Editors Pick Their Favorite Posts

From Kafka tutorials to Kubernetes how-tos, we're sharing our editors top choices for 2019.

We often get asked about what kinds of articles resonate with our readers. While we show pageviews on our DZone site, there is more to a good article than that.

So, we turned to the experts, our team of content coordinators that edit and approve contributed articles before they are posted. The group is a delightfully diverse lot. One of our editors, Peter Connelly, worked as a historical interpreter while earning a creative writing and computer science degree. Charleigh Smith tutored students in writing at N.C. State, and Lauren Forbes sources those funny developer jokes that appear on our social channels.

The three, along with Lindsay Smith, Andre Lee-Moye, and their manager, Mike Gates, are responsible for two to four zones each and review about 30 articles per week. Most importantly, they keep DZone such a popular site by finding articles that resonate with our audience and help developers solve problems.

We asked each editor/coordinator to choose their favorite blog posts of 2019 and explain why.

Straightforward Agile Advice and a Great Microservices Series

Charleigh Smith manages the Microservices, Agile, and Performance zones.

For Microservices, she chose Five Questions Everyone is Asking About Microservices and Building Microservices with Event Driven Architecture.

“These are the first parts of two great series from the microservices zone. What makes these series successful is the specificity of the topics. Microservices is all about getting into the nitty-gritty, not doing broad overviews,’’ Smith says.

picture of Five Questions article

For Agile, she chose Mistakes Product Managers Make When Writing User Stories and 3 Mantras for Effective Standup Meetings.

“The thing that makes Agile articles successful is being unique and directly applicable to readers. Unlike other zones, Agile is less technical in nature and focuses more on developing soft skills like interpersonal communications.”

The Performance zone focuses on testing applications and giving performance advice. Smith chose articles about “Keeping things moving quickly and improving experiences for users,” she says.

Chaos and Kubernetes

Lee-Moye manages content for the DevOps and Cloud Zone. His first choice is Chaos Engineering: A Comprehensive Guide by Ankit Kumar. “Not only is the topic fascinating, but the author introduces and simply explains chaos engineering as such a fundamentally unique testing concept. I walked away with a clear understanding of what chaos engineering is and why developers should be interested. That should be the goal of any article, really, but it isn’t always done well. This article does it very well.”

a picture of the blog post

Zone MVP writer Jef Spaleta wrote Lee-Moye’s Cloud Zone favorite, How Kubernetes Works. “The massive number of articles that the Cloud Zone receives about Kubernetes directly correlates to the popularity of the tool in software development. Aside from tutorials and comparison, introductory articles are among the most popular article types that we receive. This article is a stellar example of how developers should seek to comprehensively introduce concepts to everyone, from the experienced developer to the college graduate.’’

Kotlin, Kafka, Java, and More

Peter Connelly chose one overview, a tutorial, and a deep dive.

  • Web Dev: Ktor: A Kotlin Framework — Dan Newton does a really good job of breaking down potentially intimidating topics into clear and simple language that anyone can follow, regardless of if they’re working with Kotlin or creating web servers for the first time.
  • Big Data: The Magic of Kafka With Spring Boot — Rahul Lokurte goes beyond just explaining the inner workings of Kafka’s pub-sub model, as he shows readers how to implement Kafka with Spring Boot in a succinct and easy-to-follow tutorial.
  • Security: Spring Boot Security + JWT “Hello, World” Example — We get so many articles that discuss authentication, authorization, and JWTs at a high-level; it’s great to see a piece that dives into implementing that functionality at the depth that this article does.

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Lindsay Smith chose two articles to highlight. “Guide to Java Versions and Features by Marco Behler is a great post covering everything developers need to know about different versions of Java and what it means in terms of features. Really, really great in-depth post about Java 8 through 13 and super helpful to developers torn over which version to use.”

Smith’s other choice is Per-Ake Minborg’s series Become a Master of Java Streams: Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6. “This is a fantastic, in-depth series that starts with basic Stream examples and then progresses with more complex tasks until you know how to connect standard Java Streams to databases in the cloud.”

image of blog post

Tutorials Rule the Tech Content World

Lauren Forbes chose tutorials — one of the most popular article types, especially when contributors include code examples. How to Use Spring RestTemplate to Post Data to a Web Service, Set up a Spring Boot Application With PostgreSQL Database, and Object Detection Tutorial in TensorFlow: Real-Time Object Detection.

Image of blog post

“These three did extremely well in my zones,” Forbes says. “They were well-written, and they include topics that do very well on our site. They are all tutorials, which is great because it just goes to show that people are coming to DZone for answers, and they are getting them with posts like these.”