The "Hacker News" Effect

Apr 06, 2019 | General


I submitted Developer to Manager to Hacker News on 25th March. The common/accepted knowledge is that there's a ton of variation on what makes a post hit the front page. Having absolutely no knowledge about those variations, I submitted the post regardless, not thinking much about it. What happened next was something I wasn't expecting at all.

The post ended up trending on the front page for one full day, gathering slightly more than 500 upvotes in the process, resulting in a cool 50,000 page views over the next 2 days, and moving the site's Alexa rank by about 2 million places (up). It was quite an experience to see the number of concurrent visitors to the site jump beyond 300.

The site is completely static and hosted on Netlify, so I wasn't too worried about all that traffic taking things down, but that's besides the point.

Fathom Analytics

I think the main takeaway for me, personally, was that it made me realize that I was not the only one wishing for something like this to exist. I started working on this project because I really felt the need for a resource like this, which could help me with my own transition to a slightly more managerial role. Reading the comments on hacker news, and the tons of encouraging emails that people sent me, made it clear that there are plenty of other developers who are transitioning to management and looking for resource to assist with the transition. Solving personal problems is always good, but it's even better when others validate it.

So everyone who upvoted the HN post, left an encouraging comment, sent me an email, volunteered for an interview for the site, or helped in any other way - a huge thank you! I'll be using all that motivation to make Developer to Manager the site you open when you want to know how to become a good engineering manager.