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The Most Popular Insights Articles of 2016

As the year closes out, it’s time for our community to take the opportunity to reflect back on the past year and think about what we want to accomplish in the coming year. Today, we’re presenting the top articles over the past year, as chosen by both our readers (popularity) and our editors (our picks).

For both our readers and our writers, 2016 has been a time of change and transformation, both personally and professionally. Adaptation has been key to thriving during change, and the articles below show how our community is eager to learn, adapt, and lead ourselves and our companies in the coming year.

From all of us at Insights, we wish you a happy new year. We can’t wait to see what’s next.

In alphabetical order, here are our top Insights articles of 2016:



Blockchain For Grown-Ups, Part 2: What's Real? by Prasanna Pendse and Ross Pettit

The Blockchain For Grown-ups series explores the hype, the potential, and what’s already happening in the blockchain world. In this article, learn how blockchain is already a mature technology and how companies can harness its possibilities to innovate.

Want to know more? Check out these two articles: the technology underlying blockchain and what blockchain looks like in practice at a major financial services firm.



Born For It: How the Image of Software Developers Came About by Birgitta Böckeler

When you think of what a software developer looks like, who do you imagine? Chances are, you’re thinking of a “socially-awkward, white, male programmer,” says Birgitta Böckeler. In this article, she looks at how that stereotype came out of an industry that was initially pioneered by women.

Want to know more? Check out Navigating Your Career as a Woman Leader in Tech.



Digital Strategy is Dead by Steve Duesbury

Every business today is a digital business. But when the very foundations of your business and industry are non-existent, how do companies even begin to craft a digital strategy? In one of our most popular articles this year, Steve Duesbury looks at how digital strategy is dead—and what’s next.

Want to know more? Check out Steve’s follow-up: The SIMPLE Answer to Digital Strategy.



Financial Services 2025: How to Grow in the Challenging Years Ahead by Aneesh Lele and Anupam Kundu

What do customers want? For financial services firms who are being disrupted by fintech upstarts, they need to find out, and deliver, what their customers want, fast. Trust is a critical issue: “many customers simply do not believe that large traditional companies can actually offer what they want—highly transparent, personalized solutions that are aligned to their interests,” write the authors. Explore what that means for financial services firm today in this article.

Want to know more? Check out the rest of the Financial Services 20125 series: Eight Strategic Forces that are Transforming the Industry and 3 Core Principles to Unlock Growth.



Microservices as an Evolutionary Architecture by Neal Ford and Rebecca Parsons

“Microservices is an example of an evolutionary architecture, which supports incremental non-breaking change as a first principle along multiple dimensions at the structural level of the application,” write Neal Ford and Rebecca Parsons. In this article, they investigate the characteristics and principles of architecture that supports evolutionary behavior. Added bonus: you can also listen to Neal and Rebecca discuss microservices in the podcast.

Want to know more? Check out The CxO Guide to Microservices.



Platforms for Growth: Connecting Digital Strategy to Technology by Giles Alexander, Lloyd Shanks, and Natalie Drucker

With the advent of e-commerce, retail is one of the industries most disrupted by digital. In this popular article, the three authors take a deep dive at four major platforms that will help retailers drive growth through technology. One added bonus: these platforms are also how retailers can become future-ready for the next great disruption.

Want to know more? Check out The Modern Retailer’s Holy Grail.



Technology as an Enabler in the Social Sector by Juanchen Sun

From boosting innovation to optimizing operational efficiency, technology has a critical role to play in the social sector. Yet many organizations in this field lack the resources. In this article, Juanchen Sun looks at what’s blocking NGOs from using technology to its full potential and how these barriers can be overcome to make an impact.

Want to know more? Check out Beyond Inceptions: Aligning with the Social Sector.



Three Common Mistakes of a First-Time Tech Lead by Patrick Kua

Moving from an individual contributor role to a lead role isn’t easy in any industry. “Becoming a Tech Lead is a tough transition for any developer,” writes Patrick Kua, “because only part of the skills and experience you had as a developer prepares you for the expectations of a new role.” In this article, here’s what to look out for if you’re moving to the tech lead role.

Want to know more? Check out Patrick’s earlier article on 5 Tips For Being an Effective Tech Lead, itself one of our most popular articles of 2015.

What did you think? Did we miss anything that you thought should have been a top 10 article for the year? Let us know in the comments.