One year of blogging

Teaching is my way of learning

Exactly one year ago today, I wrote my very first blog post. It’s been such a long journey ever since, so it’s time to draw a line and review all my technical writing accomplishments.

I realized that sharing knowledge is a way of pushing myself to reason thoroughly on a particular subject. So, both my readers and I have something to learn from my writing. Finding time to think of future blog topics, researching particular subjects, writing code snippets and the ever-present pre-publishing reviews is worth the hassle.

Under the umbrella

The Internet is huge, so being heard is not something you would leave to chance. From the start, I knew that I needed to do more than writing high-quality articles. When nobody knows anything about you, your only chance is strategic marketing.

Being an avid Java DZone reader I was already familiar with their MVB program, so I decided to give it a shoot. I also submitted a collaboration proposal to JavaCodeGeeks and to my surprise I got accepted soon after my first published post.

Several well-received articles and Allen Coin proposed me for the Dev of the Week column. That’s when I also became a DZone MVB.

Both DZone and JavaCodeGeeks allowed me to reach a much larger audience, so I am grateful for the chance they offered me.

Meeting true Java heroes

This journey allowed me to meet so many great people I would never have had the chance of knowing otherwise.

Lukas Eder (jOOQ founder) was one the first people to find my articles interesting. After two months of blogging, he proposed me for the 100 High-Quality Java Developers’ Blogs list. With his great jOOQ framework and clever marketing skills, Lukas managed to build a large audience on various networking channels (blog, Reddit, Twitter, Google+). Without him promoting my posts, it would have been much more difficult to create so many connections with other software enthusiasts.

Eugen Paraschiv (owner of Baeldung) is definitely the person we should all look up to. Romanian IT industry has developed considerably, but I always felt we fall short on great software figures. Well, he’s passion for software craftsmanship is a secret ingredient for becoming successful in our industry. He’s been listing my articles in many of his personal weekly reviews, allowing my posts to reach his very impressive followers network. I’ve been applying many of his wise marketing advice and I can assure you they work like magic.

Petri Kainulainen (blogger and Spring Data book author) has been a great influence throughout my technical writing apprenticeship. I am a big fan of his articles and I’m fascinated by his ever improving concerns. Without him retweeting my articles, I wouldn’t have got to almost 300 Twitter followers.

The list can go on with Thorben Janssen, Rob Diana and many other Twitter followers finding my articles interesting and worth sharing.

While I first decided joining Twitter for article sharing, I soon discovered a great network of passionate developers. In less than a year I managed to get 286 followers:

meta_12m_twitter

Open-source contribution

From the very beginning, I created a GitHub account to host blog posts code samples. On one project of ours, I realized we were missing a connection pooling monitoring tool, so I decided to write my own open-source framework.

That’s how FlexyPool was born and from real-estate platforms to banking industry (US and Swiss), from GitHub traffic statistics, I can tell that some major companies have added connection pooling improvements tickets back-linking FlexyPool.

Towards becoming a professional trainer

Throughout my software development career, I kept on seeing all sorts of ORM and Data Access anti-patterns. That’s why I decided to create my own open-source Hibernate Master Class training material.

I started answering Hibernate StackOverflow questions since May 2014. StackOverflow allows you to see what users are struggling with, so you can better sense what’s more important to address in your training material.

meta_12m_stackoverflow

Tokens of appreciation

Jelastic started searching for the most interesting developers in the world and after submitting my request I was chosen as one of August most interesting developers.

Time for statistics

In my first year, I managed to write 70 posts which have been visited 88k times (on average 1250 views per article):

meta_12m_WP_months

DZone published 65 articles that have been viewed 388k times (on average 6000 views per article):

meta_12m_DZone

Top viewers by country

meta_12m_WP_world

My top five articles

Name Views
Time to break free from the SQL-92 mindset 4430
MongoDB and the fine art of data modelling 3773
The anatomy of Connection Pooling 3051
A beginner’s guide to ACID and database transactions 2752
JOOQ Facts: From JPA Annotations to JOOQ Table Mappings 2614

My Java DZone top five articles

Name Views
Code Review Best Practices 18156
MongoDB Time Series: Introducing the Aggregation Framework 16152
Batch Processing Best Practices 14415
Good vs Bad Leader 12671
MongoDB Facts: Over 80,000 Inserts/Second on Commodity Hardware 11991

Blog followers

meta_12m_WP_followers

Conclusion

Thank you for reading my blog. Without my readers, I would be writing in vain. Thanks for helping me throughout my first year of technical writing.

For the next year, I plan on finishing Hibernate Master Class and the Unfolding Java Transaction open-source book.

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20 thoughts on “One year of blogging

      1. Wow, that is very flattering! If you’re interested, I’d love to reach out to you next week on Google Hangout or Skype to go through that with you. We’d be more than happy to promote you for that and see if you could be an official member of the Data Geekery partner network, which we’re building: http://www.jooq.org/support

  1. Congratulations on your first year! Also, getting an average of over 7000 views per month is an excellent start. I have always said that good content gets found and your posts are proof. Good luck in year 2!

    1. Thanks Robert. Quality is a must, indeed. But when you’re not known, you need a little bit of marketing too.
      Sites like DZone/JavaCodeGeeks/GeekReading and well-known weekly reviews are definitely helping newcomers.

      1. You don’t have to thank me, you helped me a lot on this journey and I’ve never forgotten it.

        I’d be delighted to be part of your Partner Program.

        Now that I started writing about transactions and “Hibernate best practices” I can’t complete the data knowledge stack without a pragmatic training material on jOOQ and Advanced PostgreSQL querying capabilities.

        This is long-term journey, but in the end I want to define the enterprise data architect role. I think that’s someone who knows more about middle-ware than any DBA and more about databases than any software architect.

      2. I cannot comment on your reply from 8:39pm, so I’ll comment here.

        I think you’re on a very good way to fill that role, if you’re not already doing that now.

        So, I’ll be happy to be in touch after Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne.

  2. Congratulations, that’s cool.
    Looks like we started nearly at the same time. I wrote my first blog post on 2013-08-28. But I only managed to write 35 posts so far.
    I’am always amazed if I see how much articles some people (including you, Petri Kainulainen and Lukas Eder) are able to write in such short amounts of time.

    1. Congratulations for your one year anniversary too!

      I strive to deliver one article per week. In my first two month I was writing more haste-fully , but now I tend to review my articles many time before I release them.

    2. I guess at some point, I’ve just started thinking that pretty much everything I discover in the quirkiness of the SQL universe is worth writing down (if only for me to find it again later, when I don’t remember 😉 ). Often, that just takes 20mins. Not all articles will attract thousands of readers, but that’s OK… Sometimes, someone is looking for just that one SQL trick, and I might provide that for them.

      1. You’re doing it wrong. In my case, they’re returning BOTH their copy and mine. It’s nice to dominate the search result first page entirely 😉

      2. There are various ways of seeing this. Those websites don’t advertise your book, right. but they do advertise you in front of a big audience that reads news. The readers will eventually know you’ve written a book. It’ll take them 1-2 years to actually buy it. But only if they see you all the time.

        Anyway, I understand your decision. I’m frequently contemplating the same. Specifically with JCG. But I wouldn’t be where I am without the help from syndicators. Google is one thing. Reputation another.

      3. I totally understand what you mean, especially for DZone because it has a very large audience.
        At least, Dzone included the original links in their article, so the reader could navigate to other posts on your blog.
        JCG replaces all the links with their own clones, and their links are a dead-end from a traffic perspective.

        As for the reputation, I now have more opportunities to work on it than I had when I started the blog.
        I’ll let you know how it worked out 😉

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