TL;DR Thank you for reading my blog posts through all these years, this is the post number 500 (!) & the good thing is that I still enjoy writing, so I guess you can expect some more from me.
What is 500 and rising? My blog post counter. Yes, this is the blog post #500.
And I mean only "real", new blog posts - no shared links, no archive re-post, no meme full-pagers. Just articles.
Round numbers make good opportunities for retrospectives:
- did I manage to achieve what I wanted to?
- is the reader base growing steadily?
- what is blog's actual potential & is it met?
- was the feedback (I've collected some time ago) addressed?
But you know what? Screw that. I'm not going to over-analyze the subject. No categorization, decomposition, classification, dissection, ...
Instead, I'll just write what I feel, in "plain, soldier words". Meat & meat only.
A bit of complacency
I'm actually really happy with the blog these days. Even proud - yes, that's the correct word. There are always things that may improve, but even now blog helps me a lot in being a better engineer / manager / architect / even a better person (I hope). I don't write things down mechanically, I don't copy (or re-post) thoughts / opinions of others, all my blog post are always a result of my own deep, profound thought process. The goal is not just to write a post, any post. Articles can't be repetitive, each of them has to contain some unique consideration, something truly valuable that makes it worth of the readers' time.
I keep occasionally revisiting old posts & I'm not ashamed of what I wrote, even if I have changed my mind in the meantime - so, in my not so humble opinion, I succeed in this area.
Another thing I'm proud of is ritualization - for all these years there was a new post every 4-6 days. And what seems even more important, I NEVER had to "invent" new topics out of nowhere - there's always a "backlog" of half-baked articles / half-structured thoughts I pick from. "Last minute" topics do pop up occasionally, but if I decide to write them down so suddenly, it still means that they have been elaborated well enough. Quantity never goes above the quality - period.
FYI, currently backlog has 25 entries (at different levels of "completeness") & there's a separate list of 39 "virgin" topic "proposals" that have a high chance of being turned to the blog post at some point in time.
If you've read some of the articles, you know that this is neither a typical tech blog, nor a typical management blog. What I care is END-TO-END DELIVERY of software-based products. All aspects, unconditionally. Anything that applies: technology, leadership, management, architecture, front-end, back-end, microservices, SPAs, lean, distributed systems, ... Yes, such a spread of topics may not be convenient to all the readers, what is more - many topics assume (/require) certain level of experience - they are hard to grasp w/o personally going through particular scenarios. But from my perspective it's a certain advantage -> what I intend to share is not a non-validated theory, but perspectives build upon a foundation of 16 years of intense ("in the trenches") industry experience within IT.
I live in a deep conviction that what I write is valuable to the whole Software Engineering community & personally (as not only a writer, but reader as well) I'd love more blogs like that from experienced industry veterans.
What clearly doesn't work
It doesn't mean there's nothing I'd like to improve - there are certain things that torment me and do not let me forget about them:
there's barely anyone (except myself) truly interested in the full spectrum of topics I'm covering - some readers are interested in tech part, some prefer Agile-related considerations or various leadership articles, but it's basically just me who enjoys fluent movement between these extremes so much ... this may easily annoy some readers (& sometimes it does, AFAIK), which doesn't really help in building a fast-growing, sustainable reader base
I belief strongly that I'm pretty good at transferring thoughts to paper, but in my case it has a price - measure in length; my goal is to make individual articles not longer than 400 words, but I tend to fail miserably pretty much each bloody time - 800 is the realistic threshold; however hard I try, the effect here is always the same - this is something I'd definitely like to change
Frankly, I'm perfectly aware of this flaws, but at this point I have no clear "strategy" how to deal with them. One I know I'd be happy with. I'm eager for some experimentation, but one thing that is for sure is that I'll stick with traditional blogging - no YouTube, no Snapchat - that's not really the way I'd like to share my thoughts.
As I'm already beyond 600 words, it'd be reasonable to aim for a conclusion ;P If you're reading this, thank YOU for the time spent (on this & previous posts), for all the comments / likes / thumbs-up & any other kind of feedback, regardless of the way you've provided it (mail, LI, Twitter, Facebook, HackerNews, Disqus). Especially warm thanks for all the help with sharing the posts within your network - it's always very appreciated as I strongly prefer "organic growth" (where people gratuitously promote content they've liked personally to their friends who they know may appreciate it as well) over any other kind of advertisement (I don't do paid ads, e.g. via FB). Thanks a lot, it's very helpful!