When 2016 rolled around I decided to branch out. I said "I would love to write for high-profile outlets, speak at conferences, create an online course, [and] write a book". And it looks like a lot of things on that list are already happening!
So the hobby becomes a semi-professional endeavor. CodeFX levels up, so to speak.
That increased the need to put some lipstick on this
pig blog, which triggered a couple of other changes.
The most obvious change is the blog's new look. Do you like it?
The whole two-column setup started to annoy me, especially because it felt like the stuff on the right side added little value. Analytics confirmed this (very few people ever looked at recent tweets or comments). But clearing them out would leave me with a mostly empty column, wasting a lot of screen space. And it would still be easy to overlook, so it didn't feel like the right place to point out some of the cool new things I want to make you aware of.
So I went for a cleaner, single-column look. I cleared out the widgets, added new ones, and convinced WordPress (or rather Stargazer) to show them horizontally above the articles. The new links point to things, about which I currently care a lot. In case you can't decide what to click, try the highlighted ones. ;)
I also tweaked a lot of details to make reading more comfortable. The larger font and slimmer main container mean we end up with about 70 to 75 characters per line, which is much nicer than before. And code samples are less old-school! I still didn't abandon Crayon and its stupid tables but I finally stumbled upon an alternative: Prism! Just a matter of time now...
I really hope you like it! Feel free to tell me either way.
This is the driving force behind the changes and I am very excited about it! Interesting people in interesting places approached me and asked me to write for them, which I full-heartedly agreed to. Getting paid for writing turns this former hobby into something of more substance and feels like a step in the right direction, diversifying how I spend my time and earn my income.
I already wrote two comprehensive pieces about Project Jigsaw for InfoQ and a similarly broad one about JUnit 5 is in the pipeline. I will continue to write for InfoQ on selected topics. You can see my progress on my author page.
Then there is Sitepoint. I have to admit, I never really heard of them but there's a good reason for that: They don't have anything on Java. Or rather, they didn't, because that's going to change now.
They are starting a brand new Java channel (currently hidden in the Web channel) and I am thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to it on a regular basis. Check it out and follow me over there to get my newest posts as soon as possible.
▚The Java Module System In Action
Saving the best for last. What do you think about this?
Yes, I'm serious (super cereal in fact): I'm going to write a book about the module system Project Jigsaw brings to Java 9. Wow! To be honest: This is almost as scary as it is awesome - but the good kind.
Writing already started and early access e-books should be available sometime in fall. The book should be finished in March 2017 and printed copies be available about three months later. If you're curious and want to have a chance of a peek preview (gotta check with the publisher), you should subscribe to my newsletter.
Other things are in the pipeline but time is getting short so I don't know whether I can pursue them. Already, this blog will receive considerably less of my attention. But I plan to republish as much of what I write elsewhere here, so don't unfollow me yet. Because of that I actually expect a slight increase of posts.
I also started bombarding the Java world's conference organizers with talk proposals. The curious thing is: Some of them even got accepted! Over the next months I will be talking about the Java Module System, JUnit 5 and that everybody should comment their fucking code (on stage, where nobody can interrupt me, HarHar!).
By the way, this would be a great opportunity to meet you in person if you're there! I will keep an up-to-date list of upcoming talks, so check it out, ping me anytime you want or flag me down if you see me.
In case you missed a talk, I will also keep a lost of past talks. Yell at me if something doesn't show up.
Turns out that knowledge about Java 9 and JUnit 5 interests other people than me (who would've thought?). If you or your company are of such a curious persuasion and would like to get some help on planning migrations or training you and your fellow developers, you can hire me for that. Just drop me a mail.
Without intending it, blogging turned into a semi-professional activity. I like that! But it also puts considerable pressure on my time budget and I like my day job too much to have it suffer. Let's see how this turns out.
And what changes for you, dear reader? It all depends on how adventurous you are. You will continue to see most of what I write pop up here (modulo the book of course, although I will discuss interesting findings) so that's our baseline, past and future. But if you want, there is more stuff of mine you can check out. The menu at the site's top will point you to it.
This brings me back to where I started because all of this comes in a new look, leaner and meaner if you want.