How it started
I wanted to write regular articles about programming even before I started coding professionally. However, I never actually managed to start. I bought domain name and VPS hosting much earlier than the blog was opened.
About a year ago I had a nasty encounter with a couple of corrupt Russian policemen. This finally braced me up, and I started looking for a job in the better place (US, of course), just to eventually fail, and to feel even more miserable.
I read some articles on job search, and derived, that I should blog about programming to demonstrate my passion. This burst the development of the engine, which had been developed for several months, evenings after work. Finally, I published a couple of articles I prepared in advance. The campaign of looking for a job ended, and the blog... the blog did not.
So, here they are. 40 articles in 52 weeks, which I consider a good result. What are the other metrics?
Even though I don't consider the primary aim of the blog to be popular, and have lots of visits, I feel better when I have more of them :-). I estimate the number of regular visitors as 100. And last month I even cleared 1k visits (pro month), as shown on the figure:
I noticed that the number of visits loosely correlates with what and how often I write. Much greater influence has my activity on "social" sites, such as StackOverflow and forums, from which people get here. As for search engines, I get much better results from them, because my site is referenced from my StackOverflow account, and due to large reputation, it doesn't have rel=nofollow. But I cherish those "direct" visits the most, of course. Here's the graph:
⅓ of my posts was made on weekends. Perhaps, to increase the number of visits for users of RSS readers, I should be more patient, and stash articles for a couple of days. I'll try this from now on.
Most of the articles posted here are not very good (I know it). However, I consider several to be much better—at least, I like them most. The last year I managed to write:
- "NP-complete!" as a lame excuse (read). An article about perception of NP-completeness, and some examples why this may not be the problem.
- Randomized debugging (read). A debugging technique I invented, and keep using (last time I used it was...today!) Too bad it didn't get much traction.
- How I applied for a web server developer... (read). A "cool story" about my attempts to find a job in Russia. I still smile when I read it.
- Are women worse programmers than men? (read). An insight to the question, which I consider fresh. At last I managed to collect all my thoughts on this matter.
- Parallel merge sorting (read). An algorithm which was very interesting to dig into, and to understand how it works.
But of course I like them all, an every single article I wrote. My blog is barely read, but I like it anyway.
I hoped to improve my English, but it didn't improve significantly. To improve it, I should be reading instead of writing.
During the development of this blog, I think I learned Ruby and Rails quite well. For example, I now use Ruby as my primary scripting language instead of Perl.
After a couple of first articles, I intentionally limited the time to write one post to 4 hours. Today I feel that I make better articles in the time given, although I still see the possibilities to improve my writing skills.
So, it seems that this blog brings me a lot of fun and teaches me a lot. I'll keep doing it, even now, when I'm not actively looking for a new job.
I want to thank all my readers, who managed through my crippled language, and had fun reading some of my posts. I hope I'll bring you more fun and non-standard insights on the pages of coldattic.info :-)
Author Paul Shved
Modified November 30, 2010
License CC BY-SA 3.0