Hello dear readers and subscribers.
This blog grows and evolves, and in this post I will share our vision for the future of TechYourChance project. This is the very first non-technical post on the blog – after more than two years of blogging, we decided that it is time to formulate our mission and share it with our readers.
Before we are discussing the future, however, let me start by shortly summarizing blog’s past history and current state.
About three years ago I quit my full-time job of Logic Design Engineer in a major semiconductors company. I had no intentions whatsoever to leave the field. Just needed a break. The initial idea was to take several months off in order to rest and take care of some personal matters, and then find a more senior position in the same company or one of its competitors.
During this period a friend of mine proposed to work on a new software project. This project aimed at eventually becoming the social network for people who care about environment. The idea resonated with me, and I had the time and the skills (so I thought) needed in order to make it happen. This way, IDoCare project was born.
I took responsibility over IDoCare Android application.
By then, I knew very little about Android development. My knowledge primarily came from one single undergraduate course I took in university, but I knew that Android is Google made and open-source. Therefore, I expected to find sufficiently good documentation and tutorials (this expectation turned out to be very optimistic).
I started to learn about applications development, and immediately became amazed by one aspect of software engineering: proximity to the end user. See, in ASIC engineering (my previous field), it is normal to have a schedule of several years for a product, and engineers working on it are usually involved in just a small subset of the required activities. This is a consequence of the tremendous complexity of ASIC chips, and the very high cost associated with failures in these products. In software engineering, on the other hand, a single individual can bring a fully functional product directly to the end user in months (weeks in some cases). Software engineers are much closer to their end users in both time and communication dimensions. This is simply amazing. Realization of this proximity to the end user changed my plans – I decided to become a professional Android software engineer.
Initially, we dreamed about IDoCare becoming our full-time job, but this didn’t work out (yet). After several months of self-education, during which I worked on IDoCare, I spent all my money and had to find a job. Turned out I did a good job learning and it took just two weeks and three interviews to get my first job as a professional Android developer.
It is during this period of self education that I decided to start a blog. I was motivated by the fact that official Android documentation turned out to be very poor, and good information could be found almost exclusively in blogs. I didn’t know much about blogging, but I liked to share my knowledge with others and gained some writing experience by posting on StackExchange sites. By that time, I have already had one piece of knowledge to share – my own implementation of MVC pattern for Android. Today, MVP and MVC are hot topics in Android community, but back then the information was scarce and I was really sorry about the state of Android development industry.
As I said, it is the power of bringing products into end users’ hands that motivated me to become software engineer. Therefore, I knew right away that I will only blog about topics that can make the users get the desired products faster and with higher quality. This is the reason why you won’t find “trivial” articles in this blog – there is an abundance of resources for Android programmers, but very few resources for Android Software Engineers.
TechYourChance is no longer a solo project. I have a couple of friends helping me (they are literally a couple): Alex and Julia. Alex is responsible for blog’s maintenance and helps me in many other ways. Julia is responsible for graphical assets – she draws all these cool pictures in posts (which I like a lot).
As of this writing, TechYourChance blog is being visited by approximately three thousands people a month. Some of them even decide to become our subscribers, which is IMHO the highest level of appreciation and support of our efforts 🙂
To tell you the truth, I’m not satisfied with the amount of content that is present in the blog today. I’ve been too dedicated to my day job for the past year and a half and did not invest enough time into sharing my knowledge. My criteria of “enough content” is a simple question: “Do I have more ideas to share?”. If the answer is positive, then I know that there is not enough content in the blog.
If you’ve read thus far, please post a comment containing a word “squirrel” – this will let us know how many people didn’t get too bored reading this post. Just kidding.
It is time to share our thoughts about the future of TechYourChance blog.
I would like to summarize our current vision of blog’s future as a numbered list – this will allow you, our readers, to hold us accountable for each and every of the statements independently.
The future of TechYourChance blog:
- TechYourChance blog will continue to provide high quality content for professional software engineers
- New posts will appear on TechYourChance blog at least once a month
- We will start TechYourChance video channel on YouTube
- New videos will appear on TechYourChance channel on YouTube at least once in two months
- TechYourChance blog will undergo a major redesign in order to bring its content to the readers in the most pleasant and functional way
- We will start to be active in software engineering community (with accent on Android developers community) in order to promote best practices that serve end users’ interests
- IDoCare Android application will be open sourced and future posts will be based on its code (whenever applicable)
I want to address two of the points in more length.
YouTube Channel. Several months ago Alex came to me and proposed to start a video blog. I thought he was joking. He wasn’t. So I told him that it is an interesting idea, but I don’t think we could pull it off. After a week I agreed that this is a really good idea which will allow us to deliver a bit different, but equally useful content to the community. At the time we didn’t have time required for this, but now we do! As I’m writing these lines, Alex makes the final preparations for the release of our first video tutorial.
Open Sourcing IDoCare Application. I’ve had this idea for a very long time now. Open sourcing of IDoCare Android app will yield many benefits: 1) I won’t need to write tutorial code for posts. Instead, I will just point to the relevant parts in the application 2) Readers will be able to see how the concepts presented in the blog integrate into real application 3) Hopefully, I’ll get some feedback after readers’ code review 4) Hopefully, some of the readers will become IDoCare users and supporters.
Alex, Julia and myself are very excited to announce our vision for the future of TechYourChance blog, and we commit to making this blog awesome.