12 great months for Thoughts on Java and some big changes ahead

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Yes, I’m writing a review of the last 12 months in the middle of the summer. You normally see these kinds of posts at the end of the year and not at the end of July. But there is a good reason for it: On July 1st, 2015 I reduced my day job to 4 days a week (32 hours) to have more time for thorben-janssen.com, speaking at conferences and giving workshops about Hibernate.

My wife and I decided
to give it a try and see
what I can achieve in 1-2 years.

At that time, this site was not even a small side business. I didn’t make any money from it. I just had a bunch of ideas, and I was accepted for 2 paid conference workshops. But my wife and I decided to give it a try and see what I can achieve in 1-2 years. You can imagine how nervous I was when my boss agreed to change my contract (and salary) to 4 days a week.

But I was also very happy to be able to put more effort into thorben-janssen.com and my ideas of an online training about Hibernate performance tuning. That was the beginning of an amazing year, and there are even bigger changes to come. But more about that later. Let’s first have a look at what happened during the last 12 month.

Lots of conferences

I never expected
to speak at that
many conferences.

The first highlight was a conference workshop at the Experten Forum Stuttgart 2015 on July 10th. It was the first time that I spoke at a conference and instead of starting with a normal 45-minute talk, I gave a full 3-hour workshop.

But if you get the chance to give your first talk, you have to take it. Even if it’s a little bit longer than you would like it to be. After all, it was the right thing to do. Everything went great. I really enjoyed it and got great feedback from the audience. And that was a good thing because I was accepted by a few more conferences. Overall I gave 3 workshops and 5 talks in these 12 months:

  • 2 workshops about Hibernate performance tuning at Workshoptage ZΓΌrich,
  • my first German session about Hibernate performance tuning at Java Forum Nord,
  • my first English talk also about Hibernate performance tuning at GeeCON in Prague,
  • a long talk about Hibernate performance tuning at my local Java user group and
  • 2 talks at JavaLand 2016. One about Hibernate performance tuning and I joined Mark Struberg for his talk about CDI 2.0.

I never expected to speak at that many conferences. Before that, I submitted other proposals to 2 calls for paper without any success and I thought it would continue like that for a little while. But luckily (and thanks to my wife) I created a new proposal about Hibernate performance tuning, and there was a lot of interest in that topic.

Together is better than alone

Another highlight were the great people I met and worked together with on different projects, like:

  • Anatole Tresch with whom I wrote several German magazine articles about Apache Tamaya and CDI 2.0,
  • Mark Struberg who I met in the CDI 2.0 expert group and who allowed me to join him as a co-speaker for his CDI 2.0 talk at JavaLand 2015,
  • Lukas Eder, who doesn’t like Hibernate and annotations but is nevertheless a great guy πŸ˜‰ to speak about Java, blogging, conferences and business,

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.
– African Proverb

  • Markus Eisele who not only asked me to join him on his blog for a German publishing house and accepted me in the JavaLand program committee but also always tried to help when I had questions,
  • Eugen Paraschiv and Petri Kainulainen, the 2 other members of our weekly mastermind meetings who pushed me when I needed it and helped me organize my (sometimes) weird ideas
  • and many other great people who I met online or at conferences.

The first online training

So far, I shared some great experiences with you, but there was one thing that had an even bigger impact on my life and on thoughts-on-java than all of the previous things combined: the Hibernate Performance Tuning Online Training.

I never expected
that recording and editing videos
would take so much time …

I announced it for the first time in October 2015, bought a lot of equipment and spend the following 6 months working on it. I never expected that recording and editing videos would take so much time and that talking to a camera would be so different to speaking to a live audience. Don’t ask about the last days before the launch but in the end, I finished everything in time and launched the training for the first time on April 1st, 2016.

The training went really well, and if you follow this blog, you know that I offered it for a second time and closed the registration just a few days ago. Several of you took up the offer and are now watching my videos to learn how to find and fix Hibernate performance issues.

Interesting future ahead

As you might have guessed at the beginning of the post, these last 12 months were just the beginning. A few days ago, I quit my day job and beginning in September; I will work full-time on thorben-janssen.com and my online and offline training.

So what does that mean for you as a reader of this blog?

Will anything change?

Of course, it will. I will have 4 additional days each week to create content for this blog and to work on other projects.

I’m currently publishing 3 written posts each week and
[…] I want to try different kinds of video content

I’m currently publishing 3 written posts each week, and I want to keep that schedule for now: Java Weekly on Mondays, a long post (most often a tutorial) on Wednesdays and a short Hibernate tip on Fridays. On top of these posts, I want to try different kinds of video content and see which ones you like best. I want to do that for quite some time but up to now, there was no time for it. Another thing I want to try is a Q&A format in which you can ask me questions about Hibernate, JPA or Java EE and I answer them. Please let me know if there is any specific kind of content you like me to create.

Another thing I want to try is a Q&A format in which you can ask me questions about Hibernate, JPA or Java EE and I answer them. This will be especially interesting because you drive the content of the post or video with your questions.

These are my current ideas for new kinds of content on thorben-janssen.com. What do you think about it? Please write a comment and let me know which kinds of content you like to read or watch.

What other projects will I work on and how can you get involved?

And there are 2 other projects I want to work on until the end of this year: another Hibernate training and a book.

OK, that sounds very ambitious but I think I can do it, and if you like, you can get involved in the creation of both of them.

Don’t worry; I’m not asking you to write a book for me or record some lessons. But I’ll be looking for a beta group of students for the training and some test readers for the book. If you like to learn more about it, keep on reading and if not, thanks for reading until here. I hope you enjoyed reading this review as much as I enjoyed writing it. It was an interesting year πŸ™‚

OK, so let’s start with the training. I the new training, I want to show you more of Hibernate’s advanced features which are not related to performance optimizations. There are a lot of them, and they often provide an easy way to connect legacy databases or to implement complex use cases.   And now the book. I want to write a book for quite some time now, and I decided that I will finally do it. You probably (or hopefully) know about the Hibernate Tips series I publish every Friday, and I want to extend it into a book. But don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to just republish some existing posts as an ebook. I want to write some Hibernate tips exclusively for the book, take some existing tips from the blog and bring them into a structure that makes it easy to find an answer for your questions. I want to self-publish the book, and I’m looking for a few test readers who like to have a look at it and provide their feedback while I’m writing it.

OK, that’s it for now. Thanks a lot for reading this long post and for beeing a reader of thorben-janssen.com.

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  1. Craig Charleton says:

    Just read your blog for the first time. Really great and easy to follow.

    Thanks for the effort!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thanks Craig!

  2. Janardhan says:

    Thanks for sharing your experience Thorben. Looking forward to your posts! Good luck!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thanks πŸ™‚

  3. Good luck Thorben. This will be an exciting year for you.

    And hey, you got one thing wrong. I do like Hibernate. The pain it causes to everyone generates more business for me πŸ˜‰

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Haha, thanks Lukas!
      Bad news for you: Hibernate doesn’t cause any pain to someone who took my course. πŸ˜€

  4. Alexander says:

    Good luck and keep on going. One of the most interesting blogs in my RSS. Thanks.

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thank you, Alexander!

  5. Once again keep up the great work. Have fun as you journey through..

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thank you, Dayo. I will certainly have!

  6. Roland Bole says:

    Hello Thorben, I want to say thanks for the wonderful work you are doing for the hibernate community. Always great reading your very well thought and knowledgeable posts.

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thank you, Roland πŸ™‚

  7. Zenko Turek says:

    I’m looking forward to more training and tips from you. Congratulations on this exciting path that you are taking!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thanks Zenko!

  8. Thanks for sharing your story Thorben, good luck. looking forward for more of such posts …

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thank you, Javin.
      I didn’t expect to get so much feedback on this post. Maybe I do this more often in the future…

  9. Hatem Jaber says:

    Congratulations on the progress and success, I enjoy your site and find it very useful. I look forward to the future possibilities now that you’ve turned it into a full-time job. Thank you for your hard work and efforts!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thanks, Hatem!
      I have a lot of ideas that I want to try out. Let’s see how much more I can do with the additional time.

  10. Dirk Dierickx says:

    Good luck with this new chapter in your life, I’m sure it will bring many new and exciting moments. The Java weekly newsletter was one of the best Java initiatives in a long time, i was almost thinking of starting one myself as most other popular languages have one and java did not. Great job!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thanks, Dirk!

  11. Binh Thanh Nguyen says:

    Thanks, love your blog, keep up your wonderful work!

    1. Thorben Janssen says:

      Thank you, Binh!

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