Thoughts on Java 2016 – A year in review …

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2016 is coming to an end, and it’s the perfect time to take a moment to look back at the last 12 months. I would normally call it an interesting and eventful year, but that would be a huge understatement. Thoughts on Java and myself have grown as never before. For most of the time, it was a hell of a ride that I still can’t completely believe.

In January, Thoughts on Java was a small but established blog with 111 posts about JPA and Hibernate and the popular Java Weekly series. For me, it was also becoming a small side-business but most people would’ve probably still called it a hobby. I was working my day job, writing on a more or less consistent schedule and I had just announced my first online course about Hibernate performance tuning.

12 months later, this has changed drastically. I published 107 posts, started the Hibernate Tips series and had to quit the popular Java Weekly series, launched a free member library, created 2 online courses, started a youtube channel and quit my day job.

That was a lot more than I expected to do when I made my plans for 2016. 🙂

Let’s have a look at the major milestones and 10 most popular posts of 2016 and the plans for 2017.

Major milestones 2016

As I said, 2016 was eventful and brought quite a few changes to Thoughts on Java and my career. So, let’s bring all these events in a chronological order:

  • March 7-9th: I attended JavaLand 2016 and gave 1.5 talks
  • April 1st: 1st launch of the Hibernate Performance Tuning Online Training
  • June 3rd: 1st Hibernate Tip post
  • July 23rd: 2nd launch of the Hibernate Performance Tuning Online Training
  • July 27th: I announced that I quit my day job and will work full-time on Thoughts on Java. I also shared my plans for an advanced Hibernate training and an ebook. I got so much great feedback on this post that I decided to share my journey and plans for Thoughts on Java on a regular basis.
  • September 2nd: The last day of my day job. I was happy, excited and sad at the same time.
  • September 2nd: I published the first, monthly Thoughts on Java Report to talk about the development of Thoughts on Java and my plans for the following weeks.
  • September 14th: I started to work on the new Advanced Hibernate Online Training with the goal to finish it within 2 months.
  • September 23rd: The Thoughts on Java Member library opened its virtual doors to offer free ebooks, cheat sheets and video training.
  • September 26th: I opened the signup for a closed beta group for the new Advanced Hibernate Online Training. This was one of the best decisions I’ve made in a while. I had a very tight schedule which made it difficult but the feedback was extremely valuable.
  • October 3rd: I published the 1st Hibernate Tip video on youtube and started to grow the channel.
  • November 12th: 3rd launch of the Hibernate Performance Tuning Online Training and 1st launch of the Advanced Hibernate Online Training
  • December 9th: I had to cancel the Java Weekly series due to recent changes in German case-law.

The 10 most popular posts of 2016

As I said at the beginning, I published 107 posts on Thoughts on Java in 2016. If you have a few hours to spare, you can find them in the archive.

If you don’t have the time to read all of them right now 😉 you might want to start with some of the most popular posts instead. I had a look at the traffic numbers, comments, and social media shares to find the 10 most popular posts of 2016:

  1. Should you use JPA for your next project?
  2. How to use Java 8’s Optional with Hibernate
  3. Hibernate 5: How to persist LocalDateTime & Co with Hibernate
  4. Hibernate Best Practices
  5. How to use PostgreSQL’s JSONB data type with Hibernate
  6. How to implement a soft delete with Hibernate
  7. How to generate primary keys with JPA and Hibernate
  8. How to fetch multiple entities by id with Hibernate 5
  9. Complete Guide: Inheritance strategies with JPA and Hibernate
  10. Native Queries – How to call native SQL queries with JPA

Plans for 2017

After talking about all the achievements of 2016, you’re probably wondering what’s in the queue for 2017. So far, I made detailed plans for the 1st and 2nd quarter and wrote down a few ideas and a rough schedule for the 2nd half of the year.

The 4 main topics for the first quarter of 2017 are:

  • improve several smaller things here on the site and introduce a new series to replace the Java Weekly,
  • host regular webinars,
  • write and publish a book with Hibernate Tips (ebook and paperback) and
  • give a talk and workshop at JavaLand.

The Hibernate Tips book will obviously be my main task for the first quarter. I’m talking about it for quite a while now, and I already put a lot of work into planning and outlining it. Now it’s finally time to write it. I will share more details about the book and the writing process in the next few weeks.

Edit: I released the book. You can get it at

The classroom training will most likely be the most challenging task in the second quarter. Right now, I’m talking with a few potential partner companies who could host the training.

Another important task will be the follow-up of the book launch. I don’t know exactly what that will be. But the last months taught me that launches are very work-intensive and that there are always some things that I need to clean up afterward. So better plan some time for it …

OK, that was the last post for 2016.

Thank you for reading and supporting me and Thoughts on Java in 2016. I hope you enjoy my blog posts and keep reading them in 2017.

See you next year 😉

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