When I announced that I had quit my day job to work full-time on Thoughts on Java, I got a lot of great feedback and questions about my plans for the site. If you’re interested in these kinds of posts, I’m happy to give you a look behind the scenes and share my monthly goals and progress with you.
What went down in August
August was the last month where I had to split my time between my day job, my family and Thoughts on Java. Today, September 2nd is my final day at my day job. And I’m leaving it happy and sad at the same time. I enjoyed working there for several years, and I will miss my great colleagues. But I’m also looking forward to finally put all my efforts into Thoughts on Java and work on all the things I wanted to do in the past but didn’t have the time for it. More about that when I talk about the goals for September.
I followed my publishing schedule of 3 posts a week (Java Weekly on Monday, a long-form tutorial on Wednesday and a short Hibernate Tip on Friday) and published 13 posts in August. It was sometimes tough to finish the posts in time, and that’s something I want to improve in September. But overall I’m pretty happy with this month. Here is an overview of last month’s posts:
There isn’t a lot to say about the Java Weeklies. I published them on every Monday to share the most interesting post I had read. You can find all of them here.
The main topic for the long-form tutorials was Hibernate 5 and its Java 8 support. But I also had a look at the mapping of natural IDs:
- How to fetch multiple entities by id with Hibernate 5
- How to get query results as a Stream with Hibernate 5.2
- How to use Java 8’s Optional with Hibernate
- Benefits of @Repeatable annotations in Hibernate 5.2
- @NaturalId – A good way to persist natural IDs with Hibernate?
As always, I covered broad range of questions in the Hibernate Tip posts:
- Hibernate Tips: How to downcast entities in JPQL queries
- Hibernate Tips: How to select multiple scalar values in a Criteria Query
- Hibernate Tips: Calculate entity attributes with @Formula
- Hibernate Tips: How to define a query timeout
Traffic numbers and email subscribers
I’m not sure if this section is interesting to anyone who is not operating a blog or website. Please share your opinion in the comments below this post.
This is the first Thoughts on Java Report, and I will just share the current numbers for traffic, email subscribers, and social media followers to establish a baseline. In the following months, I will also share the growth (hopefully) compared to the previous months and if I did anything special to achieve that.
The website traffic reported by Google Analytics for August was OK. After it went a little bit down in July, it’s now almost on the same level as before. A little bit less than 41k users came to Thoughts on Java and viewed about 83k pages.
Another interesting metric is the number of email subscribers. After I removed all inactive subscribers in July, the email list has now grown to 2797 subscribers. Growing this list is one of the goals of the changes to my content production I want to make in September.
What is planned for September
I will just take a short trip to Berlin on next Friday for the JavaLand 2017 program committee meeting. For the rest of the month, I will stay at home and work on Thoughts on Java. One of the main goals will be to publish more content and provide you, even more, value than in the past.
As a regular reader, you know that I’ve posted 3 blog posts per week for the last few months: a Java Weekly on Monday, a long-form tutorial post on Wednesday and a short Hibernate Tip on Friday. That was all I was able to produce while still working in my day job. I will continue to publish these posts, but I want to make sure that I prepare the posts 1-2 weeks in advance instead of writing them on the day before. I also want to do a minor change to the schedule and add more video content.
So this is the plan:
I want to keep the schedule for the Java Weekly and the long-form tutorials as it is. But I will move the Hibernate Tip from Friday to Thursday. I’m doing this for 2 reasons. First of all, I want to check if more people will read the Hibernate Tip on a Thursday and I want to free up the Friday for special events and posts like this one.
I want to record videos on a regular basis and publish them on youtube. It will probably take a few weeks to set everything up and figure out which kind of videos you enjoy the most. So please, don’t expect any videos during the next week. If you’re on the email list, I will share the videos as soon as I’ve produced them and ask you for your feedback.
Another big topic will be the free content library I’m currently working on. The main idea is to put all the downloads, like cheat sheets and printable Hibernate Tips, into one place. They are currently scattered over the site which makes it difficult to find them.
I’m also combining several posts about similar topics into short e-books that you can download for free from the library.
There is still a lot of work to do so that I can’t show you anything at the moment. But I will focus on these tasks during the next 2 weeks and hope that I can show you something on September 16th. So stay tuned …
The third topic I will be working on in September is a new Hibernate training. I already talked about it in the past and now is the time to put in the work and create it.
In this training, I want to show you how to use Hibernate for advanced use cases. I haven’t finished the outline yet, but I want to talk about topics like multi-tenancy, custom data types, inheritance and advanced mapping strategies. During this month, I want to finish the outline and create at least 3 modules of it.
These are the 3 main topics I want to work on in September. There will be, of course, a lot of other smaller things I have to spend my time on but these are my main goals and I will tell you about my progress at the beginning of October.