How to start blogging – a real life example

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Hello everybody and welcome to the world of webMethods, which I hope we can explore together.

As a disclaimer, I have to let you know that this post is not related to webMethods. I will tackle webMethods topics starting with the next post (which will be a comparison between Standard and Indexed Task Searches).

This post is about the journey that has led me to this point where I have started my blog. It was a long way, but don’t despair as I will not bore you with every little detail.

 

The Start

So how did all start…Well, I was born in small…ups, went too far back, right?

Let’s try again: So I was in high school and….damn…still too far back.

Ok then. Let’s try again.

How did I start blogging? If I had a penny for every time somebody asked me that I would probably have by now… 0 pennies as nobody asked me this question yet.

Nevertheless, I am going to share this story with you because I think that my story is not so different from yours.

After working almost 2 years at my first company I said it is time for a change. At that point, the change was called webMethods and I became a BPMS developer for the IT department of a major insurance company.

The name is not disclosed to protect the innocent :). You can check my LinkedIn profile for that sort of information.

To not bore you with useless details let’s fast forward 2 years into my current job.

By that point, I have picked up a little bit of webMethods know-how which I used also to mentor junior developers in the BPMS team. However I knew that more can be done, but I did nothing at that point.

 

The 3 strikes

You might be asking why I didn’t do anything to pursue this blog project. Well, there might be multiple reasons:

  • I didn’t think what I wanted to say was interesting,
  • I feared what others might think,
  • (but the most important of them all is that) I, like many others, tend to be a procrastinator.

For a long period of time, I did nothing to make the blog happen besides thinking about it, over-planning and making other stuff Prio 1 (which by the way I think can be the definition of procrastination).

This was strike 1 for me in the battle with, well, myself.

My first fears mentioned above disappeared after I got some good feedback regarding a piece of information that I shared.

It was a hot summer day and I used up all my morning to investigate an Integration Server topic.
When I finally sorted it out, I wanted to let the others know of my findings so that they would not lose precious time themselves.

So I prepared writing a mail to my fellow teammates. And I wanted to make my mail stand out.
Why? Well, to avoid it being ignored. If you work in a corporation, you probably get every day, all day, tons of emails that you end up ignoring.

So I gave it a catchy subject and a small, concise body with some inserts of funniness (I do hope this is a valid word). The outcome?

My colleagues liked it. One of them actually said: You should have a blog or something similar.

That was the point when the blog idea reignited within me. Can you guess what I did? Anyone?

For those of you that said: nothing… yes, you are correct. You can find main reason above. This was strike 2.

Now let’s fast forward for the last time to a few month ago. At that point, a friend of mine borrowed me the book Soft Skills: The software developer’s life manual by John Sonmez. (by the way, he is the mind behind Simple Programmer).

This book can be considered a game changer. Without being a software development book in the general acceptance of the words (i.e you do not learn new programming languages, patterns or stuff like these), it can be of a tremendous help to the reader.

It is packed with information that aims to improve different aspects of the software developer’s life.

What struck me the most was a statement from John, saying that starting a blog was one of the most beneficial things he did for his career. (I cannot remember the exact words but this was the main idea).

The next thing that I did was to sign up for his FREE email blogging course, which by the way I recommend you to do as well. One can find the registration here.

In the following two and half weeks, I received 6 lessons regarding the steps needed to setup and get my blog running. Each lesson contains also a homework, in order for John to make sure that you are actually following up.

You might say at this point: “Well, there are tons of places on the Internet where they teach you how to start a blog. Why choose exactly John Sonmez’s blogging course?”

My answer to this would be: Yes, you are right. I, myself, found a couple of good places on the Internet where people take you through the basics of starting a blog. I am not saying that these resources are bad, but I am stating that John’s course is very good because:

  • It is targeted towards creating a technical blog, which is what we, developers, want.
  • After the course is finished you get also regularly blogging tips that help you in your blogging.
  • If you didn’t start your blog you get reminders. John knows how easy is to fall to procrastination and be caught in the thick of thin things.
  • You get support from John via e-mail if some aspects are unclear, you cannot decide on what to write about or on how to name of the blog.

And my story finally approaches the end.

If we would fast forward again we would arrive at the present time when I am writing this first blog post.

I am doing this before strike 3 because everybody knows that after strike 3….yourrrre OUT.

We are interrupting this blog post to offer a little bit of trivia. 🙂

baseball_webMethods

Since I already made the baseball metaphor, did you know that Romanians also have a sport very similar to baseball? It is called: Oina, it is our national sport and it’s played on a very, very small scale as most Romanians prefer soccer.

 

The Conclusion

If you do decide to start a blog and John succeeded in convincing you that this step is worth taking, you can find below some pieces of advice (based on my own experience):

  • Stop procrastinating! It never helps. If you want something just go and get it.
  • A Chinese quote goes like this: “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Take that first step.
  • Take that one step that compels you do take the others. Buy hosting and a domain name. After making this investment (albeit not a pricey one) you will feel like throwing money away if you do not follow through.
  • Be careful so that when you silence the procrastination voice inside, you let the other voice (common-sense) run free. Nobody wants to read a post filled with useless, offensive or plain wrong information.
  • Don’t wait for inspiration. Don’t say: “I will start writing this post as soon as inspiration comes to me”. It won’t come. You will never get that perfect moment in time when all the words will come pouring out of your brain directly on the piece of paper. Just sit down, put some time aside for writing a post, and work on it. Commit to doing something and then do it! This will help you to be consistent during those dark, bad, rainy days when you feel you want to do nothing.

If I would be a superhero I think my super power would be not knowing when to stop.

Hoping that I did not bore you, I will end my story here.

If you have any questions or feedback do comment on this post. Also if what you want to share is more on the secret, James Bond side, you can use the Contact Page form.

And if you are interested in Software AG’s webMethods framework, please subscribe to this blog.

I will try to submit a blog post (tutorials, how to’s and much more) every other week.

 

Happy exploring!
Vlad Turian – Tury

2 Comments

  • Hi Tury, these are exactly the same reasons I haven’t started a blog (yet). But I am on a very good way of starting it, it will be however completely different.
    Good luck with this one and with building up a strong WM community!

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