Hello 2018

CodeFX Weekly #51 — 5th of January 2018

Hi everyone,

how was your new year’s eve? Had fun? I hope you did! And did you make any resolutions? How are you holding up? There should be a “new year’s resolutions calendar” that one can use to track their progress — should be a bargain because it only has to have six weeks in it.

I didn’t do a good job reaching last year’s goals, but that won’t stop me from defining new ones for 2018 and that’s what this weekly is all about. Last week’s warnings on self-centeredness fully apply.

I send this newsletter out every Friday. Yes, as an actual email. Subscribe!


Why?

Let’s start with why — why do I want to do anything beyond “regular work”?

I’m currently paying my bills by freelancing. While there’s nothing wrong with that I would like to reduce my reliance on the immediate exchange of time for money.

There are different reasons for that, mostly that I want to be less dependent on always having work available. Also, I really enjoy writing and contributing to open source, both hobbies that are time intensive and (usually) don’t pay well. And then I have some ideas of my own that I’d like to try out.

For all of that it would be nice to generate income that does not require me to keep putting in time. The book’s a step into that direction: You invest time upfront and then the money trickles in over time once you’re done. The problem is the trickling part — I’m not gonna get much money out of that book, not even close to what I would have earned as a regular developer.

But I have an idea that might do the trick — more on that in a minute. A prerequisite is a good public standing, though, so for that reason and because it’s fun, I’d like to continue generating good content for the community, mostly in written form, but now also as videos.


What?

So far every year had a motto:

  • 2014 — Getting Started: first contributions to open source, set up the blog, start writing
  • 2015 — Stabilization: sustain a constant pace of blogging and FOSS coding
  • 2016 — Expansion: go beyond blogging and try new things
  • 2017 — Focus: finish what you started

For 2018 I pick Laying the Foundation. In the coming years I want to turn CodeFX and my continued exploration of new Java features into a business so that the time I invest is not only fun but also pays some bills. This year I hope to lay the foundation with the continued publication of interesting content and by starting to work on that idea I mentioned earlier.

In that light, here’s what I want to achieve in 2018.

Content:

  • publish The Java Module System
  • write at least 15 blog posts for CodeFX
  • collect Java 9–11 content in a self-published book (stretch goal)
  • make at least 10 YouTube videos
  • the idea I mentioned earlier

Talks & Trainings:

  • continue speaking at conferences
  • hold a few Java 9 / JPMS trainings

Code:

  • get back on top of JUnit 5
  • contribute to JUnit 5 (stretch goal)
  • get JUnit Pioneer off the ground
  • find a way to apply JPMS knowledge to an existing or new open source project (stretch goal)
  • the idea I mentioned earlier

Skills:

  • use Kotlin in a real project
  • stay on top off Java 10 and 11
  • learn more about performance on the JVM (stretch goal)

I guess it’s time to tell you about the idea I mentioned earlier. Plain and simple: online courses. Not just videos like you get on Pluralsight, though. I have a ton of ideas how to make these more interactive and more challenging, making sure you actually learn something and don’t just Netflix and chill (not the dirty way).

To be able to freely experiment as well as to stay coding, the plan is to develop the site myself. Not the video streaming — I plan to use YouTube, Vimeo, or some other service for that — but everything else around that.

If you’re curious, you can head over to courses.codefx.org and subscribe. I’ll let you know when I’m ready for some alpha testers. Or don’t subscribe if you’re unsure — you’ll hear about it here once I have something to show.


When?

This is an important one: From all the things I described above, one takes absolute precedence. You guessed it, it’s the book. My plan was to be done writing end of December, now I’m gunning for early February. Until then, the only other thing will be conferences, but none of the rest.

I will then spend the rest of February and March to clean up:

  • Manning will still need a little input
  • I have about a million notes that I want to go through and sort
  • I could put in a few extra hours at Disy to have a small financial cushion
  • If there’s any time left, I could relax for once

Then comes April, during which I will spend three weeks in Vietnam. So looking forward to that! It’s the first longer holiday since end of 2013 and while I can’t actually leave my laptop at home, I will disconnect from everything but Manning (they’re still working on the book, then).

So everything only really starts in May. My plan for the courses is to have an alpha by late summer and find out until the end of the year, whether this thing can carry its weight.


How?

So what about my tendency to procrastinate? Any new tricks to make sure I don’t just play Stellaris for the next six weeks?

No, not really. I stopped making a plan in the morning even though it worked really well for the six weeks I did it. I guess I’m gonna go back to that. Other than that I’m somewhat disillusioned — in the end my laziness always won.

Not this time, though! No, not this time. (Gotta end on a positive note.)


Hello 2018

So these are my professional plans for 2018. I’ll let you know how I’m doing. Whether you make resolutions, plans, or just take it easy, I hope you reach your goals and have a very happy and fulfilling year!

so long … Nicolai


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