In November 2011, I decided to try blogging and created the Passion for Coding blog. Three years and 186 published posts later, my blog has grown into a resource for programmers from all over the world. I would like to thank you all for reading, commenting and sharing my posts. Without readers, blogging would be extremely boring.
When I first started the blog three years ago I had to be careful to filter out my own page views from the web server analytics, to not get confusing numbers. In fact, I could see from the web server statistics on what days I had written new posts, solely on the extra hits using the admin interface produced on the web server. That is no longer the case. I’ve so far had visits from 210 countries/territories, which is basically the entire world except a few countries in central Africa and the one exception in Asia: North Korea.
During this year I’ve gradually narrowed the focus on the blog to become more technical and less about the soft sides of software development. I’ve reduced the number of articles on methodology and focused on programming instead. At first I was a bit worried that I might loose quite a few of my readers. I probably did, but I’ve gained even more so I think it was the right decision. It is also in line with a general career decision I made, to focus more on the technical expertise and less on the soft sides. I want to focus more on coding and architecture and that means that I have to focus less on project management.
I took the redesign of Passion for Coding as an opportunity to learn Twitter Bootstrap and also to learn som PHP by writing a WordPress theme.
Bootstrap is Awesome
Working with Bootstrap is totally awesome. For the first time when doing web page layout I didn’t have divs jumping around all over the place with a minor change in one place wreaking havoc to the entire layout.
I had no intentions to create any graphically exciting design. Actually I was quite happy with the clean simple layout I had before – until I opened it on a tablet or even worse on smartphone. So what I wanted was a simple, clean layout that set focus on the content and works fine for reading on all kinds of devices.
Welcome to the redesigned Passion for Coding!
While the design probably looks familiar, there are some changes. The old theme was a child theme to the WordPress standard twenty eleven theme. This new theme however is a brand new theme I’ve written specifically for Passion for Coding. It uses Bootstrap 3 and is fully responsive. I do quite a bit of my own reading of blogs when riding the train to the office, having only a small phone screen to read on so I know how important it can be to provide a good mobile experience and now I (finally) do that myself.
I’ve also decided to go back to Google Adsense for advertising trying their responsive ads. I know that ads are never popular, but if I create the content and pay for the hosting, then I think it’s fair that there are some ads.
I decided to write the theme myself starting with nothing, in order to learn Bootstrap, PHP and WordPress. It has sometimes been challenging, but it’s always very valuable to dig into a new language or platform to learn and I’ve definitely learnt a lot. I will share some details in a separate post later.
For now, I hope that the new design offers a better reading experience. If you experience any problems with the site, please leave a comment or drop me a mail/tweet to let me know.
It’s now two years since I started the Passion for Coding blog. I’d like to share a few thoughts about blogging and also say a big THANK YOU to everyone reading and commenting and sharing my posts. It is strange to know that my writing now reaches to almost every country in the world – to far more places than I have ever been or will ever be able to visit myself.
I would also like to thank DZone for accepting me as one of their Most Valuable Bloggers – without you I would never had got the same number of visits.
Code or Methodology Posts or Both?
Since the start of the blog I’ve published 140 posts about a variety of topics involving software development. There have been a number of posts with code samples (all code is now available in a GitHub repo). There have both been a number of instructional posts about how something specific works, but also a number of utility classes that are ready to use. I do put pride in having test run all the code I publish on the site. I do know that it works (at least until I forget to HTML escape something containing generics and all
> go missing, spoiling the code).
I’ve also written a number of posts on software development methodology, with a clear focus on scrum. Personally I do like to mix the different kinds of writing. I hope that you enjoy reading the mix too – but I’m very interested on what you think about the mix. Would you prefer more code? Or more scrum thoughts?
All the code samples on this blog have been tested and run before publishing. The sample code is now available on GitHub.
Most of the time when I write code for the blog I do that in a number of test projects that I do have. So far I’ve kept them in an svn repo, but the time has come to move on so I’ve now pushed all the test code to a public GitHub Repo. I do try to keep the code samples in the posts complete, but sometimes it is simply not possible to add all the supporting code needed to the post itself. Now everything is available to use in the repo.
The code that is intended for reuse is mostly located in the
CodingAbelNu.Utilities library. I started it out with the intention that it should be a nice-to-have utility library that could get released separately. I don’t think that I’m there yet, but feel free to use it as it is.