What's Next29 May 2019
I wanted to provide an update as to what’s next for this blog, and some of the developments I’ve been working on since. I know this blog has been awfully quiet since January of 2018, so here’s a quick update.
In March of 2018, my daughter Audrey was born. Transitioning to parenthood was a challenge in itself! I mean, how could you not love this face?
If there’s anything I learned about becoming a father, it’s that you need to make time as it’s not magically handed to you. Someday your life will change for the best, and you have to put things on the shelf for awhile until you’re ready to commit to them again.
It’s been a little more than 2 years since I provided an update about the Xamarin.Android book. For about a year since February 2017, I dedicated myself to writing a book about Xamarin.Android. I wanted to provide an up-to-date resource for Xamarin developers regarding the Xamarin.Android SDK and Android Tooling that Xamarin provides. I wish somebody would’ve told me what I was getting into when I started.
As with anything, there are some challenges I ran into while writing this book. Although I’ll save the details of the technical challenges of writing a book, I’ll let you read a few blog posts that describe how challenging it is, especially for a technical book.
Let me just say this up-front. I approached writing a technical book for the wrong reasons, not the right ones by the time I decided it wasn’t worth it for me. I thought by writing this book and eventually publishing it, that I would see the fruit of my labors such as:
- Career Development
While, when I first pursued it, I was actually doing it for the following reasons:
- Learning about the technology
- Bridging the gap of complexity for others
- Improving my network by increasing my audience
I’m not going to sugar coat it, this was the primary reason why I failed to stay motivated while writing this book. I was too obsessed with the result of writing this book rather than the actual process. After writing over 250 pages of technical content, I had only hit the tip of the iceberg of what I wanted this book to be. For example, I wrote on topics like user-centric design and how to validate your apps:
Looking back on this, I do not miss having to move pixels of images to be perfect, matching text size accordingly, and ensuring the right language is set for code snippets. The inner development loop for creating books is not great. Most of my time is focused on making things look good, rather than the actual writing itself.
I did not go into this with a publisher, I’ve heard too many horror stories and was recommended to try self-publishing for my first time. Boy was I wrong about that…
The true reality in self-publishing is that you need to wear even more hats. You have to be a:
- Technical Writer
- And much more
Now I don’t have much of a problem with this aspect. In fact it was quite challenging and fun to create my own graphics, write all of my own content, market the book, and so on.
What eventually got to me is being committed to too many things. I had to turn off more than 2 burners which made me feel isolated from my family, struggling with my physical/mental health, and not being there for my friends.
I want to give back to the community more than I have recently. And thus, I have two main journeys I’ve embarked on.
Giving away the Xamarin.Android Book for free.
Yes you heard it right. For everyone who signed up for the Xamarin.Android Book email list, and those who are reading this blog, I will be creating small blog segments on all the aspects of content I wrote for this book and releasing them on this blog. I will also be including new blog posts on mobile development content that I think you could benefit from.
Throughout this process, I found my true passion is helping others become better developers, managers, and performers in general. I’ve started blogging on better habits, deep work, improved health, and software development. You can find my blog here:
I’ve also started streaming on twitch, helping people get into the software industry by holding AMAs and exploring topics I think are neat.
More blogs on mobile development
Although this blog is primarily Android focused, I want to start talking about other aspects that I think are beneficial for mobile developers as a whole. That involves product-market fit, customer development, user experience, application development, continuous delivery, and much more. I hope you’re just as excited as I am, especially to be repurposing a blog.
In the end, I learned many valuable lessons. I hope that my story inspires you today to put your wellbeing first, and ensure your priorities are aligned with your motivation. Think about why you do what you do, and make sure you enjoy the journey as well as the destination.
Thank you all for reading & support throughout the years.