Welcome to my site, this will be a fresh start into blogging, a new attempt, hopefully, the start of a good habit in my humble opinion.
This is blog post no. 1. I will blog mainly about software development and tech in general. I focus on C#, .NET Core, Azure and Angular. I am diving in the broad realm of Dockers and Kubernetes, in the future, I will write a post or two about this.
If my memory is not failing me, I started at least 4 times to start blogging. Let’s see if this latest attempt will prevail.
My semester in Beijing
My first attempt was in 2008, it was a more personal blog, I wrote 3-4 blog posts in English and Simplified Chinese, chronicling my quest to learn Mandarin in Beijing and what else I did there. I studied for 1 semester (half a year) and went back to Holland (Shame on me, Holland does not exist anymore, we have to call it The Netherlands from now on, see https://www.forbes.com/sites/davidnikel/2019/10/05/its-netherlands-not-holland-dutch-government-decides/#620c56e7a174).
My first fulltime job
Back in 2009, I started working in the real estate sector. Learning a lot about C# & .NET. Somewhere in between 2012 and 2016, I tried again and failed. I tried to write about my life as a software developer. I am figuring what direction my blogs should be and who will be my readers if there will be any readers. If I focus on software development and I mix in posts about my interests in finance or “becoming a better learner” my imaginary readers will be turned off. Which direction shall I go? So after 1-2 posts about software development, it ended faster than it started.
My start as a freelancer
In the summer of 2018, I decided to become a freelancer, after being employed as a software developer for 14 years. To register as a freelancer, I needed a company name. I came up with the name “With a plan”.
Why you probably will ask, did I choose this as my company name? When you combine the first letter of my name “A(ndy)” and my last name “Man” with the company name in an email: aman at withaplan.nl, this will hopefully stick longer around:-D As a freelancer, I am planning to help individuals and companies to automate (business) processes. First, I have to understand what the challenge it, come up with a plan and if needed I will write some code to implement it. So it is a lot broader than “amancodes.nl”.
Why becoming a freelancer?
It is great to be paid for work you do which you like, but I do not want to work till I am 70 years old, for now, in the worst case the retirement age can increase. As a freelancer, I plan on saving a lot more to be able to retire way earlier. Since I am saving more, I can plan more mini-retirements / sabbaticals.
Another benefit is, I see it as a bridge to become a real entrepreneur, I can work with more companies, meet more interesting people, and maybe a lightbulb idea will pop-up sooner or later.
Last but not least, the largest benefit, is that I can focus on what technologies I want to work on. In my latest job, the cloud was not an option (yet). Almost everyone is moving to the cloud, if I stayed there, I am not able to apply what I learned on my own. At the moment writing, I have have worked on two projects with Azure. Sooner or later, I want to start with Docker and Kubernetes, I can look for projects where it is a nice-to-have.
A site for my business profile
I needed a site to put some company info on, so I abused my blog. I archived the blog posts and updated the About-page and redirected https://withaplan.nl to it. After a while, it bugged me that redirecting is not really professional and I subscribed for a new hosting package to do it right this time. I set up the WordPress site and copied my About-page.
A blog is a place where I can share ideas and cool stuff I encounter. In trying to translate my ideas in a blog post or series, it will help me order my thoughts and practice in explaining stuff concisely. To really understand a subject, you have to be able to explain it and keep a persons attention. The blogs will also serve as a place I can go back to re-read what I learned for a certain topic. Code snippets and projects can hopefully, be a reference when I or you can use for your software development.
Todo: Write blog posts…
Now is the time to write blog posts… Days went by, weeks went by, in December 2019 I collected some ideas, I started writing a tutorial within a README.md file in a .NET project. Great, now I have to move it to a blog post, that should be easy… Procrastination starts and figuring how to include code within a blog post took more time than expected. I ended up using Github Gists. I am not happy with it, it works, but the problem is you cannot really group them. This could be a seed for a new blog post, What are Gists, How do you use Gists and What are the alternatives?
So now I have created my first post as part of my professional side. On http://ndman.nl I will write about my other interests in “becoming a better learner”. Maybe in the future, I will start another blog about my (painful) lessons in the realm of finance. It starts to become schizophrenic;-)
Thanks for visiting, reading and making it this far. A new year brings new energy. Let’s see how long I will keep up with blogging this time.