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My Activity Report For 2018

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The 2018 year is winding down so it is time to reflect on some of the things that have happened in terms of The Polyglot Developer and all of its channels.

Let this be a statistics report for everything that has happened on the blog, YouTube channel, and podcast. If you’re interested in adventuring into the world of technical content production, this will give you some perspective into what to expect.

I want to start by saying that this is the fourth year that The Polyglot Developer has existed, which in reality isn’t long at all. While growth has mellowed, the community is stronger than the previous years.

Written Content on the Blog

The blog is the core of The Polyglot Developer. It is where it all started and continues to be the primary source of content for the developer community. Take a look at the following Google Analytics graph for the 2018 year:

Blog Analytics for The Polyglot Developer in 2018

As you can see, there have been ~2,000,000 page views for the year, roughly matching the metrics from the year prior. This means that there is growth continuing to happen on the blog as a result of more content and a developer community that is more engaged.

In terms of the content being produced on the blog, there have been 83 tutorials published this year. Due to my WordPress to Hugo migration last year I didn’t track how many tutorials were published in 2017, but looking at 2016, I can tell that this year has been significantly less. This isn’t a bad thing because traffic remained consistent. It didn’t necessarily grow because a lot of the old content might not be relevant or searchable on Google or similar any more.

Alongside the page views, we can determine how many people were engaged with the content through the comments:

Disqus Analytics for The Polyglot Developer in 2018

For the blog, I’m currently using Disqus as my comment management system. Over the course of the year, the blog has received 1,185 comments from the community. This is down a little bit from last year, but not by much. You’ll have to remember that I’ve published a lot fewer tutorials and on very different topics than the years prior. Just like many developers, my interests change over the years and the blog tutorials reflect this.

To host the blog, given the analytics mentioned, I am using a virtual private server (VPS) on DigitalOcean with the following specifications:

  • 4GB RAM Memory
  • 2 CPU Cores
  • 4TB Bandwidth Transfer

The specifications have changed from the previous year because of DigitalOcean generously increasing everyone’s plan, I am still paying $20.00 per month plus 20% for backups. The increase in specifications were certainly welcomed, but the blog can operate on a lot less given that it is a static website. When time permits, the plan will be to re-evaluate the hosting strategy and hopefully downgrade to a much cheaper plan without backups.

I’ve been using DigitalOcean almost from the beginning and I highly recommend the service and pricing that you get.

Video Tutorials on YouTube

In addition to written content, there were also tutorials uploaded to YouTube in video format. In case you’re new to the content strategy on The Polyglot Developer, generally videos are modeled around a written tutorial, recorded, then published. This gives you some extra perspective around the tutorial and helps if you get stuck due to missing pieces that might show up in the written format.

YouTube Analytics for The Polyglot Developer in 2018

As you can see in the above chart, the channel is getting a lot of activity, even if the numbers for the year are down. In fairness, I haven’t regularly been publishing videos and the last video I published was a few months ago. If you’ve never recorded a screencast, take my word on it that it is a lot of work. There is planning, recording, and editing involved, all of which takes a lot longer than writing a tutorial for a blog.

However, as of now the channel has 9,284 subscribers and 178 videos published to it. If you look at the videos from last year, you can see that I’ve only published 13 new videos this year.

Come 2019, I think the YouTube channel will be revisited to have more regular content publishing.

Courses, eBooks, and Paid Content

From previous years you’ll remember that I have quite a few courses published on Udemy. Prior to this year I had published the following video courses:

Each of the courses continue to get new student registrations. In 2019, I hope to release newer versions of these courses using the latest of each of the technologies listed in them.

However, this year I decided to adventure into new territory when it comes to paid content. This year I decided to write my first eBook which was on the topic of developing RESTful and GraphQL APIs, a subject that I had been focusing on for the past few years. This eBook titled, Web Services for the JavaScript Developer, was published to Gumroad with an optional video course to compliment the book material.

The Polyglot Developer Podcast

While I didn’t report on it last year, the podcast is still alive and kicking. If you’re unfamiliar, the podcast is where I interview thought leaders in the industry on a variety of topics that developers would find useful. These podcasts are audio only and particularly useful on daily commutes.

In 2018, the podcast had 7 episodes published bringing the show to a total of 22 episodes.

I don’t have any fancy charts, but the podcast is currently being hosted on Amazon Web Services (AWS) S3 and has cost $35.93 this year. The cost is calculated by several factors including the amount of GB being used for the episodes as well as the transfer traffic, in other words, downloads of the show. From previous calculations of file size and transfer traffic, I was able to determine that the podcast was receiving around 500 downloads per month. AWS doesn’t give me great reporting for my podcast, but for the price, it beats transferring it to a service that will give me better reporting at a higher cost.

Conferences and Events

Operating The Polyglot Developer is a part time job for me with my full time job being a Developer Evangelist at HERE Technologies and previously Couchbase. Participating at events comes with both of these jobs, whether it be hosting a Meetup, presenting at an event, or staffing a booth or hackathon to provide help and answer questions.

Here are some of the conferences that I participated in for the 2018 calendar year:

  • Index Conference San Francisco
  • Spark Summit
  • TechCrunch Disrupt San Francisco
  • API World San Jose
  • Silicon Valley Code Camp
  • Droidcon San Francisco
  • TechCrunch Disrupt Berlin

When it comes to Meetups, I’ve been much more involved. Rather than listing every Meetup I’ve participated in, it easier to just say that I’ve participated in 23 Meetups for the 2018 year. That is a lot of Meetups, some of them for repeat groups around the United States. I even started my own Meetup group titled The Tracy Developer Meetup in home town of Tracy, CA.

If you run a Meetup group or help organize a conference and you’d like me to come out to your group or event, let me know on Twitter. I’m always looking for events and groups that would benefit from what I have to share with the developer community.

Conclusion

Even though growth has mellowed, I think it has been a great year for The Polyglot Developer. The community has been engaged and producing content of their own in an effort to help other developers. For some perspective, you can view the 2017 activity report in a previous article that I had written last year.

I appreciate everyone in the community that has come to meet me at an event when I’m in their local area or they’ve been in my local area. I love hearing feedback from the people I meet or how the blog has benefited them as a developer.

Just like I do every year, I want to give everyone an opportunity to give back. It takes a lot of time and energy to produce content and respond to questions in the comments. While I’ll never make it mandatory, if you found value in the content at some point in time, consider donating via PayPal or by purchasing something from my Amazon Wishlist. I’m never going to force anyone to donate, but it would be a nice gesture of your appreciation and it would help keep the channels alive.

There are affiliate links on this article for DigitalOcean and other brands. If you plan to purchase anything listed in this article, please use my links so I get some credit.

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy

Nic Raboy is an advocate of modern web and mobile development technologies. He has experience in Java, JavaScript, Golang and a variety of frameworks such as Angular, NativeScript, and Apache Cordova. Nic writes about his development experiences related to making web and mobile development easier to understand.

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