Blog success story

The beginnings

I wrote first post in this blog 22 months* ago. My intentions weren’t clear. I wanted to document my ideas (I had a lot of them), have a place to store code snippets and maybe promote myself.

First posts I wrote in Polish and didn’t really know if I will be able to write in English. When look at my first posts, I start to understand that they were just testing the territory. I didn’t know what to write about, how far I can go writing, who will be reading it, if the crawlers will catch it and how many private things I can publish.

For example, in one of my stupidest posts I wrote that "the term of the week is inwalidacja".

The job

There are two most important factors when you’re making a decision of choosing an employer:
  • who is the smartest in the room (you shouldn’t choose the job if you are the one)
  • how far is to the kettle (the closer, the better)
I applied to few companies, including Opera and Google. What I can say, is that I liked very much the recruiters at Opera and I have a bad opinion on Google ones. On the other hand Google technical stuff is very good and I have mixed feelings about Opera’s staff. I used an old trick and asked a technical question through the technical director of Opera, but got no answer from staff. The trick stopped working or the communication inside their company really sucks. I also don’t have good feelings about applying to Google. It’s like a hazard. If you will loose once, please, try again. The recruiters don’t know anything apart from the marketing bullshit. Applying for a job there is really a random. You don’t know where you be working, what exactly you will do, with whom you will be working, how much you can get for your work, and how far are you going to be from the kettle (are you feeling lucky enough to apply there?). I’m rather immune to marketing talks and I have really no idea how it’s inside Google (ie: where the kettles are). One more thing, I heard that people inside the Microsoft were relocating, but never heard a story about relocating inside Google (except from the management).

All of my Google pens are broken, Opera pen is still in perfect condition.

I should also write a word about a Flumotion, very nice company from Barcelona. They are a very open-source friendly company and they have extremely interesting technology. They are becoming a bit too corporative in my opinion. On the other hand I really love their clear and stable business model.

The results

I learned a lot of things while writing this blog. First, I improved my writing skills, though I still have a lot to learn. Blogging gave me huge motivation to finish projects, to sort my ideas, to document my interests.

Some posts were written especially to gain attention. Other posts were talking about my broken software and gained popularity without the intention.

The blog really helped me to document my things. For example I’m still interested in a crazy idea of implementing mutexes based on strace.

I spend really a lot of time writing posts here, but it was not a wasted time. I always thought about it as an investment, without really knowing in what I’m investing.

I’m especially proud about the keywords that are pushing people towards my blog. I never wanted to specialize in a specific sector of IT, but I never thought I would get so wide audience. Here are the some popular keywords that linked towards my blog: popcnt (of course), python libevent, google app engine ssl (hey, Google, people do need ssl for GAE!), bidirectional search, msg_oob, gcc extensions, python process name, _mm_stream_si32, django comet, libevent example, linkedin graph, pcap example, nmap nse, python pthread, 8gb ram 64 bit, epoll, inwalidacja and (my favorite) concurrent programming.

Lshift office
The job #2

Recently I got a good job at Lshift. It’s hard to say how important the blog was in getting this job, but for sure it had an impact.

I’m still rather young, so it’s hard for me to make a valuable comparison how good Lshift is, but from what I’ve seen it seems really promising. In the end, Lshift is also an assembler operation, just like Popcnt. And I have a desk not so far from the kettle.

Cisco NSLU2, Slugs, used for testing the RabbitMQ at LShift
The future

I don’t know if I’m still going to have a lot of things to write about. Probably some of my blogging will go to Lshift’s blog. But it’s too soon to say how much.

The conclusion

If you ever thought about writing a blog, just do it. Register some stupid name at blogspot and think of better domain later. Start with anything, thoughts, ideas, stuff you’re working at (you’ll have an unique opportunity to piss up your boss).

I have no idea if I really gained a success, time will tell. I got a job and relocated, that’s it, nothing special. But this is what I wanted to achieve.

Code snippet, 22 months:
>>> datetime.datetime.now()-dateutil.relativedelta.relativedelta(months=22)
datetime.datetime(2007, 1, 2)

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