What’s Next: Epilogue of a Book Launch
Yesterday, I launched a book. I went back through my email and my history with Leanpub to find out exactly when I started writing the book. It turns out, I created Developer Hegemony on Leanpub on May 2nd, 2015. So with completely unplanned symmetry, I launched the book exactly 2 years after starting.
The launch went as well as I could have hoped. Many thanks to all of you that tweeted, shared, purchased, reviewed, and just generally offered kind words and support. We ended day 1 with Developer Hegemony ranked in the top 50 in 3 different categories.
Not too shabby for something written on Leanpub and self-published!
But, as launch day becomes launch week and (hopefully) sales continue at a brisk pace, I’ve started to think about what comes next.
For my part, I’ve spent the last few years doing a combination of training developers, assessing codebases, and doing IT management consulting. As you might imagine, this combination of activities led to a lot of time at client sites, and a lot of time on the road.
So these years have seen me traveling and working with clients by day. And then, by night, I wrote blog posts and a book in hotel rooms. I got a lot done.
But this gets to be a grind after a while. I can work all day and then also work in the evenings. In fact, I’ve done that for years. But, add to that 10+ hours per week of travel, constant packing and unpacking, cramming all bills and chores into tight windows of time, and tons of other little considerations, and you wind up needing a break.
Last Friday, I wrapped an extended travel engagement and came home. This morning, I launched a book 2 years in the works. Starting tomorrow, I have no book in the works and no plans to do traveling, open-ended, hourly consulting.
Instead, I’m going to start making some changes, and doing new, different things. I’m going to have different sets of priorities and new activities that focus on building businesses instead of just doing hourly labor. As I’ve heard others say, I’m looking to get away from simply trading hours for dollars.
What Happens with DaedTech?
First up, I’m going to institute some meaningful, but hopefully non-invasive changes to the blog and the site. In bullet format, I have the following in mind.
- I’m going to start having posts every weekday instead of 3 times per week. I’m now writing for so many other organizations that I’m piling up drafts faster than posting.
- In a nod to the contents and theme of Developer Hegemony, I’m going to start a subtle shift in the thematic nature of DaedTech. I want to have an overarching theme of empowering software developers to run the software development industry. I don’t have tangibles for how this will translate just yet, but I’m contemplating on an ongoing basis.
- In the near term future, I may update the theme of the blog.
- I’m also considering adding other contributors.
From Blogger to Content Shop
Since I still need to earn a living, I’ll speak a bit to what that looks like. First, as many of you know, I write for a lot of tech companies (with more coming soon). Doing this has taught me not only a lot about writing, but a lot about content and marketing in tech.
So, as those of you who caught me on Developer on Fire have heard, I’m partnering with my wife (a content editor and designer) to make this more of a polished operation. This suits my enjoyment of entrepreneurship, explaining things, and doing location independent work. It also lets me partner with a lot of cool companies in a low touch, “rent-a-developer-evangelist” sort of way.
I like telling stories, so helping tech companies with good value propositions tell theirs seems like a natural fit.
Oh, and if any of you have interest in this kind of work yourselves, let me know. I’m probably going to need more writers than just me sooner than later.
From Ad Hoc Assessments to Productized Service Assessments
As the second prong of my business building approached, I’ve partnered with someone to operationalize codebase assessments.
Historically, the assessments I do involve an interesting and probably unique combination of activities. When I talk about an assessment, I don’t mean a random anecdotal walk through the code, offering miscellaneous critiques. Rather, I use customized static analysis to turn the code into data. I then run stock and customized queries on it for clients. I then take that data, use it as the basis for a whitepaper, and present it to managers and executives so that they make better strategic decisions.
Going forward, I want to put more effort into this on a number of fronts. I’ve actually started loading up some of the analysis I do into a Github project and will continue to add to that. But we generally want to turn this offering into more of a productized service wherein we help bridge the ubiquitous understanding deficit between development teams and organizational leadership.
For developers reading this, bear in mind that I can probably help build an empirical case for something you want management to adopt (fighting tech debt, adding a unit test suite, etc). Feel free to reach out if you think I can help.
Developer Hegemony and DaedTech
Last but certainly not least, the longer term fate of this site. As I mentioned earlier, I want to devote a portion of my time to helping the cause laid out in the book. I want to see software developers start to own the software development profession.
What I see happening on DaedTech is the construction of a community and starting to put together a playbook. I’m hoping that eventually I can offer this last as a business. But I’m still contemplating what comes next there. As an example of something under consideration, I’m thinking of writing a book about the transition from software developer to consultant.
If you have ideas for what you’d like to see me do, please let me know. By no means am I outsourcing decisions about what I should do hear, but I’d love to hear what you think and what you’d like to see and learn.
It’s been a fun ride with everything I’ve done over the last few years, book and consulting. But I’m really excited about what comes next. As always, thanks for reading and for your support, and I look forward to continuing to improve the site and the community.