A couple of weeks ago I scrolled through my articles and found out that I published nearly 150 of them. I am really proud of this! I might not be the best writer in the world (it will take some extra time to beat Stephen King, Joanne Rowling and Tom Clancy 😉 but I enjoy the sharing of knowledge, the talks for preparations, and the positive feedback of you all.
As I sit down to write my 150th blog, it’s time to reflect on a voyage that started with a simple desire to share knowledge and connect more with the open source market. In collaboration with my colleagues at 42on and Fairbanks and several clients and relations, these blogs have become a testament to sharing information with the market and learning more myself. I thought it would be nice to share a little about my experience starting with writing blogs and what the challenges were and still are.
How it began
150 blogs later, it’s hard not to notice the transformation. In the beginning, crafting a single article was a big task, often taking nearly two days to complete. I didn’t consider myself a writer, so this to me was a significant challenge. I just took a look at my first post (posted on June 27, 2018), when I explored for me just the random topic of “Why OpenStack is not a hypervisor.”
My journey began earlier that year when I realized that sharing knowledge and community building within the open source realm, is essential for most open source users. Each time, after talking to universities, research centers or any open source foundation, there was almost always an interesting topic or request for a ‘get together’ with comparable organizations or projects. However, the early days were marked by a steep learning curve. Writing was a not my natural way of working. I discovered that inspiration alone wasn’t enough. Instead, it required input from colleagues, clients and relations, each contributing their unique insights.
Yet, just like any skill, the writing of blogs became more natural with time. The second blog took only a single day instead of two, and by the 10th, it felt like a second nature. The message was clear: practice makes perfect (and more efficient). This experience exemplified the principle that the more you engage in an activity, the better you become at it.
Deepening knowledge and insights
Around my 10th blog, a new realization struck me. It wasn’t enough to merely share my own knowledge; I wanted to know more about the expertise of my colleagues and other open source users. How cool would it be to share certain issues or challenges within open source infrastructures or to share some unique way of working with certain open source solutions. This marked the beginning of a shift from personal experiences to a broader perspective. I started to share in-depth information, even on subjects I didn’t fully comprehend. I learned that staying open, asking questions, and nurturing curiosity were the keys to understanding complex technical concepts in the open source world.
Putting this knowledge into words wasn’t just a way to communicate; it was also a test of understanding. If I could explain complex technical matters in a way that me, myself and I but most important others could grasp, for me it was a sign of comprehension which I could also use in conversations I had in the future.
Another critical lesson emerged as I continued this journey. It became apparent that setting a goal was essential for productive writing. It meant writing with intent, not just scribbling thoughts at the end of the day. Whether I committed to one article per week or one per month, it didn’t matter. The key was to dedicate focused time to writing, treating it with the seriousness it deserved. The discipline of setting aside a specific time allowed me to translate intentions into reality.
What my blog journey resulted in
Throughout this journey, I’ve sought plenty of feedback, even if it didn’t always come as expected. What I find most enjoyable in this process is multifaceted.
– Understanding how things work: Each blog expanded my understanding of how the open source world functions.
– Interaction with colleagues, clients, and relations: These blogs opened doors to valuable interactions with my network. Not only before writing an article but also after.
– Better understanding of clients and prospects: My ability to comprehend and engage with clients on a technical level improved significantly.
– Testing my knowledge: Putting thoughts on paper became a way to evaluate my own grasp of complex subjects.
– Serious responses: The first serious responses to my articles validated their readership.
Challenges in my blog journey
As with any journey, there were challenges. Sometimes, gathering input from busy colleagues posed a considerable obstacle. Writing wasn’t a solitary endeavor but a collaborative one. Occasionally, it took more time to create a blog than initially anticipated. On top of this, sometimes I thought about a subject, started writing and after the article was finished, decided not to post it. Mostly because I did not yet fully understand or thought of things on top of the article which I could not fully grasp.
Additionally, the desire for extensive engagement, like receiving 20 or 30 comments on every blog, wasn’t always realistic. Encouraging discussions could be an uphill battle and still are sometimes. But that’s okay, if you look at all the positive points these are just minor negative sides.
Sharing beyond the blogs
So, I enjoy learning about technology, explain it in a (for me) clear way, and share it with open source colleagues. The experience shows me that it’s great to learn, but that it’s even greater to share the knowledge with the world. Open source isn’t just about using software. It’s about contributing to it, enriching it, and giving back.
Looking ahead, I’m excited to share more insights and knowledge, even at a management level. Our interactions with the open source world have shown that we have much to offer both on the technical front, discussing technologies like Kubernetes, Ceph, and OpenStack, and on the management front, exploring how businesses can thrive with open source.
Perhaps you’ve had the chance to read a few of my blog posts. I’d love to know which one resonated with you the most or made a lasting impression. Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments. I’m genuinely eager to hear your opinions.