AndyIbanez.com Turns 1 Year Old (?) Today
I just wanted to let you all know that this website is having a birthday today! 🎉
I started working on my new website earlier on August last year. I want to take the time to reflect about the previous year, and to thank everyone I have had the pleasure of meeting and interacting with since this all started.
My Website Is Actually Older
I actually started to blog about iOS when I was a college freshman all the way back in 2011. You can find an archive of the old Wordpress-based website here. I have rewritten some articles to publish them here, and I may continue to do it depending on what I find necessary.
I have always used blogging as a way to learn and teach what I learn. In the early days I used to blog a lot about Jailbreak development. I did cover other topics, but I was a lot into Jailbreak back then up until around 2014, when I stopped jailbreaking.
The main problem with my website during most of the decade was that I had absolutely no consistency whatsoever. There were times when I blogged very often, but most of the time there was a lot of downtime. There were literal years in which I did not publish anything.
How This Website Came to Be
In late 2018 and early 2019, I started getting more involved in the community, but mostly passively and without publishing my own content. Mostly reading other people’s blogs and listening to Podcasts. A big driving force into driving to publish my own content was the Stacktrace Podcast. At some point after starting listening to this Podcast, I just had a drive to be more involved with the community, and the natural step was to continue doing what I was doing earlier in the decade. So, after listening about Static Web Site Generation from John Sundell back when he was working on Publish for the first time, I decided to relaunch my website from scratch, this time using a Static Site Generator (I’m currently using Hugo), and discarding all old content. The content I decided to keep was rewritten because I hated my old writing style.
Originally, I was going to wait until John finished Publish so I could use it. I really wanted to generate my site with Swift, but my drive to start blogging was too strong to wait. I had to start with whatever I could, and settled for Hugo.
The promise I made to myself was I would write one article per week. I have managed to do it so far, and I’m very proud of this achievement. Sometimes I find myself struggling to find topics to write about, but there is so much content that sometimes it’s just a matter of choosing something. For me, keeping my promise of blogging weekly is very important.
Achievements, Events, and Anything Else.
While I blog to learn and to teach, it is always nice when you know your content is being shared across with other developers. When I started this website a year ago, I did not imagine the reach it could possibly get. It’s not much reach, but it has definitely surpassed my expectations.
I was surprised when I saw some of my blog posts making it to Dave Verwer’s iOS Dev Weekly, because it has always been one of my favorite iOS development resources. AppCoda also grabbed some of my articles, as did TheSwiftDev.
On Twitter, my articles have been shared by all kinds of people. Tim Condon from the Ray Wenderlich team, Peter Steinberger from PSPDFKit (we will get more into what Peter did for me shortly), and more.
I want to thank everyone who has taken the time to share, comment, and point out fixes and inaccuracies in my articles. Especially when people point our problems in my articles, it makes me feel especially happy - no, not in a sarcastic manner! -, because I know my articles are actually being read, and people are dedicating a few minutes of their day to just my content. More over they are taking the time to point out typos, broken images, and whatnot. I want to thank you all for the time you have dedicated to my content. It is a very important driving force to continue publishing.
I want to dedicate a paragraph to thank someone very important to me as well. Alexis Marechal was not only my teacher in college, he is also a great friend, and when I relaunched my website he told me to not stop publishing. If there is anyone who can manage to get the very best out of people, it’s Alexis. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me, Alexis! And I promise I will work on that final thesis defense soon.
The Community Helped Me When I Needed it the Most.
When my Apple Developer Account was about to be terminated in June. I was having an incredibly hard time with it because iOS development is something very important to me. Not being able to publish my apps was going to hurt a lot. Add in the fact this happened one week before WWDC2020 and I was feeling sad. There’s no other way to describe what I was feeling other than pure sadness.
I suffered in silence for about 5 days, until I decided to write the article linked to above to vent my feelings. Somehow, the story made it to HackerNews, and things spiraled from there.
A bunch of iOS developers started tweeting the HackerNews post, and eventually my article directly. The support from the community got bigger and bigger. A bunch of developers I have a lot of respect for - Peter Steinberg, Dave Verwer, Gui Rhambo, and more, way more -, started sharing my story. And I cannot even begin to find the words, once again, to thank the support I have received from everyone in the community. That day I felt fortunate, because I had googled for days and everyone I saw dealing with the same problem never heard back from Apple and just got terminated. What I experienced with the community’s support is nothing short of a privilege. I felt the warmth of the community and it made me think that I’m lucky to be part of it.
While it’s nothing compared to the numbers other iOS devs are seeing in their blogs, my website currently has around ~35000 monthly visits from all over the world, according to Cloudflare. These numbers wouldn’t be possible without everyone’s support. The best part is the numbers go up rather than down, so thank you all so much!
My goal is to focus on creating more content like this. Focus on this website will not die, but I’d like to be able to make a living publishing content. This year, I’d like to start gathering sponsors. Hopefully eventually, I will be able to start doing videos as well. But for this, I need to make enough money that would cover my current salary.
This should be an exciting year for me as a developer. I am looking forward to continue working for the community, hopefully increasing my involvement beyond weekly articles.