My Fifth Blogiversary

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

I made a commitment to writing

Five years ago, I committed to writing at least one blog per month. With the exception of March, 2022, I stuck to my commitment. This commitment has been a challenge, but not a burden. I built up enough blogging endurance because of this commitment, that many months I exceeded the commitment. According to Medium, I have published 130 blogs, excluding this one. That is more than double the number of blogs that my commitment alone would have resulted in.

My Favorite Technical Blog Series

I wrote a three part technical blog series in August 2021. It took such a toll on me that I had to take a month off from technical writing and used the time to write eleven haiku in order to detox. This blog series is kind of like everything I ever knew about the Eclipse Collections open source Java library, but hadn’t had a chance to write it all down until now. Enjoy!

My Favorite Personal Blog

I blogged at the beginning of the pandemic about my wife’s battles against AML, and how it helped shape my appreciation and understanding of what my family and others might experience with COVID. I wrote the blog after my sister-in-law passed away. My mother-in-law would pass away only two weeks later. Neither was from COVID, but COVID would directly change how our family experienced loss and grief during this time. Before writing this blog, I stayed away from writing too much about personal stories. After writing this blog, I discovered the writing about my personal stories is kind of cathartic for me. This blog is the one that changed my blogging style. I am thankful I found the courage to put this one out there, and I appreciate all of the positive support I have received from friends and strangers alike. Stay safe out there.

My Favorite Poem

I don’t write poetry much at all anymore, but I wrote a lot in high school. I’ve shared many of the poems that I wrote that made it into my high school literary magazine when I was a teenager. This one is my favorite. I read it now and again when I want to be reminded of my many memories of time spent with family and friends at the beach. It also reminds me to take life slow and appreciate the small things. Enjoy!

My Favorite Haiku

In September 2021, I spent an entire month writing haiku. Haiku as a writing form is not something I had ever tried before. In August 2021, I would write my favorite technical blog series (shared above). Writing this series was mentally exhausting. I was looking to take a break from technical writing, without taking a break from writing altogether. I turned to haiku as a writing form, and wrote eleven haiku that month. “These go to eleven” is my favorite scene from the classic movie “This is Spinal Tap”. This haiku would turn out to be my favorite of the bunch. It also happened to be the most popular based on number of reads.

My top read blogs by year

I will share my top blogs per year, based on the number of reads in the sections below. If you missed these blogs when I wrote them, I hope you will enjoy them now. My blogs spanned six calendar years since I started in August, 2017. I hope you enjoy reading these blogs from the past, and maybe see how my blogging style and focus has evolved over time.

2017

My first calendar year of blogging was only four months. My very first blog wound up being my most read that year. The blog tells its own story pretty well, and I hope you enjoy reading it! I recently changed the main picture in the blog. I’ve adapted my use of pictures in the past couple of years to use great photos Medium makes available from Unsplash.

2018

This short and sweet blog I have re-shared every once in a while on social media, which has likely led to it getting more reads over the years. The blog is a quick read as it is primarily a short list of then things that make Eclipse Collections interesting. Most of my blogs over the years have been about Eclipse Collections. I created the library in 2004, and have just recently decided to take a break from working on it after 18 years. Enjoy!

2019

This blog I wrote and submitted to the 97 Things Medium account and it was accepted in the book “97 Things Every Java Programmer Should Know”. I have written quite a few new katas in the the past five years following the process I outline in this blog. It was a wonderful honor to have my blog included in this book along with so many other amazing authors and topics. Enjoy!

2020

This is my most read blog of all time. If you haven’t read it already, then I would recommend it. I still believe Java could use a better collections framework in the standard library for millions of Java developers to be able to leverage without requiring the use of a third-party dependency like Eclipse Collections. I also believe that my belief in this is not enough to magically make it happen, and I am ok with that. Maybe this blog will inspire some future work in this space. Enjoy!

2021

Converter methods are useful. As a former Smalltalk developer, I was used to having quite a few converter methods on collections classes in Smalltalk. I always wanted these methods in Java Collections, and felt the same with Java Streams. Eclipse Collections has quite a few converter methods which I explain in the blog. Enjoy!

2022

This was both my most read blog in 2022, and my favorite personal programming blog. It is the story of my 40 years as a developer. I am now investing more time on my physical, mental and emotional health so I can hopefully enjoy another 40 years of the Joy of Programming. Enjoy!

My Least Popular Blog

This blog has had only 9 reads, and that is perfectly ok with me. This blog is a haiku, literally about nothing. Unlike Seinfeld, which was a show about nothing, this blog will not make me famous or a multi-millionaire. Enjoy the simple things in life, especially the simple nothings that we pass by every day. There is almost nothing to this blog so it will cost you more probably to click and wait for the link than it will to read it. Enjoy it, or not, either way it’s ok!

My Favorite Readers

This is you of course, the reader who has granted me several minutes of their precious time to read this or any one of my other blogs. I appreciate you and the time you have shared. I hope you have found something useful in this and maybe my other blogs. Writing is a gift that I freely share. Reading is a gift that you share. Unless I pinged you a direct link to my blog, you found your way here through some other path. I hope your travels here have resulted in some enjoyment and positive value. If you enjoyed this, I hope you come back to read more in the future.

Photo by Courtney Hedger on Unsplash

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Donald Raab

Donald Raab

Java Champion. Creator of the Eclipse Collections OSS Java library (http://www.eclipse.org/collections/). Inspired by Smalltalk. Opinions are my own.