I’m a 3 years tech blogger and 18 months software engineer now. Time and again, I’ve been questioned by bloggers in my network about why I quit blogging to take up a tech job. I’ve had a good blogger-student life during my college days when I could earn almost thrice more than what my first job paid me. While I could have continued being a tech blogger and earning that much, I realized that Blogging isn’t my cup of tea for various reasons. Though money-making is an important part of my career, job satisfaction is something that matters more than that to me.
Perks of being a Tech Blogger
3 years of blogging helped me gain fame on the internet and I had been attending various device launch events, reviewing various devices and being approached by top Tech companies to get their product reviewed on my blog. I’ve hired writers to write for me while I could concentrate on marketing the content on the site. Also, I had been helping out non-techie bloggers get started with their first self-hosted WordPress blog. By 3 years, I was competing with one of the top Android blogs of India and charging my clients quite more than what professional bloggers did (I wasn’t a professional blogger, but a student).
- Writing and email communication skills
- Internet Marketing
- Running ad campaigns on Google and Facebook
- Social Media Marketing
Moving to Bangalore
Completing my engineering was a challenge as I lost interest in electronics. By the time I completed my engineering, all of my college friends were on a job hunt while I was happy blogging. It was then that I moved to Bangalore and had enough time to concentrate upon things other than Blogging. I started digging into WordPress themes and plugins trying to learn how they function. Since they were written in PHP, the best place for me to start learning was Codecademy where I learnt the basics of PHP. While there wasn’t much to learn about HTML and CSS at that point of time, I was able to create websites using PHP, HTML and CSS.
PHP seemed more interesting than blogging to me.
I started writing programs to solve real world problems. While I kept learning, I used to read a lot. Quora has always been my favorite site to spend time reading. One fine day while scanning through Quora, I read about how HasGeek job board can help me get a job if I knew how to code. More than the opportunity to get a job, the job postings seemed more fascinating to me. HasGeek had job postings titled
Nerds and Geeks who can turn beer and pizza into working software
The Startup Work Culture
The job perks had been amazing – startups in Bangalore work hard and party harder. Most of them offered a play station and other games to play to make you energetic while you are tired of coding. This ignited the software engineer within me.
Though I had no idea about how to build web apps, I was contacted by a couple of startups to join them because they liked that fact that I was a tech blogger and knew how WordPress functions. One among those startups was Freshersworld.com. I knew about this site as most of my friends had signed up on Freshersworld.com in their job hunt process.
My First Job
I joined as an intern and I still kept blogging during weekends. Freshersworld gave me an amazing exposure on how to build web apps using Yii Framework. I had no idea about how PHP and MySQL interact. I didn’t know what an INSERT and UPDATE query meant in SQL. Freshersworld was generous enough to see that I could build something great because I was able to pick up these technologies pretty quickly.
Within a month, I knew how to build forms using Yii Framework, BootStrap and jQuery. My managers were happy to see that I could build forms faster than other interns who were Computer Science grads.
Building My First Web-App
I was asked to build a bulk email sending web app. One of my seniors explained the architecture of the app to me. It was supposed to run on Yii Framework and MySQL – which was pretty fine with me. What was not fine was the following technologies I had to use with the app:
- Amazon Web Services – SQS, SES and S3
- Redis for caching millions of email addresses
- Gearman job server to queue up the email sending process
- I had to build the app single-handedly
Considering that I didn’t know what these technologies were, it was challenging. I was asked to go through all kinds of documentation about these technologies as no other employee in the company had used them.
Two months later, I was able to build a stable email sending web app which reduced the company’s email sending costs by 75%. I received an appreciation email from the CEO and rookie of the year award for that year.
- Problem solving
- Data structures and algorithms
- Solving problems I wasn’t familiar with
- Object Oriented programming
- Building the best user experience apps
- Many more to write down
Job Satisfaction – Finally
This is what I call as job satisfaction. While blogging could help me gain fame and money, this job helped me understand how stuff works. It doesn’t seem so easy as it looks when you use the software. There are months and years of hard work put behind making a software work. I was very particular about providing a great user experience. I never encouraged the non-technical team to come down and contact us for an issue they faced with the software – instead I set up a bug tracking system that would send me an email whenever a user encountered an error.
At this point of time, I was clear about how to take things forward in my life. I decided to quit blogging for money, though I would love to blog as a hobby of mine. I’d set up a blog that can help people like me who have taken up software engineering as a passion learn how to build better software.
Talk about money-making – I believe pursuing what you love to do and trying to excel in the same would help you make more money than anything else could. It may even be painting beautiful pictures.