The killing of a Rockstar (and my other plans for 2015)

7 minute read

If you’re reading this blog post, and you have have been following my blog before you may notice that the name of the blog and the URL has changed from the previous name of “Be a Big Rockstar”. I don’t want to get into too much of a long-winded explanation about this but just a short bit of background on the decision is in order.

Contrary to what one may think the Rockstar part of “Be a big Rockstar” initially had nothing to do with being a rockstar programmer. Back when I bought the domain I did not intend to use it for a programming blog. Back in 2009 I had big plans for going and travelling the world and living a life of adventure. I wanted to start a blog to document this and the underlying theme was about living out your dreams, and seeing as the dreams of many young boys of my generation (I am a 70s child being a teen in the 80s) was to become a rockstar, I chose the domain beabigrockstar.com.

Life went on and I eventually did leave everything behind to start travelling the world in early 2013. After quitting my job in late 2012 and taking a few months off from programming I was soon drawn back into it and started enjoying it again and I decided to start a programming blog. I never used the beabigrockstar.com domain for anything else so I decided to use it for the programming blog, and I would be dishonest if I said that at that point it was not a bit of a play on the whole “Rockstar programmer” theme.

That being said I certainly do not consider myself as such - the name of the blog was done tongue-in-cheek. I have also been growing tired of late of seeing too many people getting into software development and doing “startups” for one reason only, and that is to attain some sort of “fame”. Back when I started doing programming in the 80s we were proper nerds and definitely not the cool kids. We wrote code because of the awesome feeling involved in creating and learning new things and solving problems. We wrote code for the sake of writing code, and not because we hoped to get rich or become a famous “startup founder”.

These days it seems that many people get into programming and “startups” because that is where all the cool kids are, and they desperately want to be part of the cool crowd and become semi-famous in the process. Their primary aim is to be programming or startup rockstars. If that’s your thing then good for you. You just keep right on rocking dude. But that is not what I am about and it is not what my blog is about. The name “Be a big Rockstar” therefore sets the wrong tone and sends the wrong message and I am getting rid of it.

From here on in the blog is available at http://www.jerriepelser.com and my Twitter handle has also been changed from @beabigrockstar to @jerriepelser.

The one downside is that I will lose a lot of “Google Juice” which my previous domain has built up over the past 2 years, but this is something I feel strongly about so I am willing to take that knock. I will also have 301 redirects in place from all the old blog posts to the new domain, so everyone will still be able to get to the posts even if they click on links which references the old domain.

My plans for the year ahead

OK, enough rating. Now on to some more exciting stuff.

I mentioned that I started to travel the world in early 2013, but in May 2013 I reached Chiang Mai in Thailand and I sort of got stuck here. It suits me to be stuck here right now though I hope to take up travelling again this year, but still using Chiang Mai as my base and doing short trips into the rest of Asia. I also met a fellow programmer called Jirapong at a co-working space in Chiang Mai called Punspace. He has started his own company with his fiancée and some friends called Banana Coding and asked me to join the company to help out with interacting with some of their overseas clients.

Banana Coding has grown rapidly over the past year and they are doing really good work. If you have a project which you need outsourced, I urge you to get in contact (see website) and discuss what we can do for you.

The work does not keep me busy full time and in my spare time I am still working on my own things. The overarching theme this year will be on developer education. I will still be doing some blog posts here, but my main focus will be on the following 3 projects:

1. ASP.NET Weekly

I allowed people to sign up on my blog for a weekly newsletter with productivity tips which never realised - I only sent out one newsletter ever :( This year I am changing the focus of the newsletter to be targeted at the ASP.NET Developer. The newsletter will consist of a weekly curated list of all the best articles I could find which would interest ASP.NET Developers and well as some cool open source projects they may find interesting. Even thought the title is “ASP.NET Weekly” it will include the full gamut of technologies which are of interest to the new era of ASP.NET developers, so along with the ASP.NET articles you can expect to find some nice stuff on JavaScript frameworks, CSS, cool Bower packages, etc.

Go sign up now at http://www.aspnetweekly.com/ and also follow the ASP.NET Weekly Twitter account.

2. ASP.NET Casts

My other main focus is to develop a website with regular screencasts on ASP.NET, but again covering a lot of the related tools and technologies as well. This one scares me a lot because I think I sound like an idiot, but it is something which I have wanted to do for a long time and hopefully this will be the year it comes to fruition. In 2012 and 2013 I have challenged myself a lot, but 2014 has not been a good year for me in this regard, so this is part of me doing things again which scare the hell out of me.

Keep and eye out for this at http://www.aspnetcasts.com. If you want to be updated when it launches I urge you to sign up for the ASP.NET Weekly newsletter as I will announce it there.

3. OAuth for ASP.NET

Over the past year I have been responsible for an open source library with OAuth providers for ASP.NET along with some awesome contributors. This, along with the OAuth Guides which I wrote seems to have been valuable to a lot of people. This year I will be consolidating all that work in a new website called OAuth for ASP.NET which will be your one-stop guide for how to configure and use the various OAuth providers with ASP.NET. Right now the website is still very much a work in progress but I hope to have something more substantial on there soon…

Some personal goals

As far as personal goals are concerned I am planning to do much more travelling this year. Being based in Southeast Asia it is quite easy and cheap to get anywhere else in Asia-Pacific. Thailand itself is also blessed with some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and I really need to take advantage of that - especially since it is so easy to catch a quick NokAir or Air Asia flight from Chiang Mai down to Krabi, Phuket or any of the islands.

The other personal goal is to work harder at my Thai. Thai is a tonal language with 5 tones, and the Thai alphabet is unlike anything I have ever come across, so I find it a difficult and frustrating language to learn, but I am not putting in the required effort and it shows. I need to schedule time every single day to work on my Thai this year in order to become more proficient.

That is it for now. I hope that all of you have a wonderfully blessed year ahead.

P.S. Oh yeah, and I need to lose weight - but isn’t that everyone’s new years goal… ;)

P.P.S. … and I need to go for Thai massages more often - they rock and I am in Thailand after all…

P.P.P.S. … and if you ever find yourself in Chiang Mai please give me a shout and we can grab a nice cold Chang beer.

Did you notice an error? Please help me and the other readers by heading over to the GitHub repo for this blog and submit a Pull Request with the corrections.