An astonishing increase in the unique website visitors in 2021
Last year, the traffic towards my website increased dramatically. This is partially due to the two major website updates that were released in February and October, respectively. They brought user experience improvements all-around. Furthermore, the content of the website was carefully reviewed and, as a result, expanded or reworked, where needed.
Core Website Content Updates
The newly added “University” page gives an overview of my university experience. It encapsulates the subpages which cover the modules studied every year, including the recent “Third Year” page which covers the modules I took during my final year at university. The University page contains most of what appears on my Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR) and allows for visitors to get an insight into my achievements and only go in-depth if desired.
Various sections across the website were updated – including “About Me” on the Home page, “Music” and “Travelling” on the Hobbies page, as well as the content of the CV.
The blog was the biggest addition to my website in 2019. While I have not been posting as often as I would want to, last year I wrote three articles that sparked the readers’ interest. On July 18, I briefly talked about how I graduated as one of England’s best students. My experience was further described on the aforementioned University page which was released later on as part of the October 2021 update of the website.
On November 13, I wrote an article about my thoughts on what went wrong with Apple’s software during the past year. It started various discussions on different platforms and became my most-viewed article with over a thousand and two hundred views within two weeks. Two weeks later, I published an article about Taylor’s version of her album “Red”. It became my second most popular one for the past year with over seven hundred views within a few days.
January 2022 Update
Needless to say, I am happy with the upward trends and the increased engagement throughout 2021. I have always been dedicated to delivering constant improvements to my website — both when it comes to the technical and the front-facing aspects. Better engagement also translates to improved motivation to work on the project.
I do not want to disclose information about upcoming releases of my website. This is understandable, as things are quite dynamic. Furthermore, I am currently in a position where there is some uncertainty in my life and I cannot know at what point of time how much time I will be able to spend. And even then, spending all my free time on this project is unreasonable as you only get benefits out of it until a certain point. Nevertheless, I made this blog with the idea of sharing and letting people get to know me better. This is why sometimes I feel like I want to speak out about the motivation behind my decisions. I believe that one’s website is their best way to present themselves to the world. Having said that, especially as being a developer, I need to have my website always up-to-date, optimised for performance and always use the latest trends.
I take the project very seriously — the same way I do with all other projects I work on. Each update is planned and worked on months in advance. I am not into releasing random updates at random times while introducing bugs and ruining the user experience. Unfortunately, this is a widely seen behaviour in our community.
After releasing the October 2021 update last year, I started thinking and working on my next major website redesign. The plans are for it to be based on Rails 7 which comes with many changes that would require a big part of my website to be re-written. As Rails 7 brings so many under-the-hood changes, some of the tools I use have to be updated with Rails 7 support. While some tacky solutions are available, I prefer to wait a little bit more, so that I can take the best next steps and provide a robust implementation. Furthermore, the current progress on the next redesign shows a regression in performance. It is natural that the initial release will not be as stable and optimised as the current one, which has been developed over the past two years, however, I am also not in a hurry and would prefer to polish the initial release of the redesign as well as I can. The release will adopt forward-looking technologies that will allow for future developments. As a result, brand-new experiences will be made available in the following years. The new version of the website is expected to be available later this year.
While the October 2021 update was the last planned major update of the current website, I also want to deliver changes at a predictable, scheduled interval. This is why, today, I am announcing the January 2022 update. It introduces changes that were meant to be announced with the first Beta version of the upcoming website redesign. This ensures that visitors get the most important changes as soon as possible while giving me more time to work on the redesign.
The January 2022 update brings the following major changes:
The "Latest Music" section on the Home page has been redesigned. Now it contains both the Bulgarian and the pop playlist that I release annually, as well as my latest single. Before, the Bulgarian playlist was omitted from the section, although, for me, it is as important as the another one. Furthermore, having three projects showcased follows the same layout as the section with the latest articles below, giving a better overall structural design of the home page.
The latest article is now redesigned and is larger both on mobile and desktop.
When reading an article, the article's category is now clickable and redirects to the archive with all articles under the selected category.
A bug that would prevent multiple articles with the same display date to be displayed properly has been resolved.
The other improvements are related to the admin panel. There are also various under-the-hood changes and security hotfixes. Throughout the year, maintenance and content updates will be made available. However, major new features should not be expected before the release of the next version of the website.
Couchbase Introduces New Developer Experience for Capella
Couchbase released the all-new Capella. It is the project I have been working on for the past few months. Capella is Couchbase’s database-as-a-service (DBaaS) offering and is expected to become the company's flagship product.
August 29, 2022
Going back to University for an in-person graduation
On July 28, a year after I graduated from the University of Sheffield as a software engineer, I went back to celebrate my achievement in-person. I met many of the students I used to go to university with and also collected my Mappin Medal award.
August 29, 2022
Taylor Swift announces "Midnights"
At the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards, Taylor Swift announced her tenth studio album — Midnights — is to be released on October 21. At the ceremony, she was awarded three awards, including "Video of the Year" for "All Too Well" (Taylor's Version).
August 20, 2022
The road to Couchbase
In July 2022, I moved to Manchester, UK, to join Couchbase as a Software Engineer. I was thrilled to end up in the front-end team which would allow me to gain professional experience in a field I have shown continuous interest since a child.