Hi, it’s Robin. I am a german software engineer from Berlin but working remotely most of the time. First of all, thank you for reading my blog. It’s such a pleasure to have you here! Just to make sure: I am the guy on the right-hand side of the picture :)
Values and Mission
I try my best to have a positive impact on the world. 99% of my code is open source for everyone on GitHub. Every time I build a product/service for myself, I immediately think about how to open source it for others. Even though I open source my work and offer lots of learning material for free, not everyone is able to make use of it. Many people have no access to it because they didn’t had the chance to learn the English language in the first place. That’s why I try here and there to volunteer or to donate money to good causes. I have the strong believe that the major issue of diversity in our industry is due to inaccessible education for people outside of the western world. Apart from the language barrier, most educational content is too expensive. Whereas a programming course for $99 might be affordable in the US, it’s out of reach for any eager programmer in South East Asia. I know that many programmers producing educational courses need to make a living, I am sitting in one boat with them, but there are options to make educational content affordable for others around the world too. After all, I hope that I can give something back by believing in these values and my mission to make education more accessible to everyone.
Even though I do a lot of programming in my professional and spare time, there are other things I treasure too. I am an avid reader, but I’m always struggling to memorize my learnings. I guess, that’s why I started to write down my notes of books I enjoyed to read. But it’s difficult to keep up with all the books. Nowadays I often encourage people to read more, because it’s such a fulfilling and meaningful activity. Some of my favorite pieces:
- Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi and Deep Work by Cal Newport (notes)
- Give and Take by Adam Grant (notes)
- The One Thing by Gary Keller
- The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser (notes)
In another life, I wanted to do music. But I avoided the stage at nightclubs when I got the first requests in my inbox. I preferred the anonymous internet over any stage. That’s why I never revealed my identity back in the days and maybe that’s why I never tried public speaking for conferences. Eventually, I decided to code and started to enjoy it too. Still, music is one reason why I am staying partly in Berlin. Nowhere else, I believe, will you find such a great selection of electronic music.
The most important part in my life is my girlfriend Liesa. Without her I wouldn’t be able to sustain my every day doings. My life would be too chaotic. Every other week she is not at home, my working schedule shifts dramatically. She keeps my life in balance and is helpful in every part of it. You could argue that because of her I manage to stay sane. Alongside, she encourages me for workouts, eating healthy food and is always helpful when it comes to marketing for my professional stuff. Feel free to reach out to her for various topics around content marketing. She already works with a couple of great companies.
You like my content? Here are a couple of ways to support it.
I invest a lot of my free time into this website. Several hours a working week and most of my weekend time. That way, I hope that I can help others to learn the things that I have learned by myself. But I cannot deny that it costs a lot of time and energy to keep the website up and running. As a return of investment, I get revenue from selling my courses on Road to React and a little affiliate marketing, but that’s nothing compared to the time and energy I put into it. Sometimes I wonder how much easier it would be to quit, but then my readers encourage me to keep going. I think it applies to everything in life: people have a big impact on this when they cheer you up.
If you appreciate what I am doing, there are several ways to support me. It keeps the educational content of mine up and running. Furthermore, it may help me to dedicate more time to teaching students. I already made the leap to being self-employed, but most of my time still goes into working with companies on their problems. If you like the content on my website and other projects I create, you can consider one of the following ways to support me with my adventure.
Be my Patron
First, I run a Patreon account where you can back me up. Your monthly pledge would help me to sustain my work in educating people. Most of the time, I do it for free by writing educational articles, open sourcing libraries or educational projects. Patreon is the perfect fit for people like me.
Second, you can encourage me by following me on my social media channels: Twitter, Facebook. There you will get only quality updates about my content. You can follow me as well on GitHub for trending, useful, or educational projects. In addition, you can subscribe to my Newsletter where many people already receive quality updates from me.
Leave a Review
Third, since I am writing educational books, my content began to end up on platforms such as Goodreads and Amazon. If you liked it, it would mean a lot to me if you would invest a couple of minutes to leave a rating or review. You can find my books on Goodreads and Amazon. It’s one of my pillars to sustain my adventure to give out lots of content for free.
Fourth, I am grateful for every share on social media of my articles. When you read something on my website and find it valuable, please don’t hesitate to share it. I am always eager to keep the quality of my articles on a high level and I always try my best to keep the content up to date. But it’s not only for me: There might be a follower of yours who finds it interesting too.
Fifth, it encourages me when people learn React through my articles, eBooks or courses. It keeps me motivated to improve the material all the time. Even though the eBook is pay what you want, you can support me by paying for it. It helps me to take more time to update, improve and extend the material. A lot of people learned with my articles, books and courses and I encourage you to give it a shot as well. If you liked it, spread the word to your friends who want to learn it as well.
Sixth, you can have a direct impact yourself. Every of my articles has a link to the GitHub repository where I manage all of my content. You can open Issues or Pull Requests to improve the articles. It is not easy to keep everything up to date being all by myself. Additionally, it is not easy as a non native speaker.
In addition, you can write a guest blog post. Do you have an own website? Do you write quality content? Do you want to get more readers to your website? My website generates lots of traffic. You can help a lot of people in your topic of choice by teaching them. A guest blog post that links to your website is a great contribution. It has to relate to my content though.
Last but not least, you can donate to support me. It is not time consuming, it is simple, and it is a one time donation. After all, it helps me to take time off to improve articles, to keep them up to date and to write more teaching material.
Things I Use
The following is a selection of my tools that I use for my professional work. The links to the resources can be affiliate links or referral links. The former give me some provision, the latter provides you and me with a discount to a service or product. So most of the time it’s a win-win situation and these affiliate links are one way to support me being self-employed. However, most importantly I hope that these resources help you to build your business.
When I revamped my website, I decided to use Digital Ocean to host it. I don’t regret it and can highly recommend it. It powers all my websites, APIs and applications by using only 3 Droplets (each $5 month). I believe one droplet would be sufficient, but I like to separate them by domain. These are the benefits I see in using Digital Ocean:
- easily scaleable cloud computing
- full control on the command line
- powerful monitoring
- hosting of multiple projects and websites
- lots of tutorials to get started
- fair pricing
In order to use my own domain for my E-Mails, but also to keep my E-Mails private, secure and ad-free, I use Fastmail.
Editor and Terminal
Every developer needs an IDE or editor/terminal combination. I like to have multiple tools, by having each tool for a specific purpose, but combining them to one great developer experience. That’s why I am using Sublime Text and iTerm. If you want to know how to set it up, you can find more about it over here: a developer’s setup.
Since I am often working remotely, I have a couple of technical gadgets I heavily rely on:
- MacBook Pro 2015 with 13-inch, 2,7 GHz Intel Core i5, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB Storage and QWERTY-Layout
- Laptop Stand (the best thing to work in co-working spaces when not having an external display)
- Trackpad and Keyboard (when using the laptop stand …)
- Headphones (having done lots of music stuff in my past, I cannot turn away from these quality headphones)
- Display (trying to buy and sell it whenever I am staying somewhere for a longer period of time)
- Microphone (makes sense for me when doing lots of recordings or calls with cients of mine)
Liesa, my girlfriend and marketing expert, is always a helpful person when I have questions around the topic. I am a developer and had no clue about all these things. She helps out with SEO, keyword research and content distribution. As a freelancer she helps individuals and companiesblog? Do you want to publish your own ebook? Or do you want to reach people on social social media? If you are looking for a person to help you in marketing and content, don’t hesitate to contact her.
Not long ago I switched from MailChimp to Revue for my Newsletter. Revue is perfect for my needs to setup a Newsletter for my website. It has everything I need even though I relied heavily on MailChimp before. Revue has the following great features:
- permalinks to newsletters
- powerful integrations for fetching content automatically
- simple and intuitiv UI/UX
- great pricing model for a larger audience
- statistics and analytics
Leanpub has helped me to self-publish my first ebook. They follow a great philosophy: You don’t need to release a finished book, because you can get feedback from your readers along the way. Try it and be a self publisher.
Next to Leanpub, I used educative.io to release a course. The platform is pretty new on the market. The creators of educative are helpful, supportive and very kind. I enjoyed the collaboration with them. The platform itself offers all the tools you need to setup your course.
Now you know a bit more about me :) You know how you could support me and how to work with me. Maybe some of the resources are useful for you as well. I hope to see you again on my website!
Did the article help you? Share it with your friends on social media , support me on Patreon, become a React developer with my books