0 to 7K Subs in 4 months: Wrapping Up 2023
Feels surreal to go from no online presence to building a healthy audience.
I am humbled by the support of my subscribers. I couldn't imagine getting even 1K when I started. Today, I want to take a moment to reflect on my journey and share some of the highlights that have made this experience so rewarding.
Why I started writing?
I am passionate about mentoring other engineers. I find joy in helping people identify the right behavioral changes that can help them level up. I have been doing this for a long time now at work.
So when I started my paternity leave (September - November), I planned to do some pro bono mentoring outside. I created a profile online, but I got no reach outs
I realized I needed to have an online presence and some credibility before someone would pick me as their “mentor”. So I started writing about topics that I had helped people with the most.
What I learned?
Finding your audience and making your content relatable to them is hard. When I started, I had no credibility, my writing was complex, and it wasn't adding value to my readers.
What worked for me was that I started sharing my struggles, learning, and wins. That resonated with many. You saw me as a person who faced relatable challenges and got through them.
That built credibility.
Getting 7K subscribers in less than 4 months still feels dreamy. Thank you!
24 published articles (including 3 guest posts)
~50k views (excluding the guest posts)
~25 mentoring sessions
Mastering Leadership Series
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Other Top Articles
Top Mentoring topics
I loved these sessions. Discussing real situations and brainstorming solutions not only expanded my worldview but also felt like a good way to give back.
Feeling stuck at the senior level (and want to get to Staff).
Going beyond senior is a lot about behaviors. You start thinking about what your team can do vs just yourself.
I observed a common pattern where folks were hesitant in asking for a promotion, didn't have clarity on expectations, didn't know how to ask for help, or felt under-confident.
Sometimes they just needed to hear the same feedback from a third person (e.g., me in this case).
If the distributed systems field has any future given the rise in GenAI.
Some folks were worried if they should switch out of distributed systems now or stick around. Personally, I am sticking around as there will be other infrastructure challenges to support large language models and conversations.
I think everyone should understand the basics of GenAI.
If you are an app developer, then learn how your product/domain can benefit from it.
If you are an infrastructure engineer, then understand how to reduce the cost of running these.
College students who wanted to improve their chances of getting a job / internship.
Given the market conditions, things are slow. So even good engineers feel that their resumes are falling short.
Others had the common dilemma of what real work entails. That reminded me of myself while I was in college.
What’s for 2024?
I am pretty excited to write about more niche topics to build up your leadership skills.
You can expects topics like - demystifying vague feedback, protecting your work life balance, why we hesitate in giving feedback, how to grow others to senior / staff level, and many others.
Some of you have also reached out to me for ongoing mentorship. So, I will come up with a model that can work.
Lastly, if you have a topic that you’d like to request, then simply reply back to this email with your suggestions.
Special thanks to the other creators that guided me and contributed to my success!
Happy holidays and wishing you a happy new year!
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