2015 Retrospective and Planning

It’s almost a year since I started to run this blog (back then, under different domain) and following a good practice, I think it’s time to do a little retrospective. I will try to summarise some aspects that I’m happy about, and some which I think needs more focus in the future. I’ll also do a kind of planning (or maybe just filling a backlog) with ideas for next few months for this blog. I’ll include some interesting statistics about site traffic, page load times, and few bugs (of course) found in the process of site development.

What went well

Popularity growth – the thing that I’m proud most about is strong popularity growth trend. With my first post – Selenium Grid, it has only about 100 page views in publish date, and then average about 10 page views daily. Most of the traffic sources where direct. Some change was Selenium: Design Patterns post, which was the first that became popular in google searches. In publish date it had near 400 page views, and then hold average about 30 page views daily. Then came post about Wiremock, REST-Assured: framework overview and REST-Assured: going deeper. They turned to be the most popular posts on my blog from google searches, and gained some attention on Twitter. Right now, after 8 months of publishing on this blog, average daily page views rate is almost 200, where 90% of this comes from google searches, and numbers are still growing. Traffic localisation sources are mainly divided into Poland, USA and India.

Migration to WordPress – Starting this blog, I didn’t have some specific targets, I just wanted to write few tech post about testing. The blogger engine was just fine for this. I quickly realised though, that it’s simplicity becomes restricted, and I started to search for some switch. Choice was easy, because I knew WordPress for many years of my side projects. Present engine gives me more flexibility, and code formatting issues are finely gone.

Stick to tech posts – The whole idea behind this blog is to popularise test automation and technical aspects of testing. From all of my posts, only What is Agile Testing isn’t directly about test automation, and the trend will continue. I’ll publish occasionally post about testing in general, but core concept of this blog will still around tech subjects.

Needs Improvement

Page optimisation – After switching to WordPress, I neglected aspects of page optimisation. I’ve noticed drawing out on page load times, but I didn’t devote sufficient attention. When I finally did webpagetest, I was shocked (worth to say – shocked in very negative way). The results where bad:

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 13.12.36

I started to do some optimisation. I launched cache, striped imaged of meta data and few more. I managed to improved results:

Screen Shot 2016-01-16 at 13.15.07

I’ve also find issues after changing site domain, where some links where leading to server name. I’ve fixed it already, but some traffic analytics where understated from it. Although the results now are much better, there are still fields to improve and I will continue doing it.

To do

Blog popularisation – Besides google searches, the only major traffic source I have is facebook software testing user group, where I post my articles. I want to make some site promotion, to gain new readers.

Events and conferences – In 2015 I’ve attended mainly to programming conferences. In 2016 I want to put more attention to testing and QA events (but still, see you on Spring I/O in Barcelona 😉 ). I also plan to do some workshops about testing microservices at local events. If you’re interesting to host one, contact me.

Migration to AWS – Like I said in optimisation paragraph, there is still a lot to improve in case of page load. In 2016 I want to test page load times on AWS, and eventually do a migration.