10 years ago today, I registered this domain name.
Ten years is a big milestone, so I thought I’d take a trip down memory lane.
I registered this domain on 4th February 2005 when I was living in San Jose, California.
I still can’t believe I was lucky enough to get it – even way back then it was hard to get the ultimate in web real estate – a dot com of your first and last name.
After registering the site, I decided to use it as a personal blog. I posted about our time in the States, my job, and all sorts of weird stuff about my personal life, like fixing my mum’s toilet and tending to sick goldfish. My main readers were my friends and my boyfriend’s mum (now my mother-in-law!). My tagline was Photos, News and General Observations.
I used one of the first versions of WordPress as my blogging platform – and I’m still using it today.
Here’s this site in 2005:
Although I wouldn’t write specifically about programming for several more years, one of my earliest pages was titled Programming For Humans. If you’re so inclined, I’ve re-posted the original that you can read here.
I used various WordPress themes over the first couple of years, and continued to blog about all kinds of stuff that was happening in my life.
Then, in 2008, I took everything down, deciding that it was too personal to share. Someone in the office I was working in must have googled me, because suddenly my colleagues knew all about my blog. I was trying to make my way as an embedded engineer under a very old-fashioned manager, and I decided it probably wasn’t good for my career.
So for a while FayeWilliams.com did nothing.
After a while, I’m not sure exactly when – sometime in 2010? – I posted a single page that simply told the world I was a software engineer. My old-fashioned manager had left, and I was feeling more confident about my own technical ability. I wanted to share on the web because I’ve always loved it as a platform, but wasn’t sure how to proceed. I didn’t want a boring portfolio/CV site, but I wasn’t sure what else to do with it.
In February 2011, exactly four years ago, I posted my first technical post: the first part of a GDB tutorial, which I’d originally written for a magazine. They decided, after asking me to write it, that they didn’t want to use it – without even reading it first, which I was pretty hacked off about at the time. Since I’d spent the time writing it, I decided to share it on my site.
I added links to the top of the home page, and for a while, the site looked like this:
I’d really enjoyed writing up the tutorial, and suddenly had the bright idea of writing more. I thought there were bound to be other people out there that could make use of the things that I’d learnt.
I started creating posts on the site – little snippets of technical stuff that were mainly for personal reference, to remind myself of things I had looked up or been confused about.
When people started to visit my site via search terms on google, I realised that there were a lot of people that were confused about things, and that I could help them by posting solutions and explanations that were easy to read and not obfuscated with technical jargon.
I loved the idea of being able to help others find the solution to their niggly programming problems in a way that was clear and accessible.
By October 2011, it had morphed into something very similar to what I have today:
Of course, in the last four years, I’ve also had two children, and held down a job, so there have been long gaps where I haven’t posted anything. However, my aim has always been to provide useful technical information without making assumptions about what you may or may not know.
Now, in 2015, my children are spending more time at preschool and school, and I suddenly have more time available to devote to this site.
I post weekly, and hope to expand the technical content considerably going forward.
So, thank you for taking this trip down memory lane with me. This site is close to my heart, and I’m grateful for every one of you that stops by and reads what I write.
Here’s to the next ten years!