Reflecting on our Journey: A Year in Review and the Road Ahead for Full Cycle Developers

As we reflect on two incredible months of growth, learning, and community engagement, we're excited to share milestones, and a glimpse into our roadmap ahead. You'll also get a say. Long post.

I hope everyone is having a great end of year! As I see more and more posts of this sort, I thought why not put one out as well? While we don’t have a year to reflect on yet, as FCD was started in mid-November 2023, it was still an incredible journey.

In this post, we’ll take a look at the following topics:

  • a few measurable milestones

  • the (flexible) road map for 2024

  • chance for a free and fully-fledged web app

Full Cycle Developers in Numbers

I love numbers. They are so uncomplicated and deterministic. Let’s look at where we are in terms of community numbers, at the time of this post’s publication date.

Member Counts

  • Discord: 451 Members

  • Twitter/X: 391 Followers

  • Twitch: 133 Followers (2 subscribers)

  • YouTube: 87 Subscribers

  • Substack: 118 Free Members (we don’t offer paid memberships)

  • Threads: 0 (just created this and will probably not use it - documented anyway)

Grow these numbers by joining the respective socials!

Cost/Revenue

While money is not a centerpiece for FCD, some might still like to see where money went and came in from. This is a fun section more than anything, really.

So in total, I spent money on two domains (fullcycledev.io [$36.00] and fullcycledevs.com [$9.77]) and about $10 in server costs for the two months and live stream projects. Also, the logo and social image package was about $50 on fiverr. So let’s say about $106 in operating costs and initial investment. I did not spend anything on advertisement, perhaps we will once there’s more content. However, I did not count the thousands of bucks I would’ve made if I worked for clients - it’s beside the point. I’m not doing FCD for a profit.

Now let’s get to the insane income stream. The Twitch live streams generated a whopping total of about $10 in revenue from advertisements (that are apparently run by default) and the two subscribers. I streamed for a total of 24 hours so far, and it was incredible fun (except for the last stream, where I was a bit frustrated with myself - sorry).

Road Ahead for 2024

We actually accomplished much in these 1.5 months of 2023. A few good live streams, some great articles and guides, as well as a lot of genuine interaction within the community itself. I’m completely honest here: There’s nothing I loved more than seeing one member start a discussion on Discord and another member engaging. Or you people answering each other’s questions. I was genuinely happy, please keep that up!

We will continue to improve in 2024. FCD is taking up a lot of my time; both thinking/planning and putting out content. Live streams, for example, are not as straight forward as I initially thought. They take quite some commitment and energy, as I want to provide a mostly educational experience. That’s not a slab at the laid back gaming streams.

So, enough blabbering about something else: what's up for 2024?

Content Updates

It’s not set in stone, but here are a few ideas. The community voting has concluded, and I will of course obey the results. Therefore, we will cover the following topics in order:

  • Review of a failed SaaS product of mine (that I created with 2 non-tech people)

    • This product failed due to an array of issues that were all of the non-technical variety.

    • We will examine inter-team issues, bad planning, designs that I got and of course also the code base.

    • I did not sign any NDA on this project, so we can go as in-depth as we would like. I’ll do this on stream for maximum interaction.

  • From Hello World to Docker

    • We will create a standard hello world django startproject project and then slowly add more and more advanced technologies to eventually land on something like the django-cookiecutter setup.

  • Cookiecutter Stack on a Budget

    • Essentially what I did on the very first live stream. We will take the cookie-cutter project files and use them to deploy a production application in a real-world environment that can serve millions of users.

  • Mastering Caching in Django

    • Away from the common basics, into a more advanced topic. Caching can be done in so many ways with django and we will examine them all.

  • GDPR Compliant Cookie Consent

    • More of a legal topic than highly-technical. However, still a very relevant topic that you would not want to mess up.

So these are the most-liked options from the polls in order of votes received. I aim to really kick up the gear a bit and deliver most of them in January or February.

Currently, I am thinking about starting out with one or two articles for each topic, then followed by a live stream where we implement everything live and with possible errors and mistakes. Afterwards, I will create refined videos for YouTube that we can also use a point of reference in the future. Let me know if that makes sense for you, or am I just losing myself here in my lonely thoughts?

Community Growth

Yes, I also want to grow the user numbers. More members equal more interaction and better input. I love every single one of you. There’s room in my heart for more of you, though (don’t tell my wife)!

As you can probably tell, I’m very much new to all of this. I will fail, but I will not give up. If anyone wants to provide me with some feedback or tips, so I don’t have to make all mistakes on my own, but can learn from others, that’s of course also highly appreciated.

Organic Growth

The magical term. Providing consistent content should and will hopefully lead to increased numbers. All I did to get you awesome peeps on board was publish three posts on reddit and then deliver what I promised. I plan on continuing so. Also, there might be people that are reachable mainly on other platforms, such as facebook groups. The plan is also to research that, I’ve not used facebook much. If anyone wants to weigh in, please do here in the comments or on any of the other platforms. I read (and reply to) every comment I get.

3rd part platforms

The content I will create for and with the help of you, can also be posted to course websites, such as udemy. It would be visible for anyone searching educational content there and perhaps direct these users to the community?

I’m not sold on this one. I have little to no experience running social ads. This might be an experiment and worth learning a bit, but I wouldn’t expect much. Perhaps paying someone else in the field to recommend FCD on their publication/posts would make more sense?

Collaborations

There are a lot of other content creators out there, that are more successful than FCD (for now!). Perhaps either of them would be interested in running some sort of joint project where both could benefit from. I’m sure I can find such great people here on Substack. If either of you would want to drop a recommendation, please do so.

Real World Web Application for Free

I failed to sell any of my clients on paying a reduced price for the permission to create (part of) the software product live on stream, including requirement calls, planning, etc. However, this idea was so well-received within the community that I want to keep pursuing it.

This idea can be spun in a variety of ways. There’s also the possibility that I create a full web application for free (or with a significant discount) to, let’s say, a non-profit organization. Know any that might be interested? Here are a few requirements:

  • Be willing to commit to this project.

    • We will not get all excited just to break it off after the first call.

    • I understand that this is tricky with free things. Perhaps we need to charge just enough so that everyone involved cares.

  • All (requirement) calls will be streamed live and recorded.

    • I want a transparent procedure through and through.

    • We talk about which problems the organization faces, how attempts at solving them went, and how we can solve them together. Talking is key. We might even discover unorthodox ways of solving other problems that you didn’t know you had.

  • A certain level of complexity is required.

    • If I don’t have to turn on my brain and always know exactly what to do, the project is too easy and therefore too boring to watch. And, of course, no one would really learn anything there.

This post is pretty long already, so huge thanks for reading until this point. Let’s wrap it up here and perhaps create a few follow-up posts instead. Please post comments for anything that you have input or questions for. Thank you so much for being part of FCD!

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