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Freezing development of Qjub

Tomas Pustelnik
I'm frontend developer currently building React at Ataccama. Founder of Qjub. Fan of great and clever design, tooling addict and neverending learner.
Originally published at qjub.app on ・3 min read

TLDR: I don’t have enough time to focus on all my side-projects and activities. So I have decided to focus more on my blog than on the Qjub. For more detailed reasons, continue reading.

Why I’ve decided that way?

A little bit of context first. I have a full-time job (last couple of months I worked only 4 days/week actually), two little kids, a few small open-source projects, and I wrote my own blog. That is a lot of going on and while one extra day to focus on these things helped. It still doesn’t allow me to focus on all those things equally.

When I start writing my blog last year, my goal was to publish at least one article a month. I didn’t meet that goal (yet), but I want to continue to focus on writing more. To do that, I decided to freeze the development of the Qjub. Here are some reasons why I choose to do so:

1. Writing a blog makes more sense to me

When I start my blog, I haven’t had a feeling I have too much to offer (hello imposter syndrome). But I gave it a shot and tried to regularly post new articles and republish them 14 days later to Dev.to community. I still have a small audience, but two articles get some serious notice and more than 12k page views (on my blog or on Dev.to). Given these are some of my first articles, I consider that amazing success. And it’s a great motivation to continue with writing. Don’t get me wrong. Even if my article helps a single person I consider it a success. But seeing so many people read your blog feels amazing.

While working with other developers and checking some existing apps, I realized many front-end developers lack deeper knowledge of web performance, semantic HTML, advanced CSS, and accessibility. So I decide to continue with my blog and focus on those things to teach other developers. And in general, help make the Web better for the users as well.

2. The unclear focus of Qjub

I start Qjub as a learning project, but it was designed right from the start to solve one of my problems – how to effectively store and organize different notes and resources. Mainly from the web. I believe Qjub does a good job in this case. Or at least it works great for my needs. But I really didn’t figure out how to sold this to others. Currently, I have around 20 users, but very few of them are using Qjub regularly. A great example of this is traffic from my blog. One of my popular blog posts brought to Qjub about 300 visitors in two weeks (a huge spike in visits for me). But none of them become regular users.

That leads me to the hypothesis that:

  1. My idea is not so great and aside from me, no one needs it.

  2. Qjub’s homepage is really bad at its job to explain Qjub to others and convince them to sign up.

I believe that both points are valid. I plan to do something with point number 2 before really putting Qjub aside. As with number 1. I’m not sure I can do much with that.

What it means for Qjub and its users

Freezing Qjub’s development doesn’t mean I’m going to shut down the project. Qjub will be still there, and it is free to use for anyone. I use it quite a lot, so it’s not going anywhere. It would be a huge pain for me to migrate all my notes and other stuff somewhere else. And domain aside, I run it almost for free. So I have no reason to shut it down completely.

I will simply stop developing new features and instead use available time for my other activities. You may say that I have already done it if you check Qjub’s changelog. But declaring it to the public like this will help me get rid of the mental overhead I currently have with it. And it’s aligned with my value of transparency to the users.

I still may update it from time to time, since there are plenty of features I would like to add. But that will be an occasional activity.

Next steps

Before completely putting Qjub aside, I plan to update the homepage as a final effort to better explain its value to the users. After that don’t expect any large updates.

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