Celebrating 12 Years of HANDS ON tek

Hello, dear readers! Today is a very special day for me and for this blog. It’s the 12th anniversary of HANDS ON tek, the blog that started as my resume and became a passion project. In this post, I want to share with you the story of how this blog was born, what I learned along the way, and what are my plans for the future.

Hands-On tek 12 Anniversary

How it all began

12 years ago, I was starting the last semester of my master’s degree in computer science, sitting in a mobile programming class, building one of my first Android applications. While I was doing it, I had the idea of creating a tech blog to be kind of a resume, after all I was less than 6 months away from starting my professional career.

My grand career plan was to become a mobile developer, I had some experience already with Windows Mobile and was having a lot of fun building applications for Android. While still in class, I built the plan for the blog that would be my resume and at the same time a place where I would write about technology to keep it updated and increase the possibilities to be found by the search engines.

With the plan established, I only had to find a name for it. I wasn’t going far until I remembered the name of the annual conference hosted by the University about technology. The conference was called HANDS ON @DEIS (DEIS being the name of the University IT department) and because of it I called my blog HANDS ON tek (Tech with a K because I thought it was cool!).

Hands-On tek 12 Anniversary

I created the blog and did the first post on January 10th 2012, it’s still alive here but all the content is in Portuguese.

Hands-On tek 12 Anniversary

I continued my master’s and continued to build apps in my free time, in one of the classes together with a colleague we built a battleship game that was a huge success and made it to the top 20 games on Google Play! Those were the early days of Android and we even got some coverage from the local press about the game!

How the blog evolved

After a few months, the blog was a mix of tech news, tech tutorials and the showcase of the apps that I was creating for Android when I decided to participate in a Portuguese contest called So you think you can pitch, similar to Idols, participants had 2 minutes to pitch about themselves to a judge panel. The blog and the idea of using it to showcase my skills was in my pitch, and apparently it was not bad as I went to the finals. From 2500 participants, me, my blog and the mobile apps made it to the top 10 in the technology category.

Hands-On tek 12 Anniversary

The final was on May 31st, 2012 and by the end of that day, I had scheduled a few job interviews. After going through several rounds of recruitment, I decided to join BindTuning, a company that had a marketplace of themes for .NET CMSs (including SharePoint) and was developing an application for Windows 8. This application was what attracted me to the job, however, Windows 8 and the application were not successful and a few weeks after joining the company, I switched to working on SharePoint.

That was in September 2012 and in April 2013, I made a post (where I used the following image) about my professional future and everything changed on the blog. I stopped posting daily news and started to write about SharePoint branding.

Hands-On tek 12 Anniversary

Since then, HANDS ON tek has evolved a lot and now has dedicated sections for SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Lists, and Microsoft 365. It has been a fun journey and because of it, I have been able to travel the world to learn about the Microsoft technology that I love and that makes my job feel like a hobby.

I can assure you that I have no plans to stop blogging anytime soon and I hope to keep it alive for at least another 12 years.

What I learned from blogging

Blogging has been a great learning experience for me, both personally and professionally. Here are some of the things that I learned from blogging:

  • Blogging helps me to stay updated on the latest trends and technologies. As a tech blogger, I have to keep up with the fast-paced changes in the Microsoft world. I have to research, learn, and experiment with new tools, frameworks, and platforms, and share my findings and opinions with my readers. This helps me to stay on top of my game and to broaden my knowledge and skills.
  • Blogging helps me to build my personal brand and network. Blogging is a great way to showcase my expertise and passion for Microsoft technology. It helps me to connect with other bloggers, experts, and enthusiasts in the tech community, and to create opportunities for collaboration, feedback, and support.
  • Blogging helps me to have fun and express myself. Blogging is not only a professional activity, but also a personal one. It allows me to share my thoughts, opinions, and experiences with the world, and to have a creative outlet for my ideas and interests. It also allows me to have fun and enjoy the process of creating and publishing content.

What are my plans for the future?

As I celebrate the 12th anniversary of HANDS ON tek, I also look forward to the future of this blog. I have many plans and ideas for the upcoming year, such as:

  • Creating more content. I want to continue to provide valuable and relevant content for my readers, continuing to cover topics about SharePoint, Microsoft Teams, Microsoft Lists, Microsoft 365, and more. I want to create more tutorials, tips, comparisons, and best practices, as well as more personal stories and insights about the use of Microsoft technology.
  • Engaging more with the audience. I want to interact more with my readers, by responding to their comments, questions, and feedback.
  • Exploring new formats and topics. I want to experiment with new ways of creating and delivering content, such as videos. I also want to explore new topics and areas of interest, such as artificial intelligence and Copilot.

As I wrap up this post, I want to thank you all for being part of this amazing journey. It has been a pleasure to engage with so many of you through the last 12 years, and I appreciate your support, feedback, and enthusiasm. I wish you all a happy new year, and I hope you stay tuned for more exciting content in the future. I have some more stories to share with you about the blog, and I can’t wait to unveil them next year.

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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.