Over the last few years, I've tried on many occasions to get more disciplined about writing. My goal has been to simply put my thoughts on paper, practice public writing more, and to focus my thoughts on the most important learnings.
Generally, this hasn't worked out very well. Every time I've tried, I ended up stopping within weeks. Life gets in the way.
This time, my goal is to dedicate a couple of hours a week to focus on writing my thoughts and publishing them. I'll attempt to focus on getting in the habit versus publishing highly polished articles. There is no guarantee that I'll be publishing every week but I am hoping I'll be writing more often.
As I grew up, writing was part of my story. When I was 12, I published my first book. A series of short stories focusing on my experience living in Palestine throughout the second Intifada.
As the situation worsened, I focused more and more on writing as an outlet. At age 15, I started my own news organization. With over 50,000 unique visitors every single day and over a dozen reporters across the world, my news organization was making an impact. None of those who worked as volunteer reporters knew the person running it hasn't turned 18 yet.
What started as a news organization became a network of websites focused on news and video. It then turned into a portal with tens of thousands of visitors a day.
Building and maintaining that portal was what got me into programming. I enjoyed writing code more than I enjoyed writing words. It allowed me to quickly make changes, see results, and track my impact. From there, user experience was the natural progression. Understanding why users visited certain sections, how they got to them, and what I can do to make users either spend more time or go through multiple pages became a small obsession of mine. It led me down the path to UI engineering then design.
As I spend more time in the industry, I've realized that my story isn't very different than many designers I meet every single day. Most designers I've worked with had a journey to design that didn't start with it. This is the beauty of this industry, almost nobody started here. Everybody has an interesting story to tell. Everyone has a lesson to teach.
As I write more, I'll be reflecting on my daily experiences. Today, I lead a large and excellent design team at VMware. I'm focused on transforming design at VMware and in the enterprise. Most of my writings will focus on design, leadership, or a combination of both. Stay tuned.