What is the story behind Hashnode?


Hi Abhishek Pathak! As promised, here are my thoughts. πŸ˜ƒ

My co-founder Fazle and I are friends for more than 8 years now. In 2013 we graduated from our CS100 program and joined different companies. But we reunited in 2014 and started discussing how we could make some real value addition to the programming community. So, we started teaching others what we were learning through SitePoint and a personal blog (defunct now). We also authored couple of books on topics such as HTML5, JavaScript, Angular, CSS, Bootstrap etc.

We used to receive bunch of questions from people from all over the world. Most of the questions were subjective in nature - the kind of questions that are banned from Stack Overflow. We saw a potential there. We knew about Quora, but it is too generic. We felt that being a programmer can be lonely at times and programmers would want to connect with each other in a friendly community. So, we decided to build something for them and left our respective full time jobs.

We had some savings which allowed us to survive for next 6 months. After 2 months of non-stop coding, we launched devmag.io early 2015, which eventually transformed into Hashnode in Dec 2015.

It has been a thrilling experience so far. Here are some highlights of our journey in the initial few days after launch:

  • Launched Devmag on ProductHunt.
  • Renamed Devmag to Hashnode and relaunched on PH. Received some really useful feedback and iterated based on that.
  • Did our first AMA on 2nd Feb, 2016.
  • Launched MERN project and it became an instant success on HackerNews. Some images are broken - going to fix those. :)
  • Had some interesting discussions, stories and AMAs in 2016.
  • Published our first Hashnode Originals article in October. By Kleo Petrov.
  • Onboarded more influencers for AMAs and invited them to participate in discussions.
  • In subsequent years our focus was to produce great discussions and stories that would help people become better developers. The content produced by the community was read more than 10M times in 2017.

After Mid 2017, our goals shifted to retaining our users instead of just acquiring them. We did a bunch of experiments. Some of them succeeded and some of them failed. I can write a whole story on that. There were a couple of missteps in 2018. But we learned from them and I like to believe that we are stronger now. However, the overall goal to create a friendly and inclusive community for engineers is still the #1 priority for us.

Communities will come and go. But I can assure you that this one is built to last forever - no matter what happens. This is because we thoroughly enjoy talking to you people and glad that we are able to contribute something to developers' lives.

You might have noticed that we never show any kind of ads (except for sponsors like DO, Algolia etc) and try to sell something in an unethical way. So, money is not the priority for us. We work hard everyday so that we can make a difference in programmers' lives. So, our mission remains the same as it was 3 years back i.e. Building a better community for engineers. πŸ˜ƒ

Hope I answered your question. If there is anything specific you would like to know, just ask away. :)

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