Editorial

But why?

Illustrated by Zara Magumyan

But Why?

  • A magazine?
  • Yes, a magazine.
  • But.. why?
  • .....

You probably don't know this about me, but I have a history of working in industries that have a high risk of failure. My first job as a professional software engineer was in video game development. After seven years of crunch, I took a break and took over a failing restaurant business...in New York. And now, after three years of seeing my wallet fluctuate between bursting from too much cash to bursting with moths, I want to start a magazine.

Putting aside my oblivious career choices that all but guarantee I will never have a steady sleep schedule, at first glance, you would think the common thread here is risky industries. But I challenge you to read between the lines. There's a good reason why I made those choices.
No, not that!

In all three of those cases, there was something missing from my life, and I wanted to be the one to create it. I don't think I need to explain the video game industry, but if you play video games and do programming, chances are you have at least 20 side projects that never went past a working prototype. Basically, I wanted a video game I'd like to play. For the restaurant business, I wanted a cafe that I'd want to hang out in, just like all the cafes I used to hang out in as a university student back in Greece. And so, for the same reason, I wanted a magazine that I'd like to read.

I may not be a 10x engineer, far from it, but I have been geeking out about programming ever since I was 14, way before I owned a computer. I went from learning GWBasic in my local PC shop, to building terribly written PHP websites that only I had access to, to publishing my first open-source software in Visual Basic 6, to trying to wrap my head around OOP in Java, to professionally writing Unity games in C#, to building a tool for my newsletter in Ruby on Rails, to now learning about SPA in Vue.js. And those are just the highlights. There’s also Prolog, Pascal, C++, Processing, Flutter, ActionScript, mIRC scripting language, Lua, Python, and the list goes on. Point being, I like learning about new technologies. Trying to always pick the right tool for the job and not shoehorning the one thing I know into everything I want to create is part of the fun for me.

And to do this, I read a lot. Not necessarily books, which I have a tiny collection of, but online resources like blogs, news sites, tutorials, and so on. I slowly but surely built an RSS library of about a thousand sources over the last few years. But there’s one thing that has been bothering me for years: consistency.

It is difficult to find a single source with the types of articles you personally like. You can find many authors, but they are scattered throughout the web. Thankfully, RSS solves many of these problems, but not entirely. Some authors don’t even support RSS, some only include an excerpt, et cetera, et cetera. Basically, what I’ve come to realize is that in a day and age where there’s an infinite amount of content to shift through, you need to find a publication whose editorial strategy aligns with what you are looking for.

And since I didn’t find that, I decided to do what most people without a budget or even an idea of how to run such a thing do: create it myself.

This magazine, the Human Readable Magazine, is what I believe should exist out there. It’s entirely based on what I like to read, and my hope is that it will resonate with you.

Just like I learn, the magazine doesn’t focus on any one particular language or domain. There are articles about C++, JavaScript, and Ruby; and about security, monads, and neural networks. Just like I prefer, the articles are designed to be read at your leisure—no need to follow along in a tutorial. You can read it at home, at work, on your commute—heck, you can even read it in the bathroom. And finally, just like I love, the articles are deeply technical. Except for the occasional column and humor piece, the main body of the magazine is about technical and actionable knowledge. Educating is one of my principles as an editor.

But don’t just take my word for it. This issue, which I spent the last few months putting together with authors and illustrators I have been following, is here to showcase what to expect from our magazine now and in the future.

But before I leave you, I must thank the people that gave me the push to actually start this project: our 6,000+ newsletter subscribers and especially our Patreon backers, who have been supporting my work for over a year now.

You see, this idea has been floating around in my head for over three years. My first attempt to start a magazine was cut short when one of the authors I contacted asked a very apt question: Who the hell are you and where is your audience? I may be paraphrasing here, but you get the point. And fair enough, I had no audience. But how do you get an audience if you have no content?

“Why don’t you start a newsletter?” suggested another author.

“A newsletter?” I thought to myself, baffled. “Do people even read newsletters?” I asked myself in a patronizing way. And to my surprise, I replied back, “Why not?”

And so Morning Cup of Coding was born a little over a year ago. The idea was simple: collect the types of articles you’d like the magazine to have, add a summary to explain why each article is worth somebody’s time, and then wait and see if there are people out there looking for the same.

And wait I did. Turns out, people are interested in these articles.

So now we’re back to where I began, this time with an audience and still no idea of how to run this thing. But I’ll be damned if I didn’t try publishing it this time.

pek

Panagiotis Peikidis

author

Panagiotis Peikidis, mostly known as Pek, has been programming since he was in high school. After a series of terrible programming language choices (GWBasic, PHP, Java) he decided to start a magazine about programming in the hopes that he'll finally make the right choice.

Zara Magumyan

illustrator

Zara Magumyan is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Yerevan, Armenia. She has designed for various industries including branding, IT, entertainment, and gaming. Currently specializes in illustration, user interface development, and digital products.