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Issue 32

Three years of Today Software Magazine

Ovidiu Mățan
Founder @ Today Software Magazine
OTHERS

On February 6th 2012, the first issue of Today Software Magazine was released. I remember how, on the launching of the magazine, together with my colleagues from Gemini Solutions, we tried to draw a list of all our acquaintances from the IT domain. We managed to bring together twenty people, thus setting up the first release event. Back then, we did not think about presenting articles, we simply had a chat and gave the magazine away to the participants. Since then, this project has been through several transformations and collaborations in order to reach today's form.

Today Software Magazine is a project that proved two important things: the necessity of some local information on the level of IT specialists and, on the other hand, their need to express themselves in a space where technology and amassed experience are the most important aspects. As a matter of fact, in the editorial published in the first issue, we expressed the three directions that were to be followed:

Though we never considered ourselves a startup, the evolution of the magazine has all the ingredients specific to these:

  1. The disruptive side, by publishing all the information for free, unlike the traditional publications in the industry, where the content is paid;
  2. The first steps, when our friends and their connections helped enormously;
  3. The subsequent evolution, which represented an adjustment to the local ecosystem.

Important ingredients

Drawing up the content for the first issue represented a challenge. Most of our friends took initiative and each of them contributed with an article. The main dilemma back then was whether to remain only online or have the magazine also in the printed form. Many people asserted themselves as supporters of the ecological principles, therefore of the online version, when we asked for their opinion. But, upon leaving, most of them always wanted to take some more magazines with them, for their friends. So, we kept both versions.

Another aspect I had to take into account was the financing. As it was a personal project, I was supposed to cover the costs from my own resources. This way, I think we would have had a few issues during the first year and a few more afterwards. But the desire of the local companies to get involved and support my effort of promoting the local trends in IT provided my project with continuity and legitimacy. ISDC was the first company to get involved beginning with the second issue. It was followed shortly afterwards by 3Pillar Global, Small Footprint, Endava and many others.

The community is probably the most important aspect. After the initial release event, we remained mostly online. The lack of real communication was felt in the form of lack of feedback from the readers. The solution came again from ISDC, which offered to host a release event. After this event, the opportunity this publication gave to the community to reunite within such events was obvious. The success of any project is conditioned by consistency and rhythmicity. During the first year, the magazine appeared with a relatively unclear frequency: approximately once in a month and a half or once in two months. This actuality had its cause mostly in the lack of articles. After the first year, we decided on the monthly release of the magazine, and this thing lead to a bigger number of articles sent for publication, since everyone knew to relate in their planning to a certain month.

The need of quality in the expression of the content arouse after the first issue. Though we do not require eloquence and stylistic figures of speech from the programmers, we have to show respect to our readers by a clear and accurate writing from a grammatical point of view. Therefore, expression and grammatical reviewing and proofreading proved compulsory for any type of text published in the Romanian version as well as in the English one.

Cluj IT Days event, , which last year was at its second edition, is a corollary of the activity of the magazine, staging the best specialists and collaborators of the magazine alongside international guests. Though strongly connected to the magazine, Cluj IT Days tends to become in time an independent brand.

Future plans

We have recently launched the TSM card in order to give the community a chance to get involved actively. Furthermore, we will try to bring more internationally renowned specialists in the pages of our magazine and keep up the good work!

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