Times are dramatic. You don’t need me to tell you that. The issue you’re currently reading—and I’d like to call it “the issue you’re holding in your hands,” but this may or may not be the case—was meant to be one of celebration and happiness. This is our twentieth year of publication, and we had planned various things to celebrate the occasion. All of this now had to be pushed out.

For CODE Magazine, the last six to nine months have been a rollercoaster of emotions. During spring and summer 2019, we planned various new initiatives for our publication. We were excited and things were going well. One of the major steps was a partnership with Microsoft that gives all Visual Studio subscribers, as well as MS Dev Essentials users, access to CODE Magazine free of charge.

Things were good and looking up. Then things took a bit of a step back for the magazine business, when MSDN Magazine ceased to publish. Many thought this was good news for us, but I was sad. CODE Magazine is a side-business for us. A labor of love, and a personal passion of mine. It’s not a cut-throat competitive publication. We’ve always gotten along well with other developer publications. I even wrote for MSDN Magazine (and others) myself. I had friends there. Many pointed out that we should try to take advantage of the situation and move MSDN Magazine subscribers to CODE Magazine as a great business opportunity. Instead, we offered a free subscription to MSDN Magazine readers who were looking for another option for a print publication.

All in all, things were still very good until mid-December. Just before Christmas, really. As we were in the process of wrapping up the year, we were hit by a massive ransomware attack. I remember coming back from my last customer meeting, thinking it was time to lean back and relax during the Christmas holidays. Instead, every single one of our servers and workstations was wiped out by this attack. We’re still working through the aftermath of all that. Once we’re completely back on our feet, we’ll publish a detailed article about what happened and how we managed to recover. I think it will be an interesting read and hopefully help people to prevent this kind of attack from happening, or at least to recover from it as quickly as possible. (Note: No data leaks occurred. No data was stolen. But our ability to operate the business was greatly impacted.)

I also want to take this opportunity to apologize to readers who experienced a delay in getting their magazine delivered or getting online access. We did our best to serve all of our customers (including all of the new customers that have come onboard from the Microsoft partnership), and we realize that it isn’t the best way to start a new relationship, but the attack was so severe, it simply wasn’t possible to proceed with business as usual.

All of this, of course, now pales in comparison to the COVID-19 pandemic. As I write this, I’m working from home and only being in contact with my friends and colleagues online. That part was relatively easy for us, as we’ve always been set up for remote working. It’s still strange to not be able to see anyone in person. And the fear that friends, co-workers, or family may be infected is crippling. The logistics of publishing a magazine have been made much harder by this also. As I write this, I don’t know whether our printshop will be deemed essential enough to print this issue. I also realize that there probably are more important things to do at this point than print a software developer’s magazine. At this point, we’ll just have to wait and see.

However, the good news is that CODE Magazine is also available digitally. We’re also working on new CODE Magazine apps for iOS and Android. In that sense, the timing couldn’t have been better. I apologize to our print subscribers. We may have to stop publishing print magazines for an issue or two. But any possible interruption is temporary. We will push forward and be back operating normally.

I think that will be true for everything. We will all come together and soldier on together! Please stay safe (and stay home).