Welcome 2018!


2017 In Review

Predictably, as last year came to a close, I did a lot of reflecting on the year that had past. From a personal standpoint it was a rather mixed year, with some pretty nice highlights, but it certainly wasn’t without its low points. This year constituted the majority of Linda and mine’s engagement. We had a wonderful trip to Los Cabos, Mexico. We also lost our puppy Coco in a tragic car accident and I lost my grandmother. There was lots of wedding planning, friends made, and plenty of experiences both good and bad.

Professionally I kicked off this year still relatively new to Jornaya, and ended it with a team of my own as one of the Senior Engineers. We moved from Ambler to Conshohocken, quadrupling my average commute time. I got us to sponsor LibertyJS this year, and that was a ton of fun. I gave a talk on Elm at the 10th Philly Barcamp this year, and that was a rough start but at least I did it and have something to build on and refine for next year. RED Development had a pretty standard year, with some new clients continued work from our staples. Blue Tech Solutions had a good first year, with a fully functioning alpha in testing, a second one which was rolled back due to unforseen technical issues, and a beta in the works.

From a software standpoint, this was the year I fell off the Angular bandwagon hard, and jumped on the Elm one hard. I fully embraced Functional programming and serverless architectures this year. I extended my mastery of Javascript into highly browser performant vanilla javascript and learned even more uses for Python. I fell in love with pipenv, python 3.6, and explored pleanty of new patterns including fully functional python, actor based python, and some fun experiments with Pypy. I began to explore Lua, elixir, and rust this year, and will certainly expand on that in the coming year.

This year I expanded my open source offering

From a design perspective, this year I finally got sick of Material Design the way I did with Bootstrap2 years ago. I have since moved onto Clarity Design, and have started maintaining elm-clarity-ui to bring this package to the Elm community.

I caught the 3D printing bug hard this year, after taking a few years away from my Robox and Replicator2. I now have 2 desktop 3d printers with a third from kickstarter coming early 2018 (fingers crossed). Ive explored different slicers, and even tried my hand at creating my own 3D models.

Of the movers and shakers this year, it has most certainly been the year of CryptoCurrencies. Of the small investments I made years ago into crypto, I have seen returns between 1200% and 9000% this year. Ahead of the public craze, I have started mining and trading alt-currencies beyond the BTC, LTC, and ETH that everybody seems to be obsessed about. Watching the price go from ~$800 a year ago to just shy of $20,000 this year on BTC has been truely a ride to remember.

Looking at my Kickstarter history this year, I would say this has been the year of fidget spinners, pens, board games and watches. I am loving my Lamy2000 fountain pen, and have loved my ZeTime smart-watch that I received on the last of the year. I look forward to playing Sub Terra next time I get some friends together.

Looking at my Amazon history, this year has been a big year on Home Automation. Now with upwards of 80 smart devices on my home network, building out the systems to manage and automate it has been fun. My finely tuned Hass.io setup is working great, and now that Amazon Alexa has music groups, I have been throughly enjoying the setup.

From a gaming perspective, I spent my time pretty evenly between League of Legends earlier in the year, then A long sprint in Factorio, and finished the year amongst various Oculus Touch Titles. Overall its been a pretty good year in gaming.

Looking Forward

I spent most of the morning looking over the areas of life that are important to me, what my long term goals are in each of those areas, and seeing what goals are reasonably achievable this year. Then breaking each of those goals into tasks and habits and putting each into task and habit managers. This year I am giving Habitica, which gamifies habit and task management.

From a work prospective, I’d like to continuing growing with Jornaya. I have a great team, a somewhat steady backlog, and my skillset is highly in demand. I can pick my work and add significant value across the board. There are also plenty of learning opportunities with Scala and Spark.

After reviewing 2017, RED will probably be more selective in the types of work it takes on, and when it does, there will be contracts in place. We had some serious cases of scope creep in 2017, and we are certainly looking to avoid that. Blue will be finishing up its beta client and hopefully taking on some beta accounts this year.

From a technology standpoint I would have the following goals:

  • Learn Scala
  • Learn Rust
  • Master Functional Programming
  • Master Elm
  • Learn Spark

Mostly predictable, but I would like to continue the functional programming patterns that I have started and expand on that. Rust has some great language patterns that I would love to explore more into. One of my long term goals in programming is to write a stable programming language, so stealing patterns and styles, as well as learning a lower level language all feed into that well.

Personally, I have a lot of wedding planning and a wedding to have, so that makes up a lot of the goals this year. I would like to keep the romance going so making sure to schedule date nights and outings with friends, while obvious, is important to keep it high as a priority when allocating my time. Other personal goals is to finish this weight loss sprint I have going. I would like to reach my goal weight of 180lbs by my birthday this year. According to Trendweight, that is completely achievable, so long as the wedding doesn’t set me back too far. Then a goal I set almost every year; I would like to pick up a new hobby. Last year I got into 3D printing in a big way; this year I want to pick up something non-technical and keep learn it.

Things I am looking forward to in the new year; Wedding, New Friends, New Technologies, New Records in CryptoCurriencies, New Business Opportunities, New Hobbies, and New Experiences. Looking forward to another year of taking the ups with the downs, trying new things, failing, and learning as much as I can from those failures.

I wish all of you a happy new year!