My 2016 and my plans for 2017

Continuing my series of blog posts no one will actually read, I thought I'd spend a few minutes looking at what I accomplished last year and what I plan to do next year. This is not meant to be a "Look at how great I am!" type post, but mainly as a way for me to recognize what I succeeded at and what I failed at. I also assume no one will actually read this, but it helps me gather my own thoughts and helps me prepare to (hopefully!) kick some butt next year!

2016

Earlier this year, I announced that I had joined a new team at IBM. My focus this year was on LoopBack, API Connect, and Node.js in general. I've been trying to learn more about Node for a while now and I love APIs, so this was (is!) a perfect fit for me. I've been loving my new team (especially now that we've ramped up a bit) and I've had the pleasure of helping others learn about building APIs with Node.js at multiple venues across the country. I'm really proud of this and hope to continue it in 2017.

This year I gave 21 (holy crap, I honestly didn't know it was that much!) presentations. I traveled over 41K miles and had 66 flights. I use (and highly recommend) TripIt for managing travel but it doesn't have very good stats. I just discovered JetItUp which does a really good job of visualizing your data.

Flight paths

I also gave my first keynote this year. This was pretty nerve wracking as it wasn't a traditional code-heavy presentation that I'm used to. While it isn't something I think I'll do often, I think I did ok and I had fun giving it.

I released two books this year ("Client-Side Data Storage" and jQuery Mobile Web Development Essentials) and almost releases a third. The book on static sites ("Working with Static Sites" I'm writing with Brian Rinaldi should be out early next year.

As for the blog, this was the year I finally gave up on app servers (ColdFusion or PHP) and went static (Welcome to RaymondCamden.com 2016). It was a lot of work, but now I've got what feels like a perfect system. I commit to GitHub and 2 minutes later my site is live via Netlify. Obviously it can still go down, but it isn't my problem anymore. My writing slowed down quite a bit as my travel went up (147 posts this year versus 252 last year), but my main concern is with the quality of my writing, not the quantity. I also wrote multiple articles for the StrongLoop blog and the Telerik Developer Network.

Traffic to the blog is up, slightly, with around 1.6M page views in 2016, although my top traffic is still for older articles versus newer ones. None of my top ten URLs are from this year, but I'm ok with that. I'm going to write what I'm interested in and if that doesn't drive the most traffic, then so be it.

Believe it or not, my most visited post written in 2016 was the one I wrote for Adobe ColdFusion 2016 being released. Considering my less-than-happy feelings about ACF these days, that's rather surprising. This was the first release of ColdFusion I recommended against on top of my general recommendation for using Node.js anyway. If you must use ColdFusion, then use Lucee and CommandBox.

I was going to print out my top ten articles, but one of the things Google Analytics sucks at is exporting stuff like this. I mean I can see the URLs in the report, but I can't get a nice export of them with the full domain. I'm going to build that tomorrow I think.

So all in all - I think I did ok in 2016. I still have room to improve of course and I still have goals I want to meet, but that's for next year...

2017

So what are my goals in 2017?

  • Continue to work with Node. I feel like I'm still years away from being a decent Node developer, but that's what I'd expect with any technology. I don't think I became an expert in ColdFusion until my 6-7th year and I was still learning quite a bit until I finally moved on from it.
  • Continue to learn/demonstrate API Connect, and think more about API gateways in general. Actually, I want to think more about APIs as a whole, specifically more about testing and best practices.
  • Continue to learn Angular 2 and Ionic 2. The more I use both the more I like it. Last night I bought "Angular 2 Development with TypeScript" as a way to help me out on the Angular 2/TypeScript side.
  • I've been saying this for a while now, but I really want to get better at NativeScript. I like it - I just haven't dedicated the time I need to really get more familiar with it. This year I spoke at a NativeScript confernece, but it was a general keynote, not a technical session. My goal this year is to present on NativeScript at a conference/meetup.
  • Learn and play a lot more with serverless. I just got into this last week and I think it is pretty cool.
  • As a presenter, I want to continue to hone my craft. I think I'm becoming "Good" and I want to continue that progress on to "Great". I think I need a bit more variety in my topics and a bit less cat pictures. (Ok, maybe not so much the second thing.)
  • I love static sites and I want to continue to tell other people about them and why/where they make sense. In 2017, I think I want to look at deeper, more complex use cases and explore the topic further.
  • I'm mostly avoiding personal stuff here because, well, it's personal, but over the past two years I've put on a bit more weight than I'd like. I'm going to be more strict about what I eat and a bit more strict about my exercise in 2017. My goal is to take off twenty pounds, but frankly I'll be more than happy to settle for fifteen.
  • Above all - try to be the best father, husband, and friend to everyone in my life. For the nameless people who read this blog and see me in person - try to educate and help as much as possible.

Bye

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