Recap of last year and what’s in store for 2017

The year 2017 has finally arrived. Can we all agree that 2016 was a weird, weird year? I think I can speak for everyone when I say that I hope 2017 will be better. After all, it’s a prime number, and primes are good. Am I right?

I decided to do a quick post to recap the last year, and come up with a vague sketch of what’s ahead in 2017.

2016 Recap

Dumpster Fire 2016
A great picture of 2016, as provided by Bill Ward @ Flickr

Here’s a quick list of things that I did in 2016. There’s a mix of work and personal stuff in there, but nothing too embarrassing.

  • Chicago Cubs won the World Series, which seems to demonstrate┬áthat billy goat-based curses have an average lifespan of 108 years. More data points are required to confirm that number.
  • I went to more conferences and meetups, including the ESRI Developer Summit in Palm Springs.
  • I had two public speaking opportunities.
    • First opportunity was at the ESRI Developer conference mentioned above. It was a great success. Small crowd, but good feedback. I even received some contributions on one of my github projects.
    • Second opportunity didn’t go as well. I didn’t take the time to prepare for that talk. Lesson learned.
  • I developed a Chrome extension for working with ArcGIS Server. It has saved my team and I a lot of headaches, and I hope it has helped others.
  • I suffered from a rather rough case of burnout (ergo no blog posts, activity, etc). Seems like I’ve mostly recovered from it.
  • Finally, I spent Christmas in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to get court approval for my family’s adoption. Instantly, I changed from a father of one, to a father of four. Let that sink in a minute.

So, yeah. That was a glimpse into my 2016. Now let’s look ahead.

Plans for 2017

What to do with you, 2017? I could make some resolutions, but I’ve only kept one of those in my lifetime. Or maybe I could come up with a word or phrase to make my theme for the year, but I’ll probably forget that after a month. How about this: I’ll just make some simple general goals that I’ll probably follow anyway. That way, I can ride the rest of the year by the seat of my pants like I normally do.

  1. Blog more. With the meteoric rise and the steady descent of Medium, it’s imperative that we developers maintain our web presence. I’ve let this thing get too rusty for too long
  2. Update my open source projects. I’ve kinda let them slide most of this year, due to my burnout. I should start adding new features.
  3. Contribute to other open source projects. Gotta help out where I can.
  4. Create a programming book/video series. My latest frustrations haven’t been with libraries, frameworks, or APIs that don’t work. They’ve been more with good coding practices and sharing those with other developers. That’s my motivation to teach.
  5. Balance all these with spending time with my family. After all, they’re a big reason why I do what I do.

As for this blog… well, I’m not sure what all I’ll cover this year. I’ve got a few ideas for general topics, but I’m not sure what to cover with my technical topics. If you could help me out by filling out this Google Form, I would appreciate it.