A Year in Review: 2018

Photo by Lucas Clara on Unsplash

2018 is done and what a year it was.

First up, I was turning 40…


I’m not precious about getting older. I have no plans on having a mid life crisis as I get the impression that comes about from people suddenly thinking about their situation and the future. In my case, I do it all the time.

I always tell myself I need to look back at every 5 years and feel I’ve accomplished a lot. Turning 40 meant putting extra effort in on some stretch goals.

Goal 1: Change job

In my last I was CTO at a small company. I wanted to get out of management - to get more hands on.

I had been there for 10 years. It was a good, comfortable job. Leaving meant pushing myself into a new direction and going into the unknown.

I’ve really enjoyed my time at Timely. Feels like I made a good move.


Goal 1a: Continue Volunteer Efforts

I wanted a job that enabled me to continue my efforts running a Code Club. I got that with my current employer.

I usually only do 2 terms out of the year (teachers sometimes prefer the kids run around during the first and fourth terms, when it’s warm). This year I did it for 4 terms! I had a blast working with these kids.

The school asked if I could come back for 2019.


Goal 2: Bench 100 kg

Ever had someone tell you can’t do something? It can be blatant but it can also be subtle. Either way, I hate it.

I’m tall (195 cms or 6'5”) with long arms. I’ve had many people remark it’s the worse possible build for bench. Technically, they are correct but it feels like a subtle hint that I can’t or shouldn’t do it.

I’ve always struggled with bench so I decided to work on it exclusively this year and to get that 100 kg bench.

As an additional milestone, this bench press meant I was benching more than my bodyweight (I’m around 96 kg).


Goal 3: Do a Talk

Ok, so I blew this goal out of the water.

I first wanted to give it a go, doing a talk. I saw Serverless Auckland had a CFP. The process was super intimidating at first. I’m very thankful for the support I had for the organizers. I was given a 15 minute slot for a “lightning talk” on Azure Functions.

That was such an awesome experience meeting so many amazing speakers and techs (my imposter syndrome was going into overdrive).

Suffice to say that talk went really well. That lead to a bunch more talks in Wellington and Auckland as well as one podcast interview.

In addition I wrote 12 blog posts. All those blog posts and talks proved very time consuming.


Goal 4: Finish Building my Side Project

I did not complete this one but I’m not too worried about it.

I use my side project to learn. I’ve been working on it for about 3 years and have re-written it about 4-5 times. And I just started re-writing it again!

I’m using this project to upgrade my JS skills (i.e. this latest version is all about using Nuxt and Vue.js) as well as my backend skills / knowledge. I’m currently learning Firebase.

I also built some completely new stuff, such as this project


It has been frustrating at times to learn something new and feel like I’m slowly stumbling around but the time investment is very much worthwhile.


Where to from here?

I have so many goals. They’re all a bit rough at the moment but, for 2019, I’d say they are basically the following:

  • Submit a talk at a major New Zealand / Australian conference. I have two talks I want to do, one of which I am stupidly keen to give
  • Aim for at least one talk at my local meetup
  • Complete my side project. ha ha!
  • Write at least 6 blog posts
  • Volunteer at my Code Club for another year
  • Massively upskill my JS skills. This is a broad one
  • Learn CSS and SVG
  • Consider getting involved in some open source

Beyond that? Not sure. I need to think.

2018, you’ve been awesome. Looking forward to more awesomeness in 2019!