2016, wowzers! There are few words and even fewer word combos that could be used to describe this year. A shitload of crazy that went down this year. Due to all this, this post began its' life as a collection of my fails over the year. Due to the original's length, it was eventually nixed, burned and buried.
Instead and because it makes much more sense, doubly so with the insanity of the year, this will be something that's a smidgen more postive. Which means! Dromrolls required please... Let's take a step back in 2016 and share some small wins that might have slipped through the cracks.
Yes-sir-ree Bob, there was a technology conference this year... And in Canada to boot! The conference in mention was the inagural Solidus Conf. Solidus if you are unaware, is one of the larger open source ecommerce platforms available. Although it was a fairly technical conference, I decided to do what I do best, throw a lob in the room and do some thing a little different.
Instead of a technical piece, there was a talk that surrounded empathy and APIs. Which, to my surprise was a rather large topic as a whole throughout the community this year. Irregardless, my CFP was submitted hours before the rest and everyone knows first to market wins every time. How did it go you ask? Well...
First time conference talks are great for these smaller or newer conferences. It provides a great medium to see how receptive a smaller, perhaps more specific group of people are around a topic. If these talks go well, often times the speaker will be asked to do their talk again at another conference.
Overall I wholeheartedly enjoyed the experience, and although there was no one clammering to hear the talk at another conference, it spurred some great conversations. There will be a rando number of metrics for the year at the end of this post. Stay tuned if you are interested in the total Call For Papers submitted in 2016.
There is still a sense of awe that crashes into me when I launch something into the Internet-o-sphere. To think that multi billion dollar companies started from a single line of code in someone's editor is equally mind boggling. Without getting into too many specifics, the following are a few things that were created and/or killed over the course of 2016. All started from a single line in Vim
Killed #1: A few years ago, a few people decided that they wanted to pick up the slack left by 37 Signals leaving the group email biz. In doing so, they built a bizarre API of sorts to email groups. The application or consumer of this api could be any email client. Writing down the basics of the idea in a sentence, cool. Explaining to people that their email groups don't sync across devices, FUCKING impossible. This exact fact killed the startup before it was able to get off the ground. This year saw the death of keeping this service alive. Easy kill.
Created #1: A Java developer into a Ruby developer. One of my larger goals for 2016 was to do more teaching. This checkbox could definitely be checked off with the transition of one of our Android developers learning Ruby. There wasn't a day that went by in this process where some kind of mention of types or interfaces didn't come up in conversation. However, after several weeks of nearly 4 hours a day of pair programming, things began to click. Here is to hoping in 2017, he keeps up playing with and exploring a language that is exponetially more different than Java.
Killed #2: We said our farewells to a project that's been haunting us for years. When working for an agency, the Client is seemingly 99% of the time in charge. A client that has been around for some time asked us to build a forward thinking POS system a few years ago. After about 6 months, the project was shuttered. This was repeated the year afterward's and again this year. This year though... OH, this year. The client and us decided that it was time to put the 'beast to bed'. Killing projects like this is always a bit of a bummer however, this one needed it more than most.
This could also be construed as a failure but... The lack of writing here was mainly a feature of 2016. At times, there was an active amount of writing that was going into drafts; however, few of these posts saw the light of day. Much of the time that is consumed by writing was used to discover a few more creative pursuits. Namely Photography (numbers below on pictures taken in 2016) and keyboard programming, building and design. These may not seem like adequate replacements for spewing my thoughts into the Interwebs but, it was a welcomed change of pace. Here is to hoping that these new found hobbies don't drop off as I pick back up the writing game.
With this approaching quickly to the 1k word limit set on to all bloggers by millenials everywhere, let's call it. If anyone was paying attention, and they so rarely do, 2016 was a fairly wild ride. Here is to hoping that rollercoaster still has some coal left in it for 2017. Peace, and much love to everyone in their new year activities.