2016 in Review

This has been a hell of a year.  On a personal level, a lot went right for me.  I went to Italy, London and Amsterdam for my honeymoon.  I started a new job teaching at Dev Bootcamp, which I love.  I started a partnership with my longtime friend Fred Metterhausen (over at Map Developers) which represents my first real foray into entrepreneurship.  On a larger scale, societally and culturally, things were a lot worse.  We lost a lot of cultural icons this year.  And of course, a fascist game show host rode a wave of bigotry into the White House.  So it hasn’t been all sunshine and stardust.

Tools:
I don’t have a lot to talk about this year.  The systems I’ve put in place over the last couple of years have been working fairly well, though I’ve had a hard time getting my inboxes empty (going on a long honeymoon and coming back to a new job really threw my routines off).

Projects:
This year, despite the double whammy of honeymoon-career change that my routine is still recovering from, I was able to get a couple of projects off the ground.  The first was a small Halloween site that came out of a jokey conversation with my coworkers at a team lunch.  It asks the hard holiday question “do you like candy corn?”  In some ways it’s an extension of my past experiments with static sites using CSS tricks.  The source is on GitHub, if you want to take a peek.

The second is a partially unfinished experiment with Twitter bots.  I was playing around with the API for the Digital Public Library of America’s image collection and some ideas around magic and technology.  It currently searches for an image using the query “magic” and posts a random one at midnight.  It’s @MagicPictureBot on Twitter and you can peep the source if you’re interested.

The last project I was able to work on was one that is truly meaningful to me.  Message from 2016 is the brainchild of my good friend Matt Baker and was a collaboration between Matt, my wife Deana and myself (as well as a handful of students). It was a response to Trump’s election. There was a palpable sense of anger and loss in our communities and we wanted to help people capture that energy in a productive way by giving them a chance to write a letter to their future selves.  Please, if you have a few quiet moments to reflect on how his election made you feel, it would mean a lot to me if you went there and wrote yourself a letter.

New repos: 2
Commits: 111 (includes commits in DBC’s private GitHub repos)
Repos contributed to: 1

Blog:
Articles: 3 (down from 13 last year)
Total word count: 1188 words, 4.75 pages* (down significantly from last year’s ~5700 words, 22.776 pages)
Views: 279 (down from last year’s 769)
*250 words is roughly one page, hand written
**As of 12/30/16

I did quite a bit less writing here than I did last year.  A lot of my routines that helped make last year more productive last year were disrupted by leaving town and coming back to a new job.  I’ve recovered slowly, but am picking up steam.  I have several draft articles that I’ve been slowly working on and a couple more in the germination stage, so I’m hopeful and excited about what’s coming next year.

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