Reviewing 2018 and plans for 2019

Reviewing 2018 and plans for 2019

It’s hard to believe that 2018 is already gone! Inspired by so many who are sharing “year in review” or “2019 goal” posts, I decided it would be great to look back on 2018 and think ahead for 2019.

So, without further ado;

Looking back at 2018

As I started listing things that happened this year it became apparent that I should group them into personal & professional milestones.

Professional

Hello blogging my old friend

After a couple years hiatus, I finally picked up a little at the end of the year with blogging again. By far the most engagement & views came from my post on setting up a Raspberry Pi as a browser kiosk. After delivering a Raspberry Pi based project running Angular to look like a kiosk, I realized others are probably trying to do something similar so I put up a post with brief instructions on how to get your Pi to behave.

It’s not done until it ships

Our team delivered a really cool solution for a lumber company to utilize in their warehouses to manage inventory using Raspberry Pi kiosks running Angular applications. These apps run in a disconnected state with a local API & SQLite database that syncs to an external API/SQL Server back end when a WiFi connection is available.

We built the solution to live disconnected due to spotty WiFi within their warehouses. It really saved the day in late December when the drives on their corporate API / SQL Servers died. The external API was unavailable for the devices to sync with, but they were still able to continue to produce new inventory during the outage. Once the new drives were spun up and the API redeployed, the devices began syncing as if nothing happened.

Personal

So many great things happened with our family this year, but most of all I’m so grateful for our health and safety.

Lauryn returns to private school

After several years of home school, our oldest daughter went to private school this year. We were initially concerned that we hadn’t been the best teachers at home and that she could be held back a year or struggle. I’m not sure if it’s a testament to her ability to learn or our ability to teach, but she has completely flourished! Not only maintaining A/B honor roll, she’s involved in EVERY extracurricular activity available to 7th graders. She has really blossomed and we’re extremely proud of her.

A camping we will go

This summer was jam-packed for the girls. It all started in May with a dance recital. Then after a quick break they spent two weeks in theater camp before performing in the local art councils performance of Mary Poppins. They had their last performance on a Saturday night and we dropped them off at church camp on Sunday morning where they stayed for a week. They both were busy, busy, busy but both had a great summer!

I’m half (30 pounds less) the man I used to be

Around July I started meal prepping each week to improve my diet. I’m definitely a creature of habit and my breakfast and lunch have been pretty consistently the same meal for 6 months. I start it off with a banana or bowl of oatmeal and then have tuna or Greek salad for lunch. Deanna has been cooking dinner much more often and I’m learning about these amazing vegetables I’ve never heard of before like asparagus and brussel sprouts. I also kicked soft drinks and sweets to the curb and started running & strength training every day. There have definitely been some setbacks due to sickness during those 6 months, but I’m down 30 pounds and my blood pressure has dropped a ton since I began. Of course, I’m feeling better and more energetic than I have in a long time.

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s off to wood working we go

In the last few weeks of the year I really started investing in tools and learning to do wood working. It’s been so much fun to learn and I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with Lauryn teaching her as we go. Our first project was a peg board over some cabinets in the garage and we finished the Christmas break with a work table.

I’ve definitely enjoyed learning to work with wood but I have to say the best part has been the one-on-one time with Lauryn. She loves working with her hands and I definitely want to encourage her and Layla that things like technology, wood working, etc. are not “boy things” and that they can excel with them.

Lordy, lordy, look who’s forty

Yeah. That happened. I’d rather not talk about it. :)

What’s in store for 2019

Professional

Don’t stop be-logging

Sorry. That’s a terrible Journey reference. But seriously, I’m hoping to up my game on the blog. A reasonable goal would be to post at least once a month. While I’d love to get two posts a month in, I’m going to set the bar low. :)

I’ve got a Twitch that needs to be scratched

During the last quarter I really got involved with various Twitch streams. If you haven’t viewed/followed/subscribed to any software development channels on Twitch you have really missed out! My current favorites are Fritz & Friends by Jeff Fritz and Dev Chatter by Brendan Enrick. Also coming on strong to close the year is Robert Tables by Robert Tables.

I’ve been completely inspired by these guys and their contribution to the community. To the extent that I’ve decided that 2019 will become the year of the stream. I’ve setup a stream at https://www.twitch.tv/themikejolley where I hope to stream once or twice a week. I spent several weeks at the end of 2018 getting some equipment and other things ready to go live during the first week of 2019. It’s going to be great getting more involved in the .NET and JavaScript communities and I really look forward to pair programming and learning with others.

Personal

I like to lose it, lose it

Continuing the health kick I’m on, my goal for 2019 is to get down another 40 pounds. That’s not an unreasonable goal with healthy eating and regular exercise. The fact that I started strength training 3 days a week during the last month or two of 2018 will only help in this initiative. Losing another 40 will put me near my weight when Deanna & I got married 19 years ago (holy cow, 19 years already?)

Level up the wood working

We had a lot of fun building things last year, but this year I really want to improve my wood working skills. I’d love to feel comfortable enough to tackle a new dining room table for the family by the end of the year. I also want to get Layla involved and spend some quality time with her doing projects.

Hanging with my girl

After 19 years, 8 moves and 3 kids, I really hope 2019 will provide more time for Deanna & I to get some time away. A big goal for this year is to establish regular date nights. Once we can line up regular child care we’ll be set. She has been the core of our family since day one and is definitely my best friend. I can’t wait to spend more time with her. Who knows… maybe I’ll even take her shopping.

Sum it up

Our family had a great 2018 and we’re all excited about what’s coming up in 2019. Hope your 2019 is your best year yet! What goals do you have for 2019? I’d love to hear them, so feel free to leave them in the comments below.

Michael Jolley's Picture

About Michael Jolley

Michael is a bald, bearded, builder with a passion for helping others succeed. For nearly 20 years, he’s used his experience in software development and DevOps for clients ranging from start-ups to Fortune 500.

Birmingham, AL https://michaeljolley.com

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