Jake Worth

My Annual Review 2017

January 01, 20183 min read

Each year I conduct an annual review to help me reflect on the ending year. Here’s a link to last year’s.

What Went Well

I learned a lot this year.

Headline: we rewrote Today I Learned, a Rails app, in Elixir/Phoenix. Here’s the announcement. This was my passion project and would not have happened without these committers: Chris Erin, Dorian Karter, Josh Branchaud, and Taylor Mock. We even got a commit from Elixir creator José Valim; that was cool! I wrote a ton of newbie Elixir code in this project, so please, open source folks, have at it.

My favorite blog post was Format Your Elixir Code Now, and I’ll be speaking about it in January at Chicago Elixir.

I wrote a lot of React and Redux this year, and my competency with these tools exploded, thanks to reading this cartoon about ten times and embracing the beautiful nightmare that is JavaScript. I loved this work.

Another exciting experience was teaching at Code Platoon with my friend Jack Christensen. Here I explained this unique partnership.

Another milestone was speaking at RailsConf 2017. Here’s my summary of that experience, including the video. I was honored to speak twelve other times, including at React Chicago.

Our Vim Chicago community hosted ten Meetups and reached 400 members, double our size from two years ago. I loved partnering with ChicaGoLang, CJUG, and hosting the inimitable Andy Lester.

Last Year’s Goals

From last year’s review:

[My major professional goal is to] submit twelve CFP proposals to technical conferences in 2017.

In the end I submitted eleven CFPs. Waiting until December for my final submission was a bad strategy, because I couldn’t find any conferences accepting CFPs this month that matched my interests.

Next Year’s Goals

My main professional goal for 2018 is to submit 10 CFPs.

Why this focus again? This tweet from Charity Majors echos my feelings:

Submitting CFPs had many incredible side effects. In the process of workshopping ideas, I prepared a group of small talks for Meetups, and learned a lot. It forced me to stick with ideas for a long time, synthesize, and practice commanding a room. And it led to an unforgettable opportunity at RailsConf. Most importantly, it made me a better developer in ways I’m still discovering.

Why ten? They say one in ten CFPs is selected. This year I submitted eleven CFPs; one was selected. I’m an average submitter. I’m not Sandi Metz. But I could be Stephen King, who submitted dozens of manuscripts before his first publication and went on to an illustrious career. If I want another shot, I’ll need to submit at least another ten CFPs.

Thank You’s

Thanks to:

  1. Family and friends who support and encourage me
  2. Our clients
  3. Everyone at Hashrocket, and Marian Phelan for sponsoring all my quests
  4. Followers of @hashrockettil, and everyone who contributed to the Phoenix port
  5. Chris Erin and the members of Vim Chicago
  6. Dorian Karter for continuing to organize Chicago Elixir
  7. Jack Christensen for teaching at Code Platoon with me
  8. All the OSS maintainers who volunteer to make the world a better place
  9. Elixir Radar and ElixirWeekly

Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful 2018.

Blog of Jake Worth, software engineer in Maine.

© 2022 Jake Worth.