January 01, 2018
Each year I conduct an annual review to help me reflect on the ending year. Here’s a link to last year’s.
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.
From last year’s review:
[My major professional goal is to] submit twelve CFP proposals to technical conferences in 2017.
How did I do? 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.
My main professional goal for 2018 is to submit 10 CFPs.
Why this focus again? This tweet from Charity Majors echos my feelings:
The biggest boost for my career the past five years wasn't working at Facebook or being a manager, it was developing public speaking skills.— Charity Majors (@mipsytipsy) September 24, 2017
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 information, and practice commanding a room. And it led to an unforgettable speaking opportunity at RailsConf. Most importantly, it made me a better consultant and 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; recognizing this has been an odd relief. 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.
Thanks for reading! Have a wonderful 2018.