Jake Worth

My Annual Review 2019

December 31, 20193 min read

Every year I conduct an annual review to reflect on the ending professional year. Here are my notes from this year’s review.


Here are my milestones from 2019. This year, I:

  • Ported my blog from Rails to Gatsby.js. I am ecstatic about this change. Writing React and markdown, and deploying with GitHub, makes for an effortless workflow. I also open sourced the codebase (source code). I’d love some PR’s or issues on the repo.
  • Received a challenge coin from Code Platoon for work as a volunteer. Thank you Rod! I love being a part of this community.
  • Created and administered, along with my colleague Suzanne, an internal Developer’s Survey for Hashrocket. We presented our findings (everybody really loves React and TypeScript) at Hashrocket’s Summer MiniConf.
  • Tried out working 100% remotely. I enjoyed the experience. Along the way, I learned the value of a good coworking space.
  • Doubled my Stack Overflow reputation (1,511 points this year, top 3% of the site for 2019). There are a lot of people out there who need help with their code, and I’m happy to give back. I’m coming for you, Jon Skeet!
  • Spoke at Ancient City Ruby 2019 about React.js. My preparation included some of the most challenging source diving I’ve ever done. My slides are here; video forthcoming I hope. I’m averaging one conference presentation a year, which feels right. Thanks for the opportunity to share, ACR.
  • Mentored four Code Platoon veterans. Proud to have been a part of your journey, Ben, Kyle, Christian, and Hal. Good luck out there.
  • Taught SQL three times at Code Platoon with my friend Jack Christensen.
  • Got paid by a client to write Elixir code for the first time.
  • Attended my first RubyConf with coworkers and friends old and new. Spent some one-on-one time with my programming idols.

What did I learn?

Here are some some of my takeaways after another year in the programming trenches. Some of these lessons were from 2019, others were lessons I’ve learned in the past and reflected on again this year.

  • How to do faster planning
  • How to pick a good name
  • How to make social media images with ImageMagick
  • I’m highly motivated to build and ship an application of my own. At some point, a lot of programmers want to take the skills they’ve learned and build something personal and audacious, and 2019 was the year I crossed that threshold. Consulting provides me with the time and inspiration to make such an investment. Watch this space.
  • It’s better to be working with difficult technology, than a difficult team. Applies to many disciplines, including programming.
  • Elixir is a fantastic language to work on professionally. Also, an application written in any language, even a basically perfect language like Elixir, can have its edges.
  • Reading technical books consistently requires small, sustained effort every day.
  • If I drink coffee after noon, I don’t fall asleep. ☕️

Thank You

Thanks to my family and friends, everyone at Hashrocket, and my clients for another wonderful years as a programmer. And thank you for reading.

Happy New Year everyone.

Jake Worth

I'm Jake Worth, a Chicago-based web developer. Blog About Now