2012 debriefing

by DotNetNerd 23. December 2012 16:12

484Last year I did my first debriefing. I felt it was a good chance to take a quick look back and it felt good to reflect a bit and do a brain dump. So now I am at it again after a year that has flown by, in spite of some hard moments.

Personally this year had a tough start for my family, because the family business went bankrupt. I grew up in a house next to my parent’s greenhouse, so it was a central part of life in my upbringing. Acknowledging that it was the end of the road, and my dad had to move out of the house was frustrating. That said I am thankful that my siblings who both worked there have found new jobs, and my dad has adapted well to life as a pensioner.

Later on things have only gone forward. In the summer my girlfriend finished her masters, and just a few days ago she had her first scientific article accepted for publishing. I am really happy for her, and it makes for interesting prospects in the new year, where she will look to get a job and possibly start a PhD.

For me as a developer it has been a very exciting year, that offered plenty of opportunities. The highlights were that I:

  • Went to TechEd North America in Orlando
  • Blogged and did interviews with Scott Hanselman and Anders Hejlsberg at the GOTO conference
  • Wrote a whitepaper on Enterprise search
  • Took a Coursera gamification course
  • Did user group talks on WebAPI and Webpages
  • Held a code camp about WebAPI
  • Saw my open source project from last year called MiniMe pass 1075 downloads
  • Built fixop.dk with my brother - which sadly didn't take off, so we closed down again
  • Started two shelf projects. One RavenDB based and another combining Node, Angular and TypeScript
  • Wrote 29 blog posts, split between this blog and the Vertica blog
  • Was named "blog king" at Vertica
  • And went to a bunch of user group meetings, code camps and a code retreat

Also, Vertica was named the 3rd best place to work in Denmark in the category for small companies. We shattered our old earning records and moved to a new address - and had time for fun and social events in the process. Actual projects I worked on during he year included:

  • A mobile website for Brødrene Dahl with faceted search
  • B2B e-commerce site for Bikersbest with faceted search
  • A solution rewrite with advanced search and design for Bolia including a new server setup
  • Payday features including a configurable reporting system
  • Redesign, e-commerce and search for Trollbeads

As it shows Enterprise search and RavenDB have been key themes in 2012. I have written and worked quite a bit in this space, and it has yielded some solutions that I am very proud of.

It has also been the year of web frameworks for REST-like services with WCF taking a back seat to Nancy, ServiceStack and WebAPI. HTML5, CSS3 and JavaScript libraries like UnderscoreJS and AngularJS have been integral at building better user experiences on top of these services.

Finally the last month I looked closer at using Powershell for all the small everyday tasks. Nice productivity booster and something I will do even more next year. With all my sites now on Azure websites, the Azure Powershell API and PSake seems like things I need to take a look at.

In 2012 my evening and bedtime reading has been pretty scattered with regard to topics, but these are all great books that I got through:

  • NoSql distilled
  • Search patterns
  • The pragmatic programmer
  • 97 Things every programmer should know
  • Node: up and running
  • Seven languages in Seven weeks
  • Building Web, Cloud, and Mobile Solutions with F#
  • And first part of Powershell Scripting and Toolmaking

It was also a year that spawned lots of new gadgets and as a guy who loves his gadgets, for me the best new arrivals at my house were:

  • Sonos - love having music in all rooms now
  • Lumia 920 - a giant leap for Nokia and Microsoft who now have the Best smart phone IMHO
  • Fitbit - fun little motivator
  • Diablo 3 - even my girlfriend started playing, so nuff said

As all this indicates it has been a fantastic year, so now I look forward to enjoying Christmas and new years in expectation of another great year to come. The coming year already looks to provide plenty of positive challenges so all I have to say is “bring it on”.

Merry Christmas and happy New Year everybody!

Who am I?

My name is Christian Holm Diget, and I work as an independent consultant, in Denmark, where I write code, give advice on architecture and help with training. On the side I get to do a bit of speaking and help with miscellaneous community events.

Some of my primary focus areas are code quality, programming languages and using new technologies to provide value.

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