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2018 in review (bullets)

It’s the last day of 2018, and here’s my annual bullets.txt review.

There’s something about using the word “bullets” in these, our apocalyptic-feeling times, that feels a bit off. If you have another term for “bullet point,” please share in the comments! Otherwise I’ll be here, working through my “line items.”

Winter 2018 (January to March)

I traveled to Baltimore, Peru, and New Orleans in the winter. The Baltimore trip was highlighted by hanging out in my friend’s hot tub where they dumped ping pong balls on the surface, only to have gusts of wind knock them off. We spent some of the next day hunting the rogue spheres down.

Peru was this year’s anti-winter trip (with my travel buddy and dear friend Serena), which I didn’t write about here. New Orleans was a friend trip and mostly actual vacation, which was lovely.

In general, I’ve been connecting and reconnecting with friends (ex. Baltimore) as I continue to recover from my divorce, which was finalized February 28th. I got my decree in the mail once I got back from Peru.

In the tech realm, I co-organized the Philly edition of Global Diversity CFP Day. If you’d like to facilitate that happening for 2019, I am happy to offer advice if you would like it. You can read more about how that went (well!) in this post.

The Philadelphia Eagles also won the Super Bowl, which was a ridiculous event, and yes, it was probably as wild as you suspect.

Spring (March to May)

On the spring side of March, I started working on one of IOpipe’s most popular features: labels (née tags, ask me about it sometime), and we had our all-hands meeting in Philadelphia. In April, we made robot.bingo, which was very interesting and fun to work on as a team. I wrote about that on the IOpipe blog, and on some of my contributions from the data science end of things.

In travel, I went to Boston and gave a demo at cloud provider’s event, which was my first major foray into doing more sales-engineer type activities, short of a demo on a call here and there. I also took a friend trip/partial vacation to New Orleans, went to Louisville to visit my family and go to Derby, and was in New York City for Never Graduate Week. And went to Baltimore again, to see my friends’ art piece in the Light City festival.

I also finished/”graduated” from the Leadership Philadelphia Keepers class of 2019. There were events from September 2017 to May 2018, and I met with a mentor on a regular basis. I am so happy to have connected with the people that I’ve encountered through that program, and absolutely excited to see what all these talented people will do, and some are, dare I say, becoming good friends.

My friend Robby also came to town and gave a talk on his perspective on origami, mathematics and software. I didn’t organize this, but facilitated the introduction and it was a cool thing that happened.

Summer (June to August)

June was very happening! The podcast I recorded with InfoQ came out, ahead of my talk on Observability and CatOps at Monitorama in Portland. While writing this post, I learned that the video for that is indeed published!

Gosh, Monitorama was lovely. I highly recommend it, if you do anything in the realm of reliability engineering, or make products related to it. I also learned that Portland did not have a blowdry bar that I could go to in the morning before my talk. You live, you learn.

I also spoke at a DCACM/DCJS meetup, which was hosted at the Washington Post so I got to take this photo:

In other travel, I went to HOPE (lovely) and went to upstate New York to hang out and attempt to go rock climbing (it was too wet mostly, but we got to climb once!). I also went on a beach trip with friends, and went to Baltimore yet again, this time to hang out with my sister/brother-in-law/nephew for the day.

During the summer, I worked through The Artist’s Way, and highly recommend it for any person, but especially programmers dealing with burnout-category feelings. I wrote a little about burnout on Medium, because I didn’t yet feel comfortable putting non-tech things here on The Webivore. But I’m feeling over that at this point (gestures to feelings in this post).

I’d tried to work through The Artist’s Way before (it’s a 12 week program), but I usually felt better in the first few weeks (great!). I do think it was extremely valuable to go through the whole process, and I’m still working through lots of things. I also moved in August! (not far, still in Philadelphia, but moving is always intense).

I also turned 30 this summer! I made a joke thing ahead of time so that I could be on a 30 under 30 list. I even had an illustrious party, which consisted of me and my friend Abby drinking frosé in a Philadelphia beer garden.

Fall (September to December)

I went to Seattle for an IOpipe trip in October, and I went to London for MozFest (read more about that, and the add-ons UX process) and also spoke at O’Reilly Velocity London, and was track host for the serverless track.

That led to spending 10 days away in London, which was not as glamorous as you think when you hear that. The MozFest part was wonderful, the Velocity part, and working in a far timezone, not so much, and I got sick enough afterwards that it threw off travel plans I had to go to Chrome Dev Summit.

I spoke at All Things Open in Raleigh in October, where I also recorded with The Cloudcast, in what was a whirlwind 24-hour trip. Here’s me and the crowd at the ATO talk:

The packed room (standing room only) at All Things Open

In December I organized Philadelphia’s first algorave with the help of my dear friend and amazing artist Sarah, after proposing that wild idea in just October. It was really really awesome.

What’s next

I’ve had a really intense year. There have been lots of things going on! If you read this post and you think “wow, things are going so well!” I would like to assure you and remind you that these days we tend to view things through an Instagram filter — no one posts sad photos to Instagram.

It’s been difficult, and continues to be. I’m so grateful for everyone who’s been helpful and caring. I started writing out some names, but I’m a little worried that I would leave someone out, so if you think this applies to you: it does. If you checked in on me, if we had a phone chat, if you let me stay on your couch, if we went for a walk, if we went to breakfast, if we went to the bookstore, if you loaned me a book, if you worked out with me, if you just said “hi” — thank you. It’s meant a lot and I’m really grateful.

I’ll have more on some future ideas pretty soon. I’m also restarting my newsletter, which died sometime after I left Comcast, and the list was purged since I didn’t use it. If you’d like to subscribe to hear what’s going on and some of the future schemes I have (Philadelphia-based and beyond), please drop me your email, I promise to treat it well.

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