It is that time of year again, time to reflect on what has happened over the past year, where I succeeded and where I failed, and more importantly set goals for the coming year.
I, like many of you, had a pretty rough year so I am quite pleased to bid adieu to 2016.
I like to start these posts by covering what I actually did this year before delving into the specifics of last year's goals and how I did there, so here it goes!
Started a new business - Last year I started Bitkumo with my friends Lev and Mike. Things didn't work out super well there, but before Bitkumo ended Lev and I started a new business, Statusy. Statusy makes affordable status pages. I've put tons of time into this business and it has grown over the year into a profitable business.
Lost a job - I really enjoyed my time at Virtkick, but unfortunately budgetary constraints resulted in me being laid off around the beginning of the summer. While this sucked at the time, I look at it as a blessing in disguise, giving me a chance to relax and work on personal projects for the first time since I was high school.
Got a new job - One door closes, another opens. Not long after I departed from Virtkick I started working for Plaid Technologies, a position I have really come to love over the past few months. I feel like this position was made for me and it is allowing me to grow substantially as a developer.
Moved - Another year, another move. After I finished my time at Virtkick my then girlfriend and I decided it would be wise to move closer to family, so we packed up our apartment and moved north to Minnesota. When we arrived it wasn't much different than San Antonio, honestly the heat was kind of worse (with humidity stacked in), but I quickly forgot about that as we moved into the winter and sub-zero temperatures. I never understand what -19 meant in terms of temperature, but I do now: pain.
Traveled - I had the pleasure of taking a road trip from San Antonio to the Minneapolis area at the beginning of the year so my then girlfriend could attend a friend's wedding. I love road tripping and it is always a joy to see family so that was a good time. I also spent a few weeks in San Francisco, I hadn't been there previously but it was an enjoyable time, thanks Plaid!
Ended a relationship - Easily the roughest part of the year was the end of my near nine year relationship with my girlfriend, April. Break ups always suck, but this was especially rough given the time and experiences we had together. Fortunately, many friends and family were there to help me make it through to the other side with relatively minor wounds, thanks guys!
With that out of the way, it is time to look at what I wanted to accomplish this year. In my post from 2015 I listed the following goals for 2016:
Grow Bitkumo - This sort of happened. Bitkumo stagnated about four months after the beginning of the year, my good friend and then business partner Lev decided we shouldn't proceed. After some himming and hawing we eventually decided to sell the business to Virtkick, who continues to operate Bitkumo to this day. But hey, a successful exit is still success!
Get my code into production - Check! Much of my code eventually went into production at Virtkick. I also have a fair number of things in production with my current employer.
Learn RoR - A swing and a miss. I learned what I needed to know during my time at Virtkick, but after moving to a company that didn't utilize Rails I kind of lost interest. I have more than made up for this in my improved JS skills though.
Continue growing as a person - Sure. With the end of the relationship I mentioned above I took a lot of time to do some soul searching and learn a bit more about myself. Through this I've become a better Joe, I think.
Overall I am happy with my progress for the year, especially given the difficulties it has introduced. Now, on to 2017!
Continue growing Statusy - I love working on Statusy, I have found a great partner in Wojtek, a former colleague from Virtkick. Together we have made innumerable improvements to the Statusy platform including several major redesigns, improved UI/UX and more features than I can count on my fingers and toes. I want to continue growing this business, it is fun, and I feel it fills a hole in the market.
Continue learning about myself - It sounds kind of like BS, but hey it is what it is. Doing my own thing has allowed me to learn more about who I am, what I am, and what I want. I want to continue this adventure in 2017.
Resume pilot training - A few years back I started developing a love of aviation. This manifested its self in the pursuit of my private pilots certificate. Unfortunately, things didn't work out financially so I ultimately stopped this pursuit, but now that I am where I am, it seems like a great time to pick this up again.
Have fun - Another thing I have learned throughout the year is that working all the time is simply no fun. I've had several very productive years, but working all the time has started to have an impact on myself today, my previous relationship and relationships with friends and family. I don't intend to become a bum, but I do want to take it easy this year and enjoy myself a bit more.
With that, good bye 2016, hello 2017. I hope you all have a great 2017!