2012 - A Year in Review
I wrote my first year in review blog entry way back in 2005. That means this year's is number 8. Since they keep getting longer every year, I figured I'd try something different this year and use sections similar to Remy Sharp.
I spent the entirety of the year with one client: Taleo. Oracle bought them in February. In June, the transition to Oracle happened. My tasks and projects haven't changed much since the transition, but it has been a real pain to get paid on time. My contract with them is through the end of May. I hope to take July off (to get married) and August off (to honeymoon) and start a new gig in September.
Raible Designs had a great year, our best ever financially. I hired Trish as an assistant in January, doubling the size of the company. We had our Annual Shareholders Meeting on a Disney Cruise in April. I have no plans to do increase the size of the company in 2013, mostly because I enjoy not having the responsibility of employees. I've employed sub-contractors in the past and it always seems to create more of a headache than it's worth.
We moved our offices from downtown Littleton to Thrive (in LoDo) last April and I plan on staying there. It's an easy 6-mile bicycle commute and the guys there have been great to work with. I highly recommend it if you're looking for co-working space.
I spoke at 5 events in 2012:
- Silicon Valley Spring User Group on What's New in Spring 3.1.
- JFokus on Comparing Web Frameworks and HTML5 with Play Scala.
- Spring I/O on Comparing JVM Web Frameworks.
- JavaPosse Roundup on How to build a Shot-Ski.
- ÜberConf on Play vs. Grails.
Traveling to Stockholm and Madrid for JFokus and Spring I/O was spectacular.
I took the 2nd half of the year off from speaking, celebrating my temporary retirement at a Def Leppard concert in June. When I decided to do this, I was planning on my VW Bus being finished. I was planning on switching from Java Conferences to VW Shows as a hobby. Unfortunately, now it's January and The Bus still isn't done. I have high hopes for it being finished in 2013.
I paid for 2 conferences in 2012, the JavaPosse Roundup in March and Monktoberfest in October. While I enjoyed both, Monktoberfest will likely become a tradition.
AppFuse: I started the year by refreshing AppFuse's UI with Twitter Bootstrap and blogged about the Twitter's Summit on Bootstrap shortly after. At the same time, I was overhauling Taleo's UI with HTML5, Bootstrap and CSS3, but waited until August to blog about it.
In the fall, the AppFuse Team migrated to GitHub and integrated Hibernate Search. AppFuse 2.2.1 was released in December.
Happy Trails: In May and June, I worked on Happy Trails with James Ward as part of our Play vs. Grails Smackdown. This was a very enjoyable experience and I learned a lot about GitHub, Cloudbees and Heroku.
Play More: In June, I wrote about Upgrading to Play 2: Anorm and Testing. A couple weeks later, I wrote about integrating Validation and Secure Social into Play More. In the aforementioned post, I also posted my ÜberConf presentation, the source code and my thoughts on Play 2.
I found Anorm and Scalate to be huge time sinks and don't know if I'd recommend using either one in a Play 2 project. I'm sure Scalate will be easier to use as its Play 2 integration gets more refined, but I don't know if there's any hope for a JDBC abstraction that doesn't produce error messages when things go south.
Roller: Although I didn't contribute much to Apache Roller in 2012, I do continue to use it frequently. This site celebrated its 10-year anniversary in August. It got a new look and feel shortly after.
Last year was a fantastic year for family time. Our cruise around the Western Caribbean was money well spent.
My goal was to spend a month with my parents this year and we satisfied that by July. In total, we enjoyed their company for 8 weeks in 2012.
The worst ski season on record ended in April and Trish and I headed for wine country in May.
Abbie and Jack's school year ended on June 5th and we celebrated Father's Day on the Oregon coast.
Raible Road Trip #17 began in late June and we spent two weeks parading, rafting and golfing in Montana. From there, we flew to Maui for two weeks. I wrote about it all in Summer Vacation 2012 in Montana and Maui.
After returning from Hawaii, we dropped the kids off at their Mom's and headed to my cousin's wedding in Beacon, NY for the weekend. From there, my parents, Trish and I rode the train to Boston, spent a few days in Cape Cod and returned home in time for the beginning of school.The kids started the school year in mid-August and we celebrated Jack's 8th birthday a couple weeks later.
My lack of speaking engagements and work-related travel gave us more time to frolic in the Colorado mountains, so we bought a boat for Labor Day weekend. That Saturday, we took it on its Maiden Voyage on the Colorado River, floating from Radium to Rancho del Rio. I guided and rowed the boat most of the time while our 7 passengers (and 2 dogs) enjoyed cold beverages, great scenery and relaxing in the sun.
The next day, Abbie played her first game of golf.
In October, I finished our deck project and work continued on our kitchen remodel (started in July by Ted Pepper). Our kitchen was far enough along for us to host our 1st Annual Halloween Party.
Abbie turned 10 the first week in November. That Friday, we headed to Kauai to celebrate my parents' 40th Anniversary. We spent Thanksgiving in Wenatchee, Christmas in Boston/Vermont and New Years with good friends in Fraser.
My goals for 2013 are to be happy and to slow down. I don't plan on traveling any less, or spending less time with my family. I'd just like to walk slower, smell the good ol' Rocky Mountain air more and enjoy life. I believe our raft will help us facilitate this and we're already planning trips to the Green River in Utah and Schafer Meadows in the Bob.
The big event for the year will be Trish and my wedding this summer. We'll be doing it in my hometown in Montana and we expect it to be quite the shindig. Afterward, we plan on traveling the world for our honeymoon.
Of course, if the bus gets finished, that's a huge bonus too.
For AppFuse, I'd love to get 3-4 releases out this year, but 2 is probably more realistic. The AppFuse Roadmap shows our future releases + features. I'd also like to work a bit more on my Play 2 app; finishing the mobile client and possibly switching from Anorm to Slick or Spring Data.
While Oracle has been good to me, I look forward to finding and working for a new client in September.
Last year at this time, we watched the Broncos execute the Mile High Miracle over the Steelers. With tickets to both this week's game (vs. The Ravens) and next week's game (vs. The Patriots), I wouldn't be surprised if January turns out to be a great month. However, with the Powder Days, The Super Bowl, the raft trips, the Bus Shows and The Wedding, there's a good chance that all the months in 2013 are epic.