When I wrote my 2015 year in review blog post, I was certain my '66 VW Bus would finally be finished. AND IT IS! Do I need to even write this year's post? Yes, because I want to tell you how awesome it is to own this incredible-looking, awesomely-fast, mean machine.
But first, let's review the year using the following categories.
I had two different clients in 2016: CA Technologies and Stormpath. I worked full-time for CA in January and February, helping them adopt AngularJS. To help them learn about Angular 2, I rewrote my AngularJS getting started and testing tutorials for Angular 2. The first versions were published at Getting Started with Angular 2 and Testing Angular 2 Applications. I refactored both tutorials to use Angular CLI in August and published Getting Started + Testing with Angular CLI and Angular 2 (RC5). Since then, I've been maintaining an up-to-date version on GitHub.
In April, I started working half-time for CA and half-time for Stormpath. For Stormpath, I worked on their Java SDK and helped them launch their Java SDK 1.0. I really enjoyed working with the team at Stormpath. This led to me think about my priorities in life. I realized that I wanted to work remotely, get paid to speak at conferences, and get paid to work on open source. Stormpath provided me with all of these opportunities and I started working full-time for them on September 26, 2016.
In May, I joined the board of the Denver Java User Group. I've been helping organize meetups, find speakers, and secure location sponsors. If you're interested in speaking at DJUG in 2017, please let me know!
I wrote about life as an open source developer in early November. At that time, I mentioned being more stressed than I was used to. My stress levels continued to be high through the end of the year because I get to create my own job. I get to choose the conferences I submit too, the talks I create, the example apps, the blog posts, everything. There's so much I want to do that I've had to learn to scale back and not try to do so much at once.
I didn't blog much on raibledesigns.com in Q4 of 2016, but I wrote a bunch of technical posts on the Stormpath blog.
- Tutorial: Get Started with AngularJS, Spring Boot, and Stormpath
- Add Stormpath to Your JHipster Application
- Build an Angular 2 Application with User Authentication in 10 Minutes
- The Architecture of Stormpath’s Java SDK
- Tips and Tricks for AngularJS and Spring Boot with Stormpath
According to TripIt, I flew 59K miles in 2016.
I spoke at nine different events in 2016. You can find links to my presentations on my presentations page.
- February: Denver Open Source Users Group
- April: Colorado Springs Open Source Software Meetup Group and Devoxx France
- June: Devoxx UK and GeekOut
- August: HTML5 Denver Users Group
- September: vJUG24
- November: Rocky Mountain Software Symposium
- December: The Rich Web Experience
My most memorable conference in 2016 was Devoxx France because I took Abbie and we experienced springtime in Paris together.
Becoming a Java Champion at Devoxx France was certainly a surprise too!
I really enjoyed taking my mom with me to Devoxx UK and GeekOut. It was my first time speaking at both conferences and I was impressed by both personnel and venues.
I'd like to plan a few Devoxx4Kids Denver events in 2017, so please let me know if you have a topic you'd like to present.
I wrote down my goals at the beginning of 2016:
- Finish the bus
- Win a trophy
- Ski a lot
- Raft a lot
- Stay in shape
- July in Montana
- Happy Trish
- Ionic/Angular2 app
- Learn how to make a good dirty martini
I'm proud to the bus is finished and it won Best in Class at VWs on the Green.
We skied a lot, but never took our own raft on river. I stayed in shape and have records to prove it thanks to 21-Points Health and dailymile. This summer, I spent seven weekends in a row away from home; with three weeks in Montana. Not quite a month, but close. Trish was happy because we journeyed to Hawaii to celebrate her parents' 50th anniversary.
Her happiness continued when she found her dream home in July. We moved into The Raible Ranch in September.
Weeks later, she and Abbie bought their dream horse named Tucker. I wrote about him in Abbie's 14th birthday post.
I learned how to make an excellent dirty martini, but did not find the time to create an Ionic/Angular2 app.
The Ski Bus (aka Stout)
Stout the Syncro spent a couple months getting upgrades in late 2015: transmission rebuilt, fridge installed, Propex heater installed, and new headlights. We leveraged these improvements on an epic family road trip to Jekyll Island (Georgia) for my Dad's 70th birthday.
We made it back to Denver just in time for the AFC Championship game and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves tailgating beforehand.
Watching the Broncos win Super Bowl 50 was definitely a highlight of 2016.
We took Stout on a bunch of ski trips and winter camped several times. The Propex heater and Reflectix insulation worked great and kept it around 50°F even when it was 0°F out.
I bought a new mountain bike (Yeti SB 95) in May and Trish and I drove the van to Syncro Solstice in Moab. We were hoping for a weekend of mountain biking and 4-wheeling, but Trish had a bad crash and stabbed herself in the chest with a handlebar. That ended our 4x4 aspirations for the weekend, but the van ran great!
The other major road trip for Stout was when I drove from Colorado to Montana over four days. I drove to Grand Junction on Monday evenning, worked during the day on Tuesday, went mountain biking in the afternoon, then drove to Jackson Hole that night. Wednesday, I worked in Jackson Hole, went mountain biking, then drove to Montana that night. I woke up early on Thursday and made it to Missoula to start working promptly at 8am. That evening, I drove to Seeley Lake and setup camp at the first annual Bob Marshall Music Festival. Trish flew in on Friday and we danced and celebrated my birthday all weekend.
The Porsche Bus (aka Hefe)
Hefe's debut at VWs on the Green was a wild success and we had a lot of fun that day. In June, we showed him at Colorado Concours d'Elegance and won a blue ribbon. We trailered him to Montana and drove him in the Swan Valley parade and the Seeley Lake parade.
We hauled him back in Denver to be in the Colorado Bug-In at Bandimere Speedway, where he got second in the custom/radical class.
On the way home from that event, one of the rear shocks blew up from rubbing against the axle. That was the beginning of the end for my air suspension. I drove Hefe to Kustom Coach Werks in early August to have fix the doors (they had gaps) and tune the suspension. When they finished, I called it "release 1.5".
I drove Hefe for a month without rear shocks and didn't have too many issues; it was just bouncy in the back. Buses at the Brewery in Colorado Springs was a fun event and the first time that Hefe went viral on Facebook. This has happened a few times since then. He gets thousands of likes from being featured on a VW fan page.
Before the drive to Colorado Springs, I noticed the rear suspension was missing bolts, causing the rear end to shimmy. I was able to find a new bolt and fix it, but the problem with bolts falling out continued in September. I tried smaller wheels (15" Fuchs), but the suspension was still really stiff in front. Because of the suspension issues, I shipped it back to KCW in October. They ripped out the air suspension and replaced it with coil over shocks, making for a much better ride. It now can cruise at 90 mph easily and looks great all the time! After these repairs, it's now Hefe 2.0.
If you're interested in reading about the suspension decision process, or to see pictures, see this thread on KCW's forums.
Professionally, I'll be speaking at a lot of conferences and meetups this year. As a Developer Evangelist for Stormpath, I'm expected to speak at least once a month. I did a webinar on Getting Started with Angular in mid-January and I'm traveling next week to Jfokus in Stockholm. See my future engagements for more scheduled events.
I suspect most of the coding I'll be doing will be related to Stormpath's SDKs, both Angular and Java. Of course, I'll help out on JHipster as much as I can too. With JHipster 4 on the horizon, there will be a lot of work to update the JHipster Mini-Book.
Hefe 3.0 will be released this spring after I get a sweet sound system installed. As far as personal goals for 2017, I have only one: to drive Hefe up the California coast. With a new house, two running VWs, and a job that's a helluva lot of fun, life is pretty awesome right now.