In 2018, I spoke at several fantastic meetups, traveled a bit overseas, and enjoyed some fun family vacations. We had the time of our lives driving Hefe in the Denver St. Paddy's Day Parade!
We traveled to Crete for JCrete and had a blast with the Java community. We journeyed to Ireland with my folks, and I thoroughly enjoyed a speaking tour of Ireland JUGs and the Dublin JHipster Meetup. Our classic VWs had a great year with only minor repairs needed.
I'm going to look back on 2018 using the following categories.
For those stumbling upon this post with no context, I'm a veteran open source developer that works at Okta as a developer advocate.
This year I focused on blogging more than speaking. I still spoke a fair bit, but I tried to focus on meetups more than conferences. The DevEx Team at Okta released a slew of SDKs at the end of 2017, so I had plenty to write about. Over the year, I found more and more developers had heard of Okta during my talks. I even found users in most audiences! This was quite a change from 2017, so it seems my team's advocacy efforts might be working.
I wrote 29 blog posts throughout the year on the Okta developer blog. We publish two types of blog posts: thought leadership and conversion. Thought leadership posts tend to be about a hot topic while conversion posts are generally tutorials. I wrote a series of posts on PWAs with Ionic + Angular and Spring Boot. The series started in January and ended in July.
- Protect Your Cryptocurrency Wealth Tracking PWA with Okta
- Use Okta (Instead of Local Storage) to Store Your User's Data Securely
- The Hitchhiker's Guide to Testing Spring Boot APIs and Angular Components with WireMock, Jest, Protractor, and Travis CI
- Deploy Your Secure Spring Boot + Angular PWA as a Single Artifact
- Add CI/CD to Your Spring Boot App with Jenkins X and Kubernetes
I also wrote a number of posts on JHipster, starting with Ionic for JHipster. Then I transitioned to microservices and showed how to build a Spring microservices architecture with Spring Security and OAuth 2.0. I felt this was important, as it's the same basic architecture that JHipster uses.
I published Develop a Microservices Architecture with OAuth 2.0 and JHipster, and had two more JHipster posts about its React and React Native support.
- Build a Photo Gallery PWA with React, Spring Boot, and JHipster
- Build a Mobile App with React Native and Spring Boot
I learned about React and React Native from research I did while writing previous posts.
- Build a React Native Application and Authenticate with OAuth 2.0
- Use React and Spring Boot to Build a Simple CRUD App
I stayed current on the latest releases of Angular and Spring Boot because I ❤ them both!
- Angular 6: What's New, and Why Upgrade
- Spring Boot 2.1: Outstanding OIDC, OAuth 2.0, and Reactive API Support
- Angular 7: What's New and Noteworthy + OIDC Goodness
- Build a Basic CRUD App with Angular 7.0 and Spring Boot 2.1
I heard from several developers that they wanted to use Okta with their Java apps, but they weren't using Spring. Or they were using Spring MVC, but not Spring Boot. I wrote Build a Java REST API with Java EE and OIDC to show a few authn/authz techniques: JWT validation, using Spring Security, and using Pac4j.
I had a blast in August and September collaborating with Josh Long about going Full Stack Reactive with Spring WebFlux and React. Josh authored his parts with AsciiDoc and forced me to integrate Asciidoctor support in our blog. It took awhile, but I was thrilled with the result. Now I get to author all my blog posts with AsciiDoc! 🎉
- Get Started with Reactive Programming in Spring
- Build Reactive APIs with Spring WebFlux
- Full Stack Reactive with Spring WebFlux, WebSockets, and React
The Super Epic Advocacy Battle!
I was super motivated to write a bunch of blog posts in June and July because I was having a "most views" contest with Randall Degges. The contest started after I mouthed off that I thought I could outperform him in the waning hours of our Oktane 2018 conference. He accepted my challenge and we competed for two months. He wrote mostly thought leadership posts, I wrote mostly tutorials. Long story short: he won. I had to wear gold pants the week of CodeOne for my lack of winning.
Hanging out at Oracle Code One conf with my buddy @mraible and his amazing MC Hammer pants.— Randall Degges (@rdegges) October 22, 2018
I wonder why he's wearing them? :D
He's about to get onstage to talk about micro services <33333 pic.twitter.com/syoiIeSDMc
If only I'd published 10 Excellent Ways to Secure Your Spring Boot Application earlier in our contest. I collaborated on it with Simon Maple, and it seemed to be popular.
I wrote a few other thought leadership posts throughout 2018:
- How to Achieve Massive Productivity at Work
- Three Developer Tools I'm Thankful For
- Learning Java as a First Language
According to TripIt, I took 26 trips, to 37 cities, in 6 countries. That's three fewer trips than 2017, and I only had 119 days on the road (versus 141). By my count, I spoke at 20 events.
JHipsterConf was especially fun because I took my son, Jack, with me.
I had a wonderful time this week in Paris and at @jhipsterconf. Many thanks to the @java_hipster developers, community, @juliendubois, @deepu105, and @ippontech for making it all possible! #JHipsterConf pic.twitter.com/61ZfRZxg8G— Matt Raible (@mraible) June 23, 2018
I also attended a few conferences that I did not speak at: Iterate, JCrete, and Monktoberfest. All of these were special in their own ways. JCrete was an unconference in an exotic location (Crete, Greece) and was a fantastic experience. I learned that 1) it's important to rent a car if you bring your family and 2) an unconference is what you make of it. Put a lot into it, and you'll get a lot out of it. As a speaker, I think it's a fantastic conference format because it's an excellent networking atmosphere. You can also learn a lot if there are peers with expertise in the topic you're interested in. Monktoberfest also provided next-level networking.
We had three Devoxx4Kids Denver workshops in 2018:
- Create 3D Models and Animations with Blender
- Building Games With Unity
- Gotta Catch ‘Em All! Raspberry Pi and Java Pokemon Training
We announced the 2018 Denver JUG Rock Stars at our December meetup. Venkat, David, and Jeff were voted as the group's favorite speakers. Y'all were excellent! Thanks for adding DJUG to your schedules.
At this week's @denverjug, we announced the Denver JUG Rock Stars of 2018. If you want to be entertained, intrigued, & educated: @venkat_s, @dblevins, and @jeffscottbrown are three of our favorite speakers. #denverjug #rockstars #java— Matt Raible (@mraible) December 14, 2018
Thanks to @oktadev for sponsoring trophies! pic.twitter.com/uTNcDZVCFi
My projects these days are mostly around JHipster. I supported its OAuth 2.0 and OIDC support as best I could, and released five versions of its Ionic module. I wrote about how to use Ionic with JHipster in late January. I recorded a screencast showing how to get started with JHipster 5 in June.
We released the JHipster Mini-Book version 4.5 in April and version 5.0 in November. I published a Pluralsight course on developing microservices and mobile apps with JHipster in April and released 21-Points Health 5.0 in October.
This year was a mix of work your ass off and try to have fun at the same time. There were many times when we wished we were home, but the times on the road were grand. I suspect this will be a constant battle for Trish and I. We love to be home, but we love to explore new places. If old friends gather with us at home or in new places, it's bound to be a fantastic evening!
The biggest change was Abbie became a driver. For those parents with kids that have to chaperone endlessly throughout the weeks and weekends, you know this is a BFD! As of December 27, 2018, Abbie's now the captain of the ranch-to-school ship. She even drove in the blowing snow yesterday!
There were many highlights in 2019. My early favorite (that makes me tear up as I write this) is Hefe 3.5.
My daughter observed the other day that most people are frowning when they’re driving. I’m not one of this people. In fact, I have to wear sunglasses to hide my tears of joy! 🤣 #HefeTheBus #21windows pic.twitter.com/0LWaQkjZlx— Matt Raible (@mraible) March 14, 2018
We had a blast with Trish's parents during Spring Break in Florida and squeezed in a day trip to Disney World.
The 2017-18 ski season didn't bring a lot of snow, but our ski trip to Utah was wonderful!
Trish and I celebrated our 5th anniversary at JCrete. I hope the next five years are as adventurous as the last five!
If you want a glimpse of my backwoods childhood (without electricity) in Montana, see my Life Update: Thanksgiving in Montana, RWX2018, Devoxx4Kids, DJUG, and Trish's Birthday post.
Professionally, I'm planning to travel a bit more to exotic locations. Atlanta, San Francisco, Paris, Bangalore, Barcelona, and Kansas City are on my list (before August). The Developer Relations team at Okta is a fantastic place to be. As many of y'all know, the best thing about a job is often your boss. Mine is Randall Degges. He's a legitimate badass hacker. Don't try to win a popularity contest with him. There's a good chance I'll be at Okta as long as he's my boss.
On the developer relations team, we set our own schedules, plan our own interests, schedule our own conference appearances, and sponsor our favorite local events. Being a developer advocate is a gratifying job. You can write about your favorite open source frameworks, attend/sponsor local meetups, and learn new things every day! If you happen to be #devrel folk (or a like-minded awesomeperson), you might like my Pro Tips for Developer Relations.
Personally, I'd like to ski, raft, bike, and have a good time in 2019 a lot more! Y'all know I won't have any problem with the last one, but its predecessors are the ones that really make me smile. Skiing down a chute, rafting through a class IV, and biking in Moab are some of the most exhilarating activities I've ever experienced. I'm getting a bit older (44) these days, but I still love playing in the outdoors. Luckily, I married a magical woman that loves the outdoors as much as I do. Even better, she photographs its excellence!
Abbie is the school-commute driver, but Jack will be 15 in August, and he's determined to get his learners permit as soon as he can. That means he'll need a family member in the car that's 21+. If he wants to drive, the 20-minute-each-way commute is back on in the fall. For those of you with children of similar ages, you know that this is a precious time in our lives. I don't have a work commute. Driving my kids to school takes an hour round-trip. If it were a commute to work, I'd hate it. However, it's precious time with my kids, and it's really quite fabulous. Even if they're staring at their phones, you have their full attention. Ask questions and enjoy their responses.
Last year, I said one of my goals was to simply be content. This year, I'm taking it up a notch. If you don't have goals, how can you measure how you improved your life? I'm a big believer in self-improvement, so here goes (in order of priority):
- Good Blood Pressure
- More 2 and 3 point days
- Ride/ski/hoops 4x week
- Walk daily (preferably at home with Sagan and Daisy)
- More salads, less red meat
- Love is a verb, embrace 1:1 time with everyone (Trish, kids, parents, friends)
- 20 days camping
- 25 days skiing
- 15 days rafting
I'm a big fan of the last three. Those activities typically involve a break from technology, the great outdoors, and exquisite views. Follow me on Instagram if you want a highlight reel.
I have some work-related goals too, because metrics seem to motivate me.
- Author/publish two blog posts per month
- Review/mentor four blog posts per month
- Record/publish two videos per month
- One performance/speaking gig per month
- Three "no travel" months
- Stand more while working
I believe 2019 will be fabulous, and I hope to reflect my favorite moments on this blog. If you're a long-time follower, you'll notice I'm mostly active @mraible. Y'all use Twitter, right? That's my modern day notification channel. When I'm super giddy, I'll post pictures of my favorite moments on Instagram. When I want to save them forever, I publish them to Flickr.
I hope to see you at a conference or meetup in 2019!