I didn't expect to travel much in 2021, mostly because of my promise to myself to take a year off. When I got fully-vaxxed in April, I expected things to return to normal and we'd all be traveling to conferences again by early fall.
I'm happy to announce that I'm #FullyVaccinated. Had 2nd @pfizer shot on Apr 14. I feel lucky 🍀 to have experienced no symptoms other than extreme joy. 🥳@TrishPhoto and I just finished a 23-day sugar detox too. We're feeling good!! ✌️ pic.twitter.com/6chqkFbPB7— Matt Raible (@mraible) April 28, 2021
2021 was a milestone year for our family. It's the year Abbie graduated from high school! We planned and executed a fun party with family and friends at the Raible Ranch in early June.
I only have one goal for 2021: dance more 🕺
When I mentioned this to Trish, she laughed and pointed to our living room, which she recently re-arranged to open up a nice dance floor. I probably danced more in 2021 than 2020, but that's not saying much. My favorite concert this year was Greensky Bluegrass at Red Rocks. It helped that I was with old friends Bruce Snyder and Matt Good and Bruce got us front row seats.
We tried to go to Jazz Fest in October, but it got cancelled because of COVID.
I'm going to look back on 2021 using the following categories.
For those stumbling upon this post with no context, I'm an open source developer that works at Okta. My title is officially "Developer Advocate," but all the code and words I write are distributed as open source.
This year, I focused on creating YouTube videos more than blog posts. On the OktaDev YouTube Channel, I published 12 videos (-8 from 2020). My most popular video (13K views) was based on a blog post I published in January called Reactive Java Microservices with Spring Boot and JHipster.
- Reactive Java Microservices with Spring Boot and JHipster
- Kubernetes to the Cloud with Spring Boot and JHipster
- Build Native Java Apps with Micronaut, Quarkus, and Spring Boot
- Spring Native in Action with the Okta Spring Boot Starter
- Full Stack Java with React, Spring Boot, and JHipster
I continued to record meetups for the Denver/Boulder JUG and Denver Open Source Users group (DOSUG). We used StreamYard and YouTube to broadcast our meetups. We published 10 videos to the Denver JUG YouTube Channel. We only published three videos to the Denver Open Source Users Group Channel, but we did successfully hold two of those meetups in-person! We're grateful to the folks at Thrive Workplace for donating their space.
Denver JUG is now up to 3,618 members. Our most popular video in 2021 was from yours truly on Reactive Microservices with Spring Boot and JHipster. 🥳
In 2020, I published 15 blog posts on the Okta developer blog. In 2021, I only published five. My reduction in content can be explained by a three-month gap in publishing where I worked on updating 200+ blog posts to use the Okta CLI (because our admin UI changed). My lack of thought leadership posts didn't help either. 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 usually tutorials. They're usually quicker to write, and I plan to write more in 2022.
According to TripIt, I took 13 trips, to 15 cities, in one country (USA). Only a few were work-related. That's three more trips than 2020, and I had 77 days on the road (-8 from 2020).
My Speaker Deck profile shows 16 presentations at 14 events. Four of those were in-person, the rest were virtual.
My most-viewed presentation was Java REST API Framework Comparison from the Progressive Web Experience with 3.1K views.
I thouroughly enjoyed traveling to San Francisco to speak with Josh Long at the San Francisco JUG. It was a virtual event, but we spoke together from his home.
I hope to do more of this in 2022. ÜberConf, Connect.Tech, and the Progressive Web Experience were also in-person. Hanging out with fellow speakers (especially James Ward and Pratik Patel) after speaking was a rejuvenating experience for my soul. 🤗
In the past, I used this section to talk about meetups I've started like Developer Ski Days and Devoxx4Kids Denver. We didn't host any events in 2021, but I might try to organize a developer ski day soon.
I continued to maintain OktaDev Schematics in 2021. The project had 16 releases. Working on it helps me keep up with changes in Angular, React, Vue, Ionic, and React Native and helps ensure I know how to use the latest Okta SDKs. According to npm-stat.com, it had ~60K downloads in 2021.
My other projects are related to JHipster. I didn't contribute anything significant, but I helped QA Micro Frontends support and Spring Boot upgrades. We had eight releases and ~1.8 million downloads in 2021. 🤓
I did not work on the JHipster Mini-Book in 2021, but I hope to update it for JHipster 7 this year. I said that last year, but it's actually on my calendar for February 1. You can watch my progress on GitHub.
Ionic for JHipster had four releases in 2021 and around ~12K downloads.
My parents are city kids that retired in the backwoods of Montana. They can't explain why they did it, but they know that a chasing the sun trip is part of what makes them happy in the winter. We started doing this family trip in the last few years, starting with New Orleans in 2020 and continuing with Hawaii in 2021.
I was gung ho for ski season last year and rented a condo for six weeks in downtown Winter Park to ski during the week. My stats for the season were decent: 28 days cross-country skiing, 23 days downhill. I had 51 combined days!
Shortly after ski season is high school graduations. We had a graduate this year and couldn't be prouder of Abbie! Jack was looking pretty suave too.
We enjoyed a rafting trip near Salida on Father's Day.
I took July off and we traveled to Washington, Montana, and Cape Cod.
Abbie moved on to college at the University of Colorado at Boulder. It's been really nice having her close (60 minute drive) and far enough away that she doesn't plan parties at our house. Jack planned his birthday party at the ranch this year. It exceeded all expectations.
We lost one of our cats, Mittens, while we were in Hawaii. Sagan, our crazy border collie, passed away this fall. They both lived full lives and made us smile a lot. 😢
Hefe the Bus and Stout the Syncro
We didn't do much with Hefe and Stout this year show-wise. I did enter both of them in the VWs on the Green virtual show. They both won first place in their respective categories. I have high hopes for more events in 2022! My favorite car-related event of the year was when I talked some fraternity brothers into bringing their cars to a show in my backyard. If you have a classic car and live in Colorado, you should join us next year. Search for "Chenango Car Show". It's typically in early August.
Professionally, I hope to travel a bit this year. Okta is expanding globally, and I'd love to visit Australia and Japan to help make that happen. I have Devnexus, Devoxx France, and Spring I/O on my radar for conferences.
I hope to contribute frequently to JHipster. Microfrontends support works excellent for Angular; I hope to see the same for React and Vue. My Q1 goal is to make Spring Native work with JHipster. I also hope to help integrate GraphQL. I said that last year, but now Spring has official support with Spring GraphQL!
I'll be on summer vacation for a month, once again. It's a tradition I started a couple of years ago to prove that full-time can be as good as contracting (because of unlimited time off). This year's adventure will start with a trip to Alaska to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary!
Last year, I said I'd like to ski 42 days for both downhill and nordic. Looking back, that seems a bit ambitious. I ended up with 28 days of cross-country skiing and 23 days downhill. That doesn't seem too bad. For 2022, I've purchased both the Epic and Ikon ski passes, and I hope to exceed my stats from last year. Heck, I'll be happy with 20 days of each! The snow conditions have been terrible until two weeks ago.
Last year, we failed to pull any rafting permits. That means we had no lengthy family trips with our rafting family. We had a few day trips, but were often left with a longing for more. Our rafting family is anxious to rendezvous in 2022.
COVID motivated us to become homebodies and our landscaping project turned out quite nice. We now have several beautiful flower gardens, trees, a fabulous fire pit, a basketball court, and a new carport.
I only have one goal for 2022: smile more.
I think that goal will be easily accomplished if I see your smiling faces. I hope 2022 is your best year! 🥳