Continuing a growing tradition on my blog, and apparently a growing trend on (what's left of) the web, here's my 2019. The most me-me-me post I have for the year.
My professional life continues to tick along, and my business turned 13 years old last September. My clients continue to have a broad range and come from different countries (oddly they rarely, if ever coming from Brighton, my home town) and I'm fortunate enough that client work continues to come in even through the weird world economic situation.
However, my biggest professional highlights from the year have based around my extracurricular activities.
- CERN: In February I was invited (back) to CERN to join a small team of excellent individuals to recreate the WorldWideWeb - the world's first browser. It was an amazing event to be part of and a real honour to be part of the team. It was the kind of experience that I'd wish for anyone in our industry and would return to in a heart beat. You see the output of our work at worldwideweb.cern.ch and read my account of the week: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5
- A talk with Jeremy: Jeremy Keith was asked if he would give a joint talk with me at Fronteers 2019 about the CERN project. Our biggest concern was performing a two person talk as I've rarely seen these done well. Suffice to say it went extremely well. It was a real pleasure and honour to speak along Jeremy particularly as I remember days back in 2005 reading DOM Scripting and later meeting Jeremy in (what was called) The Office and he un-surreptitiously took a photo of me. So it's nice that I've risen (or he's sunk) to a level where we can share the stage.
- ffconf 11: For another year the event that Julie and I run was an immensely proud event. I feel like the event has really grown and matured in both it's line up and the content. This year we scaled (back down) to a single day and ffconf returned to selling out quickly (in a few days), being full of amazing attendees and we were still able to support a diversity scholarship for 10% of the attendees.
- Twitching: Inspired by my peers and in particular Suz Hinton (one of our amazing 2019 speakers), I've started to run a live coding stream once a week (approximately) on Wednesday at 2pm (UK time) for 60 minutes. Sometimes working on nodemon or other open source projects, sometimes working on hacks (like a Tetris clone). It's been fun and interesting. So far it's a very small group of people who join me each week but in most cases the coding is for me, so it's still useful. I'm hoping to my twitch channel into 2020.
- webmention.app: In moving my own blog closer to an indieweb type philosophy, I felt that webmentions (pingbacks version 2.0) were missing some great and easy UX for pushing webmentions, and being a bit of a hacker at heart I felt like it wouldn't take too much to code a solution. In the end it was the documentation that really took the work, but the site was a fun experience (in Vue.js and barebones serverless) in the form of webmention.app
- mini hacks: Along with the output from my twitch sessions, I've kept my isthe.link hacks site active and have been occasionally adding to it as I go along. There's some things in there that I actually use on a semi-regular basis.
Frustratingly, from my 2018 side projects there's been zero progress on getting JS Bin v5 live nor progressing Forbind - though I continue to use both myself.
Somehow my blogging has increased over the months. A number of years ago I set myself a default 2 per month cadance, but this year I've been averaging 4-5 posts a month. Hopefully a trend. My most popular posts from 2019:
- My day 1 write up of the CERN project
- How I failed the
- Why some HTML is optional - an insight, again, from my CERN time
- Medical: Sigh. A bit of flurry of work this year. This time it was my teeth - whereby a deep root for my front tooth (which was actually partially fake) had cracked which caused a knock on load of work that ended (after 12 months) where I had a denture and then both my front teeth removed then a cantilever bridge. Not fun. Then more recently I'm having NHS investigate some tingling which I've mostly downplayed. This has been neurologist appointments, MRIs (which I fell asleep during!), complete blood work (I didn't pass out - yay!) and electrophysiological (EP) tests where at one point, wires were put in my eyes to measure electrical response…! I find out the results in mid Jan 2020.
- Ninja: One of our cats (the second of three), Ninja, died last year. Definitely Julie's cat, but loved in the family. He died in the garden sleeping in the sun. He was a character and he's still missed. His damn annoying 4am meows!
- Moving house: The biggest personal event is that we moved. We moved into our die or divorce home this year. I think we're punching above our weight and I still walk through the house and have to pinch myself to remind myself that this home is ours now (well…once the bank has all our money). I know we've got a lot of work ahead of us (and this weekend we even managed a water leak that blew our electric board - safely and restored!) but it's our and it's home for many, many years to come.
- Reading: The 2019 me continues to read and I took on some pretty serious sci-fi including the Chinese series The Three Body Problem (serious for me). I'm really enjoying reading and for the first time I find myself buying books from authors that I'm already familiar with. A big deal for a historical non-reader.
Next year aka: tomorrow
I've got some vague ideas of things I want to do. Though I'm not entirely convinced I'll do anything about it, I want to start something like yoga (or pilates) - I've done in my back too many times in the gym but I also want to find something that can give some metal relaxation.
I also really want to look into Judo. I used to do Judo as a kid and my son is doing "Little Ninjas" and there's some kind of nostalgia that draws me back to it. Just the idea of mixing with grown adults in a non-tech environment scares me!
Otherwise, as my days go on, it'll always be for my family. I know how incredibly lucky and fortunate I am to have them. So, future Remy, when you read this, you're very proud and very much in love with them all.
Everyone else: I hope you've got some good memories for 2019 and I wish you happiness in 2020.
Here's my little ones fooling around the other day 😍