Software Developer

2023 Year-End Review

This isn’t a “real” post. This is a summary of all the things that made up my year in 2023 (almost all in a professional context). Thanks to all who were a part of it.

Writing 🔗

I published 11 articles about Ruby or software development in general this year. I started with changes to Ruby’s Coverage module in 3.2. My last post of the year covered what I saw at RubyConf.

In between, I continued my Anyone Can Play Guitar Series and my Conference Talk Preparation Series. I also published one-off articles about modifying frozen hashes, testing inherited behavior, and more.

I continue sending my posts to newsletter subscribers. You can still subscribe via RSS or try to keep up wherever I post on social media.

My most-read posts are those that end up in other newsletters. This year, my writing appeared in Ruby Weekly 6 times, Ruby Radar 3 times, Short Ruby Newsletter 8 times, and Developer Avacados Weekly once.

I intentionally cut down my publishing to once a month. That was always my minimum, but this year I forced myself to sit on anything I had written so I had a backlog. For example, the Anyone Can Play Guitar Series was written along with my RubyConf Mini 2022 talk. However, I held off on publishing it all at once. Instead, I dripped an article out each month.

That gave me freedom to write something new if I wanted, but if not, still have something to share every month. I liked not having the (self-imposed) monthly deadline to write. I’ll have more on that soon as I think about 2024.

Speaking 🔗

I made it the entire year without submitting a single CFP. However, I did present one talk. I spoke at Blue Ridge Ruby, which was great. The “Ruby’s Got You Covered” tour finally had an in-person date.

That didn’t stop me from finding other ways to speak this year. I run an internal knowledge sharing session at work, which went through some iteration this year and where I presented regularly.

I helped conference speakers more this year. I was a coach for the RubyCentral CFP coaching sessions for both RailsConf and RubyConf. I was a speaker mentor at RubyConf for the first time. I helped friends prepare their proposals and talks when asked.

I also podcasted more this year. I was a guest on The Ruby on Rails Podcast. Then a co-host on The Ruby on Rails Podcast. Lastly, I joined Ruby for All.

If you have an event you’d like me to speak at, or a podcast you’d like me to guest on, let me know!

Reading 🔗

I was a technical reviewer for Noel Rappin and The Pragmatic Bookshelf again. Noel is bringing back the “Pickaxe book”. I reviewed Programming Ruby 3.3 this year. I can’t wait to see the final version.

I also reviewed Andrew Atkinson’s High Performance PostgreSQL for Rails. It’s a helpful companion into the depths of Postgres functionality. If you’re looking to step out of the comfort of a Rails console and into a psql console, I recommend taking this with you.

Employer 🔗

I’ve been at Pubmark all year. I enjoy the work that I do, and the people I do it with. I’ve been comfortable in my work this year, which has been really helpful in my personal life. Maybe I’ll try to intentionally be a little less comfortable next year.

New (to me) in 2023 🔗

Here’s where I take a break to step out of work and talk about things (mostly music) I got into this year.

History Books 🔗

The Gaslight Anthem got back together and released a new record this year, featuring a song with the one and only Bruce Springsteen. History Books as an album is a great fall-time listen with its moody textures.

Strong Female Character 🔗

Maybe you know Fern Brady from Taskmaster. Maybe you don’t (and if you don’t, you should). Her memoir is the most impactful book I read this year.

Jared James Nichols 🔗

Driving riffs, dynamic leads, and a simple guitar rig. I was first introduced to Jared this year, and I’m better for it.

Electric Cargo Bike 🔗

I joined the e-bike crew with my Benno Boost this year. It took a few rides to get used to the pedal assist, but now it feels natural. My daughter loves hopping in back and riding to the playground, library, or wherever else. Every morning, we take the bike to drop her off at kindergarten.

My Benno Boost Cargo Bike

Toucher and Rich (no more) 🔗

Hey guys, hey! This one is a downer, but for the first time since 2006, I don’t have the Toucher and Rich radio program to listen to. I was a daily listener. I’m not surprised, but still disappointed, that the show split up. It ending without the chance for a proper good-bye was particularly jarring. I’m hoping for good things for everyone previously involved with the show.

Thank You 🔗

Thanks for reading, watching, or listening. I hope your 2024 is better than 2023.