John Stewart

Hi! I'm John. Software engineer, blogger, tech head, typically making or talking about software. JavaScript mainly. Android enthusiast.

2018 Year in Review

getting the hang of this

I'm a big goal oriented person. I like marching towards a goal. The goal is more of a general direction I aim for but the daily work is where the fun is. This past year I spent a good amount of time trying to be deliberate in whatever I was trying to do and really be consistent with my actions over a long period of time.

It's easy to get caught up in results and the highs and lows that come with that but for me this past year was an experiment on myself to see what small efforts of consistency can yield over time.

2018 Goals

  • fun things with family
  • better husband
  • eat better
  • blog more
  • workout more
  • open source
  • new lang: Go
  • new lib: Vue
  • build things, share things

Family fun

Personally I wanted to focus on my family and myself. Professionally none of it matters unless I'm celebrating it with the people I care about. So I wanted to do some extra fun things with my family this past year. So that's what I did.

We went to California and spent some time golfing at Torrey Pines in San Diego.

image of us at torrey

Torrey Pines is an absolutely awesome place. We played both courses in one day. It was exhausting but worth the energy spent. Highly recommended!

Next, we went to the US Open at Shinnecock Hills. Spent the weekend out there golfing and watching the US Open.

image of us at US Open

Better Husband

I've been married to Jaci now for almost 3 years. We've done nearly everything together since we've been together. It's been great! I knew however that I had areas that I needed to improve upon as a husband. The problem is I like to work and do not always make the time for her. So 2018 was dedicated to fixing that.

image of us at Peru

I think I did a pretty good job of making sure that I mentally scheduled time for us and made sure that I was focused on us during that time. After a year of that I think I did improve but have realized other areas that need attention so that's what 2019 is for.

Eat better & Workout

In general, I did a lot better in these areas this past year. I started cooking more and taking lunch to work more often. I joined CrossFit Jersey City and began working out a few times a week. CrossFit has been a fun discovery. I had heard of CrossFit and always wanted to go in and try but always thought it was way too expensive.

Then I realized that I spend a lot of money every month on far worse things like alcohol, dinners, a drone(?!?!), plus many other things. So I figured maybe I can cut back on the drinking and drone buying and put some of that money to my health.

A year later and the results are real. I started out weighing about 175 before CrossFit then lost 5 pounds pretty quick and have finally built myself back up to 175.

I finished the year by competing in two CrossFit competitions. I didn't think that after college I'd be able to compete in anything really seriously again. It's nice having that feeling again with CrossFit.

image of comp

Unfortunately, I drank the CrossFit Kool-Aid too much and overworked my body a bit but that's really my own fault. Live and learn. Now I got a few weeks off and am just stretching and rehabing but I'm a big believer in CrossFit to lose weight. Diet is of course the most important part but paired with CrossFit, it's tough to beat.

Blog More

Well I did more of it this year but still not as much as I'd like. This is largely in part to the fact that I don't have a schedule for this at all. It's not a big priority for me because I'd rather be coding or just learning a new thing.

I think maybe the best way to fix this would be to create a schedule around it or at least a habit around it, e.g. learn a new thing, blog about it. The habit route is probably the way to go, schedule just starts to feel like work. Hopefully better in 2019!

Build Things, Share Things

This year I built Pomy. I think I built this thing about 3 or 4 different times. All on different stacks doing different things. In the end I didn't build enough things this year.

Through all of this refactoring and trying new tech, I realized that Firebase is absolutely amazing. Their suite of tools are perfect for developers like myself who need all of the things they offer but don't want to navigate AWS or trying to set it up on our own at Digital Ocean. I spent the first part of 2018 trying to create my own Firebase on Digital Ocean and quickly realized that I wasn't getting anywhere and this was distracting me from my main goal. I'm now sticking with Firebase for building everything moving forward. It's great!

Things I Missed

I didn't get a chance to finish a few things. Go I got into a couple times throughout the year but never really built anything with it. I'd like to spend some more time with this language, maybe I'll get to it a bit more in 2019.

I love React so pulling myself away from it to try Vue was really hard, in fact it never happened 😀. I think I did the Vue tutorial early on this year but didn't go much more past that. React is doing enough to keep me occupied and seems that a lot of jobs are still hiring for this so I'm going to stick with React for now and try out Vue some other time in the future.

Lastly, open source was a pipe dream for me. I look at everyone online who do open source work and envy them. I have the time but often want to hack on my own ideas or just learn a new thing that I've never used before. I'm sure if I had a group of friends who did open source more then I'd do it more but that's just not the case. When I can, I try and report bugs and help diagnose what I think is going on but that's rare. 🙁

Good Year

In the end 2018 was a good year. Learned a lot about myself, traveled a bit (Machu Picchu), and had a great time doing all of it. Excited to see what 2019 will yield. ✌🏽