Brendan Goodenough

Some guy from New Zealand

My 2018 Year In Review

2018 has been a pretty intense year to say the least. It's been filled with a ton of new experiences, opportunities, and its fair share of drama. I've been able to make a whole bunch of new friends, finally been to Europe for the first time, and even had a few opportunities to do some public speaking.

I wasn't really intending to write a blog post this year, but after stumbling upon another blog with their own "year in review" I felt compelled to write my own. It's a good chance to reflect on the highs and the lows of the past year and have a record of them to look back on a few years down the track. Hopefully I can make this a yearly thing!

New Job

I joined Vend at the start of this year after having moved back from Wellington to Auckland at the end of 2017. This was an entirely new role for me, being a role that was primarily using Go and having no prior experience with the language. This has provided me with a great opportunity to expand my programming knowledge across multiple languages.

Planty is a lot bigger than this now!

Since the start of the year the team has morphed quite a lot, growing in size and maturing in focus. I'm looking forward to seeing what we can achieve in the next year!

And let's not forget all of the epic games of table tennis in the office over the past year.

Conferences

Code Camp Wellington

Code Camp Wellington was a free, 1 day conference hosted at the TradeMe and Xero offices in Wellington. I was given the opportunity to give my first conference talk (ever) and I chose to present about developing games with Phaser.

Presenting at Code Camp Wellingon (Photo: Troy Hammond)

I'm really glad I had the chance to present here as the conference wasn't too big and had a very friendly atmosphere, which is a much nicer place to start giving talks versus diving straight into a much larger, more intimidating setting.

I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and am looking forward to doing more talks in the future!

Nordic.js

I was also lucky enough to be able to attend Nordic.js this year in Stockholm. This was a single track, 2 day JavaScript conference with a number of speakers from all over the world.

The topics in this conference ranged from talking about the state of Node.js to creating your own apps that use blockchain technology. My two favourites were about debugging performance issues by Anna Migas and how to control things with your mind by Charlie Gerard. Definitely worth checking those out.

Overall the conference was well thought out and really fun to attend. The food on the other hand left a lot to be desired!

Travel

Sweden

Arriving in Stockholm, I spent the first few days with coworkers exploring the city and attending Nordic.js. After the conference we all split our separate ways and I spent the rest of the week exploring other parts of Stockholm as well as taking the train up to Uppsala.

Uppsala Castle

Stockholm is by far my favourite city in terms of design and infrastructure - it's so easy to get around! I would love to go back there one day.

Norway

I arrived in Oslo late at night after my train from Stockholm had been delayed. Early the next morning I embarked on my homebrew version of the Norway in a Nutshell tour (easier to avoid crowds when you book off peak times yourself). The trip started off with a scenic train ride from Oslo into the fjords, and arriving in Flåm via the Flåm Railway.

Aurlandsfjord near Flåm

I stayed in Flåm for a couple of days, soaking in the views (and the rain) before taking the ferry through the fjord and then continuing my journey via train to Bergen. After a nice visit to Bergen, I flew back to Oslo and spent the last couple of days catching up with some friends and exploring the city.

The scenery in Norway was easily the highlight of my year.

Losses

Of course, this year has had its fair share of sadness as well. At the end of October my cat passed away at the age of 18. In November my Nana passed away at the age of 89.

Spyfox enjoying the sun

YouTube

A few years ago I made a YouTube channel with a bunch of tutorials around the Dark Web and staying secure online, but ended up abandoning the channel after uploading a few videos.

I've been working on a bunch of new content over the past month in the hopes of reviving my channel with some semi-regular content. I've even made a new blog for it with a few articles already!

Onward to 2019!

My goals for the next year:

  • Start blogging more. It's not something I'm overly consistent with but I'd like to add a few more posts here in the next year.
  • Grow my YouTube channel.
  • Give another talk somewhere, perhaps at a meetup or a conference.
  • Contribute more to Open Source projects and get involved with discussions.
  • Travel to some more amazing countries!