The first day of the year is always special because aside from being the start of the new year, it's also my birthday. As such, it's a great time to reflect on the past year, and make my plans for the year ahead of me.
I will start by thanking my amazing and awesome wife, without whose support I wouldn't be where I am today. She's been extremely supportive and understanding, taking excellent care of our 2 young daughters. All this, while I'm flying around the world or visiting clients. I'm the luckiest man alive, so thank you for all you've done and do every single day. I'm a better man for having you beside me.
And a special thanks goes to my 2 daughters for making me feel so special.
2015 in numbers
The baseline for 2015 was set last year when I wrote my first ever retrospect for 2014. Based on that post, I knew what I had to strive for in 2015. I'm really happy to say that 2014 has nothing on my 2015. Especially when it comes to community engagements. Personally, I feel 2015 was, by far, my most productive and fun year. The numbers below speak for themselves
- Work contracts: 2 -> 2
- Work projects: 8 -> 4
- Personal projects: 3 -> 4
- Products released: 5 -> 6
- Blog posts: 63
- Public speaking/engagements: 6 -> 20
- Hosted publications: 1 -> 14
- Tweets: 1605 -> 8291
- Website views (of my blog): 76,889 -> 428,095
- Views of my most successful post: 21,073 -> 78,362
- Github pull requests: 2 -> 34
- Github contributions: 7 -> 128
- Nuget Packages released: 3 -> 4
- Downloads of my Nuget Packages: 1123 -> 8001
- Github projects: 12 public + 3 private -> 24 public + 5 private
I did my best to blog every week and keeping all my OSS projects up-to-date. I added 3 new projects along the way and contributed to many big/popular projects!
2015 - the year of public speaking
However, if I have to take something away from this year, is my public speaking activity. I promised myself that 2015 would be the year of the public speaking and I did all I could to achieve my goal! Based on my tripit facts:
- I covered 33,000 miles traveling around the world
- I was away for 31
- I did 12 trips
This data is incomplete as it only accounts for 2/3 of the year. I didn't start using Tripit until after April. So it could be more. It was an amazing experience and I got to meet brilliant people. Too many to list here. One of my highlights was me attending /.Net/Fringe in Portland, OR. I blogged about it [here](https://cmatskas.com/-netfringe-the-best-net-oss-conference/" target="_blank).
Speaking in so many events didn't come easy. Each talk I delivered had to be prepared from the ground up. This means gathering the material, writing the talk, doing the slides and creating the sample code where applicable. I learned a lot and I tried to improve as much as I could be actively working on my speaking skills. A couple of things that helped along the way was joining Toastmasters (and you should do too if you want to improve your public speaking skills) and working with a coach to target my limitations. It's still a work in progress but the overall process is getting much better.
In conclusion, public speaking has been a fantastic experience. I got the chance to travel to many new places and meet amazing people. I made new friends and got plenty of opportunities to work in different areas I wouldn't have done otherwise. It's very fulfilling but extremely demanding at the same time, unless you're a born speaker (I'm not).
2015 - Top 10 posts
Based on what you, my readers liked, this is my top 10 based on page views:
- Update an MVC partial view with Ajax
- Fix error: cannot generate SSPI context after changing sql service account
- Import CSV files using jQuery and HTML5
- Server-side jQuery DataTables with ASP.NET
- Get JSON data using an ASMX web service
- How to bind an enum to a drop down list in ASP.NET MVC 4
- How to use jQuery dialog box as a confirm dialog in asp.net
- An introduction to Common.Logging API v2
It seems that you guys didn't like my cool stuff #sadpanda
2016, ready, set, GO
I have my baseline in place. All I want to do is work harder and top my performance while I still have fun and enjoy what I do. What about you? Do you have your baseline set?