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Year in Review: 2016

Inspired by a post I read on Chiu-ki Chan's blog a while ago, here is a look back at what I accomplished during the year:

Started a Meetup

I was somewhat surprised to discover that an Android meetup for Toronto developers didn't exist at the beginning of the year (a previous group became inactive at the end of 2015). With the support of my employer, I decided to start one myself.

After getting in touch with the previous organizers, Toronto Android Developers Meetup was formed and began meeting in April. During the year, we held 8 meetups, grew our membership to over 400 people, and have received a lot of encouraging, positive feedback about the need for such a community.

Public Speaking

One of my professional goals for the year was to speak at external events. I was inspired by Donn Felker's The Single Best Thing You Can Do For Your Career, and the excellent book Present! A Techie's Guide to Public Speaking by Poornima Vijayashanker and Karen Catlin.

I ended the year submitting to five CfPs. (The deadlines for several other conferences I wanted to submit to were in my calendar, but I didn't follow through. Something to work on in 2017…)

I was accepted to two events and gave these talks:

In addition, I gave numerous presentations at work and at the Meetup.

Launched a new app

As the sole mobile developer on a team I joined in the middle of the year, I built and launched Entrepreneur's Digest. The app gave me a chance to explore Firebase, and was fertile ground in finding material for talks.

Started this blog

I don't consider myself a good author (and struggle with writer's block a lot). But, I decided a good way to practise was to start writing technical articles.

This year

  • Read more: Make time to read more books of all kinds: software development classics, fiction, etc.
  • Watch more: I learn best from reading words, but I'm finding more and more useful content in the form of videos (conference talks) and screencasts (e.g. https://caster.io/ for Android developers)
  • Increase productivity: As I get more experience, I shouldn't be making the same mistakes. I want to try and identify bad habits and find new efficiencies.
  • Reduce distractions: I started using RescueTime to track where the time in my day goes.