I can’t believe that 2016 is coming to a close! This has been quite a year with a lot of really exciting moments.
One of the most exciting moments was being named one of the Denver Business Journal’s “40 Under 40” for 2016! It was such an honor, and I’m still so amazed to be listed next to so many incredible people.
Public Speaking: Leveling Up
This year I had 12 speaking engagements, 5 of which were at conferences. I spoke at Droidcon San Francisco, Droidcon Torino, 360 AnDev (Denver), Droidcon NYC, and Droidcon London. 360 AnDev and Droidcon New York were especially momentous, because I delivered the keynote address for each of them! It was a huge honor, and I’m still over the moon that I got the opportunity to do it. Delivering a keynote address was a long term public speaking goal for me, but I didn’t think it would be something I would accomplish so soon. I was really excited to be on Android Dialogs and the Fragmented Podcast this year as well.
New Job (x2)
At the end of December 2015 I started a brand new job at thoughtbot Denver. I spent the first part of 2016 ramping with my new job. Unfortunately, over the summer we learned that the Denver office would be closing permanently. It was definitely disappointing, to say the least.
In August I began my second new job, doing Android development at Ibotta in Denver. I spent the second half of 2016 ramping up again on new material, and finding my space there. So far its been really incredible, and I’m really happy to be there.
New Side Project
This summer I began a very intense new side project; I started making a little human! Baby Droid is coming in 2017 and I am pretty freaking excited about it!!!
At the beginning of 2016, I set the theme of the year to “Be Intentional,” and listed out my goals for the year. My goals were:
- New International Speaking Engagement
- Release Architecture App in Kotlin
- Release Expense Tracker App
- Learn Thai Alphabet
- Resume Ballet
Unfortunately, I have to say that I really only completed 1 of my 5 goals for 2016. I accomplished my first goal in April when I visited Torino, Italy for the first time to speak at Droidcon Italy. I started out the year working on all the goals in earnest, but soon discovered that I needed more time in the day to focus on my new job. It had been a few years since I’d started a new job, so I think I underestimated that “drinking from a firehose” feeling when you are trying to ramp up. As I started to feel more comfortable with my new job, I was asked to give the keynote for 360 AnDev. With such a huge honor and task in front of me, I devoted any new free time to working on that. Then, with that talk under my belt after the summer, I found myself back in the hot seat again of a new job.
That being said, I don’t feel bad at all about missing the goals, because in 2016 I really embodied my phrase of “Be Intentional.” In the past I know I would have been tempted to push forward and try to continue with my goals even though it was too much with the new job situation. With the “Be Intentional” mantra always looping in the back of my mind, I could clearly pull the absolute most important things into focus, and shelf the others for a later time. I am really proud of my improved ability to prioritize and say “no” to things in early 2016. If I said yes to everything, none of it would turn out good. Instead, I said yes only to the most important things and made sure they all turned out excellent.
This prioritization skill became even more important later in 2016, because damn, building a human from scratch is really hard work! Every person experiences every pregnancy differently, and I’ve been a bit blind-sided by the never-ending exhaustion & nausea brought on by manufacturing Baby Droid.
Goals for 2017 are pretty hard for me to envision, since I’ve never been a parent before! I’m not sure in what ways my life will change, and in what ways it will stay the same. So, for 2017 I’m just going to have a theme of the year, and leave it at that.
My 2017 theme will be “Find a way to stay”.
I’ve heard being a parent, especially to a baby, is intense, so I know I’ll have to take a temporary step back from some of the things I love. I’m ready for that, but I want to work hard to not disappear completely. I have some blog posts and programming books geared up for maternity leave, in case I get lucky with a baby that sleeps a lot. I plan to return to work after maternity leave. I also hope to find local conferences and meetups to speak at, so I can keep speaking, but minimize traveling.
So we shall see how this goes! Happy New Year everyone!