My Coding Year 2023#review
Another year has come to an end, and it is time for my traditional coding year blog post. I want to take some minutes to reflect on the last 12 months and how they changed me as a developer and business owner.
After writing about my coding year in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022 this is now my 9th year in review article. I love seeing so many others have started to write about their years. These are some great insights that help both the readers and the authors.
For me, these articles are a reminder of what I achieved every year. It is easy to forget what you accomplished, especially over a year. There is always a lot to be proud of. I am proud of myself, and this is more difficult to write than you would think.
My 2023 Resolutions From Last Year
Be part of a team long-term, but not full-time ✅
For a year now, I've been part of the team at Blue Ocean Ideas. We have a small but very productive development team, and it feels so good to be part of a team again. I missed discussing code and decisions with other devs, but also being part of regular meetings with the team to talk is nice. In the last few years, I sometimes felt alone while working on my own. This is much better now, and I still don't have to go to an office or have daily meetings, which was essential for me.
It seems to be part of one team wasn't enough for me this year; I also joined another team this year. 👀 More about that later.
Continue teaching what I learn, but not full-time ✅
I did mark this one as ✅, but this was not true for most of the year. Since my new job at Blue Ocean Ideas and the enlargement of our little family, I have not found much time for new courses or products. But since I joined Laravel two months ago, I now regularly share videos about Laravel, which I believe counts too, right?
Learn more about the struggles of big projects ✅
At Blue Ocean Ideas, I work on a
huge Laravel project, the biggest project I have ever worked on. I have already learned a lot and felt the struggles of such a project. It was very important to me to see Laravel also in those types of projects and it performs. I can already say, Laravel is never the bottleneck. I would like to share more about what I learned there, but I don't have the time right now.
More consistency in the content I publish ❌
As I mentioned above, I don't currently find time for Twitter, videos, or other products other than what I do for my jobs. I believe that's okay. When I set this resolution last year, I had more time, which I often did not use productively. Today, it is okay because I know I accomplish a lot weekly at my jobs. Everything else I manage to do is just a nice bonus.
Add Twitch support to Larastreamers ❌
This I still feel bad about. How difficult can it be to add Twitch support to Larastreamers? It is difficult but doable for sure. Sadly, I couldn't work on it for an entire year, but again, it was a very special year with many changes. Maybe someone else can add it through a PR?
Send a third 7A boulder route ✅
I already wanted to mark this as ❌ when I remembered one route I did this year: a 7A+! This is like a grade above 7A and still feels unreal. I have to admit this was a special one because it was pretty long and contained another 6C. That made it a bit easier for me to do.
Besides that, I didn't do any other 7A. I was super close to one, but the route changed before I could send it. I'm now at a level with bouldering where I would need to train to get better specifically, and I do not want to lose the joy of it.
Focus on staying happy ❌
I marked this one as ❌ because I don't feel like I took specific steps to stay happy. Don't get me wrong, I feel very happy about myself and my life; our newborn is a big part of this story. Still, a few decisions this year were more based on
success than on my health. That's okay sometimes, but I want to be more careful here with me and my family.
My 2023 Highlights
The year I started with a beautiful Laravel conference in Lisbon. For me, it was one of the best ones so far. A big reason for that was the long conference break because of COVID-19. Another one was that I'm a big fan of Portugal and Lisbon, and I could also travel with my wife. We had a fantastic time.
Next was my second visit to a Laracon India. This was India's first official Laracon, so it was extraordinary. It was also the biggest Laracon so far, with ~ 1000 attendees. Crazy!
I cannot really describe this conference in words. It's unbelievable how friendly everyone was and how well we were treated the whole trip. A big part of that experience was, for sure, the cultural difference to Europe. I will never forget this week and people. I will still share these memories with my kids in ten or twenty years.
I Became A Father
I probably could have mentioned only this in this article because
everything else feels unimportant compared to our new family member. My little family means everything to me, and a lot has changed this year. We are still getting to know our almost-no-baby-anymore and ourselves as mother and father. We still need to get used to these new roles, but they are simultaneously the most challenging and rewarding ones. I wouldn't change a thing.
I Sold My Best Video Course
In 2022, I released my video course,
PEST Driven Laravel. This is my best course so far regarding topic, quality, and sales during the release. Still, sales did drop right after the release, and I didn't find enough time for marketing. Marketing is crucial when you publish video courses on your own platform. On top of that, you are always fighting against the time. Most web-dev topics are only accurate for one or two years. So this time is the most important one for selling, and I felt the pressure.
Luckily, a different solution came around the corner: I sold my course to
Laracasts, and you can now find it here. This wasn't an easy decision. When you think long-term, you want to keep all your content on your platform, especially if it is your best course. But for me, it was the best solution. It's an honor to have content on Laracasts, and many people can and will watch it there. I already received a ton of great feedback from developers watching it there. Today, I'm pleased about this decision.
I Joined Laravel
In November, I joined the Laravel team. I will provide them with educational content, primarily videos for YouTube currently. (Check them out here) This still feels unreal to me. Laravel has been a big part of my work in the last ten years, and now even more. I'm proud of myself and happy to be part of this fantastic team. Thank you, Taylor. ❤️
Creating videos and educational content for Laravel wasn't new to me. I already did that on my YouTube channel and Twitter. But now I make videos for the official Laravel channel, and I get paid for that, which feels very special. Of course, this new job comes with new challenges and skills to improve, but I'm ready and full of motivation.
I applied for this job with a short little video. I knew if I wanted this job, I needed to stand out. Since it worked out, the video shouldn't be that bad. Maybe I can share it with you this year.
I Upgraded My Office
For the new job at Laravel, I wanted to upgrade my office and video setup to provide you all with a fresh and professional look and feel. There weren't that many options due to the layout of my room, but I'm pretty happy with the result.
I will create a whole video about that, but for now you can follow this Twitter Thread with lots of photos and insights.
My Best Blog Posts
A lot of things have changed for me in 2023. No, let me rephrase this.
Everything has changed for me in 2023! I became a father. If you have kids, you know what that means. I also went from being fully self-employed and working on my own video platform to having two part-time jobs. Monday till Friday, I work for
someone else. It sounds strange to me when I say it, and you might say I'm back now where I was before I quit my last job. But I see it differently. The reality is I'm thrilled with where I am. I did not join these companies because I had to; I wanted to. I wanted to be part of a team again, and it's an honor to work for Laravel. So I didn't plan any of this; I
went with the flow.
Is this now the end of my learning platform and my initial dream? I don't know. The good thing is that I don't overthink about it. I can always come back if I want to. But I love what I do now and will continue to go step by step.
biggest challenge for me in 2024 will be `managing all those new changes´ in my life. I'm not used to them yet, and it feels chaotic here and there. I want to find the right balance between my job and family and be more efficient with my tasks.
My Resolutions For 2024
I noticed that my resolutions have become less and more broad in the last few years. Getting older also means that a lot of things are changing. If you asked me five years ago if I wanted to be in 5 years where I am currently, I would have said hell yes. I am delighted, both business- and family-wise!
Like every year, I would love to learn a new coding language. I had this on my list for many years, but it did not happen. Today, I'm okay with it. It might happen next year, or maybe not. I do not care that much anymore. There is enough I will learn by doing the things I need. But here is what I do care about:
- Be the best father and husband I can be
- Find the right balance between family and work
- Create amazing videos for the Laravel community
- Level up my video editing
- Send two 7A boulder routes
- Play a rock show 🤘
I wish you all a great year 🙏