It was quite a year for me. You could say a life-changing one even. I visited at least ten countries in Europe, and most of them were new acquaintances to me. I traveled more in one year than in my entire life before. I made more friends in one year than the years before. I found a new place to live. I began learning a new language, German, and I am starting to get the hang of it.
As if that wasn't enough, I also published a new paper book, SurviveJS - Webpack, and I am progressing on a new one about maintenance with the assistance of Artem Sapegin. I know I have to revise the entire React book but that has to happen after the maintenance one is out of the oven.
This blog grew by about sixty posts, most of which were interviews. It is merely humbling to see the amount of variety in the community. If you know good topics to cover in interviews, get in touch.
The site received well needed technical tweaks as a part of its technical debt was paid away. There's still some work left, but now it's faster and easier to perform the needed improvements to serve the community better.
I gave multiple public appearances across Europe in various meetups and conferences. It all started by coincidence as ReactiveConf invited me to tour with them about webpack. It was during this trip when I discovered Vienna and its welcoming community. I spent a life-changing Summer there and it still keeps changing as I am shaping my new life in the city.
One of the more interesting sessions for me personally was the one about how I grew bootstrapped this little business for myself. You can find the slides online. It's a topic I would like to revisit at a better time. Personal development itself is something I should study in greater detail.
Business-wise the year wasn't as good one as the first one but the advances on the personal side more than made up for that. I think I've finally found a business model that makes sense to me. I realized that I should do a mix of consulting/training and writing. I can use the consulting income to allow me to write while writing allows me to get those consulting clients. What's missing is stronger integration between these two.
While doing my webpack workshops, I realized it's convenient to build them on top of the book. I need to be more intentional about this, though and modularize all the content so that it works for multiple purposes like this. The webpack book and the maintenance book are quite close to this goal. The point is that done right; this would allow me to provide an online course offering to support the model.
My most immediate goal is to get the maintenance book out there so people find it. Content-wise it's beginning to look good, but I require more feedback to push it further. I have some idea how to improve it, but feedback allows me and Artem to go faster.
Even if the business goes wrong, it's not like I will run out of things to do. There's a fantastic amount of content to develop and refine. This work alone will keep me busy for months assuming there's no other work to be done.
One of the highlights of the year was the fact that I was chosen as the Finnish Code Ambassador of 2017. It was my first major award, and I feel a large part of that belongs to the community that allows me to work this way.
I began to organize React Finland, the first major React conference in Finland, with a group of friends. It started as a joke but became something quite serious fast. So far organizing it has been a definite challenge, and I've been picking up a lot of new skills while using older ones gained during the past few years. I have a feeling the event will be one of the highlights of the next year for me.
2017 was a memorable year in many ways. It was the most intense and tiring year I've gone through. I went far beyond my comfort zone, but I suppose that's necessary if you want to progress in life. The year opened a lot of new possibilities, and although there are challenges ahead, I have a good feeling about 2018.