It's New Year's Eve, and I've just remembered that I haven't done a 'year in review' blog post this year - so I'm quickly knocking this out now! In fact, I'm sorry to say, I haven't blogged much at all this year - with my primary focus being on the podcast. This will only be my second blog post of the year! Hopefully, the podcast content makes up for the lack of blog content! So let's start with that...
I started The Unhandled Exception Podcast near the end of last year, and spoke about it a bit in my last yearly update, and also in a dedicated post about starting it. I'm now up to 29 episodes, and have thoroughly enjoyed chatting with plenty of awesome guests about various software development topics. I've also learnt a ton about podcast editing, which I also enjoy - although, it's certainly the most time-consuming part of podcasting! I took a bit of a break in December so I could catch up on other stuff - but will definitely be back in the new year with more episodes!
.NET Oxford is also still going strong. Still virtual for the time being, but that's given us the advantage of being able to welcome members from all over the planet!
We will at some point return to physical events - perhaps even this coming year. But we'll have to ensure that however we do it - we retain some form of virtual presense, so that we don't exclude our new members that are too remote to physically attend. This won't happen in the first quarter of 2022 at least though.
With my company, Everstack - I've started working with another big client - where I've been really enjoying helping the team start to migrate their monolith codebase over to a new micro-service architecture running in the latest .NET, Azure, and Kubernetes. This has also involved a lot of mentoring, which I also really enjoy.
On top of that, I've also continued working with another of my main clients, where I've been building the new version of their original software (which I also wrote many years ago), but instead of it being a desktop app - it's now web-based, multi-tenant, and can support their clients. This is also built on .NET, Azure, and Kubernetes.
Since the pandemic started, I haven't been back to a clients' office to work - with just two in-person meetings in total. What the pandemic has done to our industry regarding remote work, is perhaps one of the few positives that have come out of it. I'm certainly very happy working remotely, and have no intention to go back to an office that isn't my home office. But given I'd like to expand Everstack and grow in the future - the fact that remote is now the new norm, makes this a lot easier too. I'd always expected to have to get physical premises (which are obviously very expensive, and limited to a local team). Now I've experienced working with remote teams, and can see that it works well - the barrier to entry for me expanding Everstack has now been dramatically lowered, and Everstack will most certainly be a remote company when it expands.
Nothing particularly new to report on the family front - both boys are still getting bigger by the day. We've been very lucky with how well they get on with each other - they're best friends, which is perhaps rare for brothers of their age. My wife's also still working part-time remotely, which has worked really well.
I've also started regularly playing the guitar again. I used to play, but haven't picked it up much. I've now started making sure I play/practice daily, and (touch wood), I seem to be sticking at it this time!