2015: a year in review

I’ve never really done a year in review. One day, I’d like to open source my goals, but since I’m still a chicken, this is a baby step towards that. Plus, this is one of the first years I’m really proud of, and things that you’re proud of tend to live on the Internet, for posterity.

Here’s what my GitHub contributions say about it:

2015 contribution graph

Burning out

The year started off really poorly. My team had just shipped the new Profiles UI in Chrome, after a year and a half of hard work, and it was met with a looooot of Internet anger. On one side we had data to prove that the change we did was right, which made the powers that be want to stick by it; on the other side I had Twitter, who was calling me names and wanting me fired. Kind of ironic, since I was just the person who implemented the feature and had no power to change it.

I think what burnt me out wasn’t waking up to a stream of negative emails and tweets, it was knowing that there was absolutely nothing I could do about it other than wait.

So I started working on dumb side projects to feel better. I made a link aliaser. I bought dumb domains. I wrote blog posts about the only thing that I knew, which was working on Chromium. I noticed that not working on Chromium made me happy.

So I bit the bullet, left Chromium, and joined Polymer.

Joining Polymer

Looking back, I picked Polymer for a bunch of silly reasons that ended up working out spectacularly well. I wanted to leave Montreal. I wanted to work on JavaScript, since it was the only thing keeping me going. I didn’t want to commute to Mountain View, which reduced my options by like a billion percent, and I wanted to ship things. Polymer had all of that. So on April 15, I packed my cat and my books and moved to San Francisco.

Polymer is my dream job. I get to write code that I’m genuinely passionate about. I get to try to change the web platform, and talk about why I think we’re doing the right thing. Most importantly, I get to ship something everyday. It turns out that’s a thing that matters to me a lot.

I miss working on Chromium. I miss C++ and the big-ness and complicated-ness that is working on a browser. It taught me that if I could find my way around the 7 million lines of code and actually do something useful, there’s basically nothing that I can’t do or learn. That’s one of the best feelings.


I shipped 5 projects:

I gave 5 different talks at 3 conferences and 2 meetups:

I wrote a blog post that a lot of people liked. Most importantly, this happened (#humblebrag):

I think https://t.co/eAoYZGWieP by @notwaldorf may be the best thing I have ever read

— Jeff Atwood (@codinghorror) October 23, 2015

I had my first ever interview, on The Setup. I spoke on my first ever podcast, Hanselminutes. I discovered #nailconf, which reassures me I can be both a giant nerd and have pretty nails. I kept 3 succulents alive, accidentally killed one, and resurrected a fig leaf tree. I saw my first live baseball and basketball games. I bought a second ukulele. I didn’t work on weekends. I didn’t spoil Star Wars for anybody. I turned 30.


See y’all next year, internet friends!

« <input> I ♡ you, but you're bringing me down I fixed a pair of headphones with some soldering, and you can too! »