Looking back on 2012

January, I started off this year knowing I was leaving a company I’d been at for nearly two years. I was setting off to spend time on my side projects, travel, and figure out what I want to do for the next couple years. The last month at Aquameta was very interesting. I had started brain dumping in December but didn’t realize how much I had stored up in my noggin. Took a lot of time with my good friend Martin and the Aquameta wiki to get it all out.

This is also the month that I started dating Eva, my current girlfriend. We had a bump for a while but things have been really good. I’ve even met a bunch of her family, but that comes later in the year.

February was a month of firsts. I left the Oregon/Washington area for the first time. Flew on a plane for the first time. Went zip lining for the first time. 2 weeks were spent in Hawaii with my best friend Tyler. We went zip lining for his birthday. Spent tons of time in tiki bars and on the beach. Even saw active lava! This was really far out of my comfort zone, all of this month, but it was a wonderful experience and gave me the drive to start seeing other places. Which is what I did the rest of the year!

March is when I made it to California for the first time on my longest train ride to date. Went to my first PyCon and hung out with and made a bunch of friends while I was there. It was a fantastic time. I had my 25th birthday there and hung out with 2 people I didn’t know for most of the day. We got drunk in an Irish pub drinking Guinness and Jameson.

April was when I applied to Mozilla as well as a couple other companies. I had spent February and March working on my resume and writing software, I felt like it was time to start working again so I dove into that. Mozilla took longer than I expected though and it was May before I heard back. In that time Janrain took interest in me and I interviewed with them and got a job offer.

May I started really pushing at Mozilla to see what was going on with my application. While Janrain would be a fantastic place to work and I have friends there, Mozilla was really my number 1 choice. Toward the middle of the month I was getting desperate and my offer from Janrain wouldn’t last much longer, but that is when my current boss Wil Clouser stepped in to move my application along. Over the course of Thursday to Tuesday one week I had gone from being uncertain they even heard my application, to doing a phone interview, then in person interview then flown down to Mountain View.

That is another notable first. I’d never been flown or otherwise transported to a place for an interview. They’d always been in Portland and I’d ride my bike or the bus to their office, talk to some people, maybe get some coffee/lunch, then go home. They flew me to Mountain View, put me in a hotel and then spent a day interviewing me and took me out to lunch. It was remarkable to me. The most remarkable thing though, was that Mozilla saw it fit to hire me. May 28th was my first day.

June, this was a hectic month of learning how to exist as a remote employee in the hurricane that is Mozilla. Working out how to be remote is something I should blog on, if only so I think about it more and try to refine things. Working at Mozilla was what I expected it to be and more. My team I am on is brilliant. Andy McKay and Chris Van in particular were greatly helpful to me. Andy for being brutal in his code reviews (and I think he was holding back!) which got my code into the standards needed for Mozilla. cvan for sending me personal messages checking on me and reassuring me. Without them I feel like I would have sunk pretty quickly.

Another notable first in June was the fact that I gave my first talk at a conference! I spoke about ZenIRCBot one of the focuses of my time away from the busy world of working. The talk wasn’t wonderful, but I had a co-worker in the room Jeff Griffiths who asked great questions to draw me back on track turn the talk from a potential failure to a success!

July was more getting used to working at Mozilla, it was also about the time I started taking StarCraft 2 a little more seriously. Not as serious as I take it now, but I was practicing with some regularity and a little bit of deliberateness. It ended with the start of my first work week and the chance to meet a lot of my co-workers and teammates that I’d never met before, we had a good time in Mountain View.

August started with the end of my first work week, one of the last night we found the diveyist dive bar in Mountain View. That was a good night drinking with my teammates and wandering around MV. Not an exciting month other than that, lots of working, lots of SC2.

September was my 3rd DjangoCon. It took me to the east coast for the first time. I spent a week in Washington DC. I got to hang out with my SC2 friends in real life for the first time and participate in my first SC2 tournament. I didn’t make it to the finals but I did have the top two players in my bracket so I am not very worried about that. Besides, come next PyCon I will be placing at the top of the tournament!

I did the tourist thing and spent time in Washington DC proper looking at the sites, eating a hot dog from a cart, etc. Other than the terrible weather (90F with 90% humidity most days then a tornado near by) it was a really fun trip.

Finally it is when I started my Python eating a Ruby tattoo that I am really happy with and will have the whole series on here when it is finished. This is my biggest tattoo (and second one) and is probably going to be my biggest tattoo for a long time.

October is when I did my first AMA on reddit. I got the opportunity due to it being one for all Mozillians. It was a lot of fun to try to answer all the questions that the community had. There were trolls but overall it was a pretty great experience. A couple more sessions on my tattoo in this month as well. Pretty much it.

November was some more work on my tattoo, then my first time spending what qualifies as a major holiday in my family away. I went down to Fresno to spend Thanksgiving with Eva’s family. This was a big deal for me. Spending time away from my family during the holidays was weird but it was really great to get to meet her family and hang out with them for a few days. It was also different to be able to eat one of our thanksgiving meals outside since it was so warm!

This month is when I buckled down and decided that I am going to be good at SC2. That I am going to put in the time and effort. I took over the Mozilla After Hours Gaming League team. Started doing concentrated practice and studying streams. It is also when I started building SC2 tools like SpendingQ.

December had the color completion of my tattoo, a family reunion, and the first preseason matches of the AHGL. I took the week of Christmas off to hang out with family and work on my blog, as well as practice SC2 a bit. This iteration of my ability to blog came to life toward the end of the month. It has really awakened the desire to write for me again and it has been a lot of fun.

The last day of the year, I spent with Eva as well as other friends having a wonderfully fun and relaxing night. We rang in the new year singing Auld Lang Syne despite at some point that day getting food poisoning, it was a pretty great end to the year.

2013: I plan to do a looking forward post as well. But this is all I have about 2012 for now. Thank you all for spending it with me. I had a great time and feel like I came out a better person than I was when I started, or at the very least, a more experienced person.

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