Last year, I wrote my first annual retrospective. It was an interesting exercise that I intend to do every year. So for 2023, here is my year in review.
Plans for 2023 versus reality
My plans for 2023 that I shared in my 2022 retro were to:
- keep learning about Vue.js and Nuxt.js
- explore Azure Container Apps and Dapr
- keep writing articles on my blog about topics I am interested in
- keep sharing links and tips on social networks
- improve my use of PKM tools like Obsidian
- give at least 1 talk at a developer conference
I must admit that I didn't fully achieve my goals:
- I continued learning Vue.js and Nuxt.js but not as extensively as I would have hoped
- I didn't dive deeply into Azure Container Apps and Dapr although I did experiment with them a bit
- I wrote articles on my blog but fewer than in the previous years
- I shared links and tips on social networks but not consistently
- I took my notes using Obsidian, but I haven't utilized it as a true PKM tool
- I did give several talks at various developer conferences (more on that later)
It's not a big deal that I didn't accomplish everything. My primary goal for 2023 was for it to be a year of learning and sharing, just like in 2022. And I succeeded in doing that. 2023 was another year of learning and sharing, and it also provided numerous speaking opportunities. This is one of the reasons why I didn't have the time to do everything I planned.
In 2022, I gave my first talk at a developer conference (online). In 2023, I had the opportunity to speaker at five French developer conferences:
- Global Azure France in Paris - May 2023
- Cloud Est in Lyon - June 2023
- Breizh Camp in Rennes - June 2023
- BDX I/O in Bordeaux - November 2023
- .NET Conf 2023 with MTG (online) - December 2023
The first three talks focused on Infrastructure as Code in general, and more specifically on Pulumi. I particularly enjoyed speaking at Breizh Camp, as many people attended my talk 🥰 and the organization was excellent.
The fourth talk showcased slidev, a tool for developers by Anthony Fu that allows creating slides in markdown (and using web technologies). It was a 15-minute talk titled "Oops, I Forgot to Make My Slides," during which a friend helped me create my slides about Vue 3 on stage. It was an incredibly fun talk to prepare and deliver. I cannot thank my co-speaker Xavier Noya enough for agreeing to do this talk with me. Additionally, I was delighted to be a speaker at this fantastic conference that takes place in my hometown.
The last talk was online (for a French event related to the .NET Conf 2023). It concentrated on the new features of C# 12 and .NET 8, and demonstrated how to implement Infrastructure as Code (IaC) using .NET.
🎥 The talks I gave are all in French, but if you are interested some of them have been recorded
I am incredibly proud of the numerous speaking opportunities I've had. While it may not seem impressive to experienced speakers, it means a lot to me. I am truly grateful for the chance to speak at these events and to have attended some fantastic talks as well.
Developer conferences' Call for Papers are highly selective, and they always receive many excellent proposals. Thus, I have no idea if I will be able to speak at multiple conferences in 2024, but I will certainly do my best.
In 2023, I "only" wrote 11 articles on my blog, which is fewer than the 15 articles I wrote in 2022 and significantly less than the 19 articles in 2021.
For some of my articles, I created a GitHub repository with the code samples used in the article. That's something I intend to do more.
My blog's traffic decreased a little (not enough articles this year I guess):
- 27K users vs 28K
- 27K pages seen vs 37K
Together with a friend, we initiated a blog post series about pnpm on a new team blog called "Bordeaux Coders". It was enjoyable, but our motivation waned after the summer. We need to regain our motivation, start writing again, and perhaps find others interested in collaborating on this blog.
I have also co-authored an article on my company's blog about something I have been doing for 5 years now: overseeing student projects at my former engineering school.
School Relationships and Teaching
As I mentioned, this year I once again supervised a group of students on a small software development project over a few months. This experience provided the opportunity to:
- Explore new tools and technologies
- Share knowledge with students and learn from them as well
- Grow (by wearing different hats and utilizing educational management skills)
- Promote my company's expertise and attract future talent
For the first time, in 2023, I taught a DevOps course at the same engineering school. It was an optional module on DevOps practices for 2nd-year students.
Building relationships with schools takes time and isn't always easy, but I enjoy doing it (and I'm not alone, as I have colleagues who help me). Unfortunately, I am uncertain whether my company will continue supporting me in this area next year, so I don't know what I will be able to do in 2024.
Together with two friends, we have started a tech community called "MTG:Bordeaux," which will host meetups in Bordeaux to discuss Microsoft technologies (among others) several times a year. It is affiliated with MTG:France, which already encompasses numerous local communities in various French cities. The inaugural meetup is scheduled for February 1, 2024, and I hope it will be the first of many.
Instead of setting vague plans for 2024 that I might not fully achieve, I prefer creating a list of small, tangible goals for the year. I know I won't be able to accomplish all of them, but it will provide me with achievable objectives to work on throughout the year:
- Organize 3 meetups for MTG:Bordeaux
- Obtain the official Vue.js certification
- Create a small speaker website in Nuxt, listing my previous talks
- Build a small application using Dapr and running in Azure Container Apps
- Write a blog post about Obsidian
- Write 2 articles for the Vue CI/CD series on Bordeaux Coders
- Present at least 2 different talks at developer conferences
- Reach 1K followers on LinkedIn
- Add missing sections to the Pulumi Azure Workshop
- Develop a 1-day Pulumi training course
- Create a YouTube video about a developer tool or technology
Despite not fully achieving my goals, 2023 was an interesting year, especially regarding public speaking. Looking ahead to 2024, I have outlined a series of concrete goals that emphasize continuous learning and community involvement.
As I close the 2023 chapter, I want to thank 3 people:
Christian Bonnaud - you played a role in many aspects I mentioned in this article (school relationships, blogging, tech community, ...), and it's always a pleasure to collaborate with you.
Xavier Noya - it was nice to give a talk alongside you this year at BDX I/O
My life partner - I wouldn't be able to write these articles, prepare these talks, or accomplish everything I do without your support and understanding
Enjoy 2024, and keep learning.