spaceship, spaceship, SPACESHIP!
Luke Bonaccorsi
Press Start

2018 Retrospective

2018 has been an eventful year, with more personal firsts and a number of successful personal projects!

If you want to see last year’s post, you can find it here.

2018 Aims

At the end of last year’s post I set a few aims for this year. They were:

I’ll go into it a bit more below, but I feel like I’ve hit these aims.

Speaking

2018 was a good year for speaking for me.

I’ve spoken at a number of meetups, having given my home automation talk at Tech Nottingham and the Fusion Meetup in Birmingham in May and June; and then debuting my Web Bluetooth talk at LeedsJS in May too. To end my year of meetups, I spoke at the excellent FrontendNE, where I did a double feature of both talks.

In July I gave my home automation talk at the Fullstack London and ScotlandJS conferences, both of which I had a brilliant time at and met some fantastic people.

Before this year I’d never been to South America, but towards the end of the year I went twice to speak at two separate conferences. First, in October, I headed to Buenos Aires in Argentina to speak at Nodeconf Argentina and then in November I went to Medellín in Colombia to speak at JSConf Colombia. Both were amazing experiences in super interesting cities with more great people! I was also fortunate to be able to extend my time in both cities to explore and eat some amazing food!

Mental Health

In August I wrote about taking steps to deal with my mental health better (you can read that post here), and I’ve made some progress.

I went through the “depression recovery course” and while it didn’t help, it was a step in the right direction.

A few weeks ago I started weekly counselling sessions. While I’m still unsure about it, I’ve spoken about some of the issues that I struggle with and talking about it has been a relief in itself.

Work

This year we’ve released some great improvements and features to the Sky Bet site, and I’m proud of the work that we’ve done.

I’m still learning stuff all the time and I’m still really enjoying the chances I get to mentor.

LeedsJS

This year we’ve had a load of amazing talks on both technical and non-technical topics at LeedsJS.

This year I decided to stop Q&A, and I feel that this has been a success. You can read more about this decision here.

I also wrote about our giveaway process here. Since this post, I’ve also started selecting a second winner from any tweets made with the LeedsJS hashtag during the event.

Finally, I made the decision at the end of this year that I’m going to move LeedsJS away from Meetup.com during the next 6 months. They charge $90 for 6 months for what I feel to be a inflexible and sub-par platform. I’m going to be moving to using the LeedsJS website, using a ticketing system like Tito and a mailing list system like Mailchimp.

Personal Projects

At the end of last year and the beginning of this year, I built an ESP8266 based, JavaScript powered thermostat to control my heating. Until I moved house in July, this controlled my heating. The real test of this is when I went on a trip to Scotland in February and set it to the minimum temperature. It successfully controlled my heating and my pipes didn’t freeze!

My next project was the LED display for my web bluetooth talk. I had real fun working on this and learning about bluetooth.

My final project of the year was automating my Christmas jumper. I connected it to the internet and allowed people to control it from around the world. I even did a live stream of it on Youtube. I hope to have a post written about it soon!

2019 Aims

Next year I’d like to do the following: