2017 Review

Dec 31, 2017

2017 feels like it has been a very busy year for me. Here is a quick round-up of some of the things I've been up to and some of my hopes for next year.

In numbers

The world is fairly number orientated so here are some very quick fire numbers:

  • 353 tweets to date
  • 15 blog posts
  • 9 .NET Oxford Meet-ups
  • 6th on Kentico DevNet (year to date)
  • 116% StackOverflow reputation increase
  • 1 Kentico MVP Award
  • 1 Kentico MVP Summit
  • 1 Kentico 10 Developer Certification
  • 1 Ucommerce Certification

Hopefully I can look back on some of these numbers at the end of 2018 and see improvement, which will be a good sign that I'm still learning and still adding value somewhere.

Kentico MVP

Back in January, I was delighted to be awarded a Kentico MVP for 2017. This has been a great experience to work with a really talented group of people - the other MVPs and the team at Kentico. Finding time to perpare content and contribut to various Q&A sites can be difficult at times, but it's totally worth it.

Back in July, Kentico flew all of the MVPs (those who could make it) to Brno for a week to work with the team on upcoming features with Kentico 11] and Kentico Cloud. This again was a great experience to have for a couple of reasons. First is that you get to see just how hard the Kentico teamwork and how passionate they are about their products. Also how hard they can play, as we were lucky enough to go to their summer party! Secondly, the 11 MVPs and Bryan (who manages the programme) are spread across the globe and while we manage to catch-up on a couple of bi-weekly calls, but nothing is a substitute meeting face-to-face when it comes to building great relationships. All in all, its a great group of people to be a part of and I feel very humbled to be part of it and hope that I can continue this journey next year (fingers crossed).

.NET Oxford Meet-ups

At the tail-end of 2016, Dan Clarke and I both listened to the same .NET Rocks podcast about setting up a meet-up and thought it would be a great idea to set one up for .Net in Oxford. To be honest, we were astonished that nothing existed already given the number of .NET developers in and around the Oxford area. In January 2017, we hosted our first ever .NET Oxford event.

We've had an astonishingly good response so far and some awesome speakers. I'm a little in awe of Dan - who very much does the lion share of the work - due t his organisational skills here.

Without exception, we've had some great speakers and are very lucky in having some awesome sponsors in CorriculoJet BrainsManning PublicationsOzCode, and EverStack. The meet-up members help too of course, as does our great venue (the Story Museum in Oxford).

I even managed to sneak in a quick lightning talk about headless CMS (mainly Kentico Cloud). I got my timings a bit off, but it was my first piece of public speaking outside of wedding speeches etc., so I'm reasonably happy with it. I've got some more planned for 2018, and they'll hopefully be more finely honed.

Blogs and social media

Being honest, I've not done as much as I would have liked here. I had a 52% increase in tweets, which is OK. What I need to do is work on the overall content of the tweets so that it leads to more followers. The average number of followers is somewhere around 700, so I have some way to go to get up to there.

As far as blog posts are concerned, I think that 2018 needs to be much more prolific. But again, that content needs to be useful in informative. The leading topic on my blog is Kentico, and I intend that to continue, but I think that I need to work on getting a few more topics in there.

Q&A sites

I'm really happy with my progress no Q&A sites this year. I've more than doubled my StackOverflow reputation and have got reasonably close to the top 10 in Kentico DevNet. In fairness, most of the traction has been in the last quarter of 2017, but If I can manage to maintain even half of that trajectory through 2018 then I think I'll be in a good place.

It's nice to get the numbers in, but it's also good to remember that the real reason for doing this is to help others along their own journey.


Ridgeway has had a very busy year, as is usually the case. As well as being the Development Manager, I've spent the last quarter ramping up to work as a Principal Developer in order to help build up one of the teams within the production side of the business.

This new role has me working closely with clients again and working with them on their requirements and crafting a solution that fits their needs. It's taken some adjustment but has the added benefits of keeping me close to the front line and having the opportunity to assess some technology options within the context of real-world problems.

In my team at least, we have a couple of interesting projects that we plan to release in Q1 and Q2 of 2018 that I'm really excited about and that will serve as a step forward into some newer tech for the team.

Looking forward

There are a few things I really want to work on in the coming year. I want to get my teeth into public speaking a bit more. I have a great platform to do this in .NET Oxford, so I hope to provide some talks that will be interesting for the audience.

Hopfully, I've pulled my weight as an MVP this year and will be invited back tot eh programme in 2018. If I am, then the aim will be to work on what I achieved this year and attempt to provide more value. Public speaking will be a great area to improve this as will working on more frequent blog content to assist the community and contributing more to Q&A sites like DevNet and StackOverflow.

The world of .NET is changing fast and I want to be sure that I keep in step and make the best use of the technology that is available.

Roll on 2018!