I had grand goals for 2008 when we started out the new year last time around, only stuff happened and my activity level on this blog has not been up to the goals I initially set out to reach. In spite of that I'm very happy with my accomplishments for 2008. They just happen to have occurred in a slightly different way than I originally thought.
Surprisingly the most visited and commented post on the blog during 2008 wasn't even written during 2008. It caters to the more mainstream internet users, was written in 2006, and is about an annoyance I had with Windows and the My Music folder which disappeared from time to time.
But we are looking back at 2008 here so it's fitting to mention the posts which I'm most proud of which were actually written during 2008. First up is my Developing with Commerce Server 2007 series in which I dove into the the development experience of Commerce Server. Also on the topic of Commerce Server 2007 I wrote a post on a generic mapping piece I did for a project early in the year which turns CS objects into nice POCO object for nice testability.
Of course there was real work to done and 2008 brought some really interesting challenges with me participating in one of the largest e-commerce projects I've ever had my hands on. Huge customer, international team of devs, traveling across the Atlantic to do some of the work. All in all a great learning experience and as a result I'm now able to provide even better service to our customers. Oh and it was kinda fun too :)
I got to attend a couple of conferences as well. First Daniel from Microsoft was nice enough to invite me to JAOO; a conference I enjoy a great deal and later in the year I had a unique chance to fly out to Los Angeles to participate in PDC 2008. I have to say that if you ever get a chance to participate in a conference like the PDC you really should jump at it. It's spectacular show to be sure. I did a couple of podcast episodes about it too; in Danish mind you.
Finally I'm happy to report that we managed to add a number of very talented people to both to my own team at Vertica and to the integration team as well. I'm proud to have such great colleagues and to be able say that every day I learn something new as a result.
Now as I started the post out by saying that I haven't spent as much time on the blog as I would have liked and there's a really good reason for that: Aarhus .NET User Group which has sucked up a significant part of my time.
During 2008 the core group and I organized thirteen meetings, indeed we didn't miss a beat the entire year and even managed to do a bonus meeting in December with my good colleague Daniel about unit testing. Additionally we pulled off a code camp in the beginning of the year, the ANUG 1 year old birthday dinner, and a Christmas Dinner. Not too shabby if I do say so myself.
Support for the user group during 2008 was tremendous and I couldn't be happier about where we're at after just one and half year of operation.
More importantly we've shown other .NET developers in the Danish community that a user group in Denmark is viable and as a result new groups have sprung up during 2008. As I write this groups are up and running in Odense (ONUG), Aalborg (AANUG), and Copenhagen (CNUG).
Ever since we started the user group we've had requests for putting the meeting content online somehow, be it video, audio, or something else entirely. What we did from the start was write meeting summaries which weren't really the ideal way to bring the content online. It's adequate and we'll continue to do so but it's been clear from the start that it was far from sufficient.
Late in 2008 it struck me that the podcast format might be the ideal way of addressing the requests. With that in mind I set out to create a podcast based on the topics of the meetings. With that ANUGCast was born with the initial goal: to bring out an episode once a month. This quickly escalated to one per week and so far it's gone really well. In fact episode thirteen was posted today and I've got a bunch of episodes already in the can just waiting to get released.
The podcast is my little baby and I guess most of the time which would otherwise have been spent on the blog got diverted there. I enjoy hosting the podcast a great deal, so much so in fact that I'd do it full time if I could :)
Since starting out the podcast I've gotten it registered with more than 50 aggregation sites, we're on iTunes, and we've have more than 4000 5000 downloads since the pilot episode in September 2008, a number I'm particularly proud of. We seen a steady climb of downloads since the pilot episode and the past couple of months saw more than a thousand downloads each.
I guess I should do a couple of posts on how ANUGCast is made and some of the tricks I picked up wearing the hats of producer, sound engineer, basically every damn hat needed to make it happen :)
The coming year will bring a similar activity level on the blog as 2008. It is my every intention to keep up my work with the user group and the podcast and even step it up a bit. 2009 will bring more real marketing of the user group to reach new audience which I'll write more about after we hold the first meeting of 2009. There's something to look forward to for sure. 2009 will also bring our first IT pro related meeting and will cover Hyper-V. It's intended as a pilot to kinda try the waters for something like that.
Oh and I went and got myself a Mac so I guess I'm sort of a Mac switcher as of December 22nd... 2009 is going to be interesting for sure.
The opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions and do not represent
my employer's view in any way.