2022 Year In Review
Much like 2021, 2022 was a year of change for me. I’m sure there are important things I’m forgetting, but, in no particular order, here is a brain dump of some things that stand out.
Switching From Evernote to Obsidian
My email history says that I registered for Evernote in January 2012. I had been using TiddlyWiki for a few years before that, but it was becoming a pain as browser security models tightened up. I was happy with the switch to Evernote for quite some time, but when I joined Husmus they were just getting started with Notion. It was a revelation in comparison to Evernote.
I tried to switch to Notion myself, but their migration tool was broken at the time. That most likely cost them a sale. I started experimenting with Obsidian soon after that and haven’t looked back. There are some things that Notion does better, but the convenience of just working with local Markdown files was an easy sell for me. Plus, dataview is incredible.
Related Blog Posts
- Switching From Evernote To Obsidian With Yarle: This post was rushed and could have been a lot better. The main problem was that I didn’t take great notes during the porting process and I was too lazy to go back and recreate my process in more detail. 🤷
- Aggregating Weekly Notes With Obsidian and Dataview: By far my most viewed post of the year after it got picked up by Obsidian Roundup in their weekly newsletter. I have a lot of ideas of things to do with Dataview and hope to get to more of them in 2023.
Experimenting with Zettelkasten
One of things that sold me on switching to Obsidian was that I kept seeing it associated with Zettelkasten. I read How to Take Smart Notes by Sönke Ahrens shortly after that. While my application of the method is definitely spotty, what I have done has greatly improved how I take notes and reflect on what I’ve consumed. I’ve picked up some speed with this at the end of the year and hope to continue that momentum in 2023.
In July I abruptly left my position as CTO at Husmus. That was the most gut wrenching professional decision of my career and I will forever regret how I handled it. My wife and I have been together for 21 years and she said she had never seen me as stressed as the day I announced my resignation.
In retrospect, there was a large failure in communication on my part, which is hard to swallow because I’m usually quite proud of my skills in that area. I avoided the hard conversations until things had built up too much for me to continue.
Exploring My Own Small Business
After leaving Husmus, I spent some time exploring a small business idea that I had been toying with on and off since 2014. My mom runs an equine-assisted therapy program and has struggled for years to find any tools to help organize their program. I started learning some tools I wanted to use to build a prototype before stumbling on Wranglr.
After talking with them, I decided to abandon the idea. It was the combination of a very limited market and Wranglr already being multiple years ahead of me. I don’t doubt that I could have built a competitive product, but this market is already a tiny niche. I would rather see Wranglr succeed in helping out these charities for a reasonable price than risk diluting the market below what can support even a single dev working full-time.
Porting My Site To Astro
In another big tool shift, I ported my site from WordPress to Astro. I keep meaning to write up the details of this port, but, in short, I was very impressed with Astro. I had no prior experience with static site generators. Once I wrapped my head around how to process all of Markdown files, it was smooth sailing.
I appreciated that Astro isn’t tied to any specific front end framework. I’m not using anything now, but I now have the flexibility to easily add interactive elements to posts as needed.
You can see the code for the new site on GitHub.
Becoming an Elixir Dev
When I was job searching in the spring of 2021, one of my goals was to get a job using Elixir. That didn’t work out though because nobody wanted to be the one to hire me without Elixir experience. After joining Husmus and continuing with .NET, I assumed the Elixir career path was closed off to me.
When I started job hunting again in late summer 2022, I didn’t apply to a single Elixir job. Then an old acquaintance that I hadn’t talked to in over a decade reached out because she saw a blog post I wrote about Angular and Tailwind.
Next thing I knew, I was interviewing at Online Rewards to be an Elixir dev. Everything quickly clicked into place and, without any effort on my part, this time my job search ended with an Elixir role. I had been about to accept another job as a .NET dev that I probably would have enjoyed as well, but the chance to broaden my skill set won out.
I’ve dabbled on and off with Elixir since 2016 and getting paid to write it has me very excited for 2023.
Blogging continues to be irregular. I write a lot for myself and for work, but not enough of it makes it to the outside world. This year so a huge spike in the amount of traffic to my site. It’s still tiny, but traffic was up 5x. It’s definitely easier to justify writing when people are actually reading it.
Looking Forward To 2023
Maybe 2023 is the year where things settle down a bit for me professionally. Or maybe not. I’m considering switching from Remember the Milk, which has been my todo app of choice since 2007. Inertia is a powerful force, but the switch from Evernote to Obsidian showed me that fresh starts can be good. Hitting the reset button helps to reevaluate why you do things the way you do.