Alex Anderson

It is what it is

What happened in 2017

2018-01-01 Alex AndersonYearly Recap

Last year, I put down a set of goals which I wanted to acomplish in 2017. I can definitely say I acomplished all of them. Well, except writing in this blog more. But for the most part, I did all the things I wanted to.

  • I married Crystal, and she has been the most wonderful, amazing part of my year. Being married is something we’ve both taken in stride - it’s been easier and better and more wonderful than both of us expected! The wedding itself was perfect and, while both of us got sick while we were on the honeymoon, that was still fun too.
  • We took an extended honeymoon trip to New York City! After the semester was over and Crystal graduated, we packed our bags and flew over for a week. We enjoyed central park strolls, exciting food, shows (Blue Man Group, Wicked, and Phantom), riding the subway, seeing the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, churches and cathedrals, Times Square, and everything in between. Our favorite parts were the ones we didn’t plan on doing to begin with - a Yankees baseball game and a Martha Graham concert. For both of us, the trip was perfect.
  • I took my leave of absence from BlenderBottle and started work at FamilySearch. I wrote at length about that experience, so I’ll leave the details out. I will point out that Crystal and I did start doing a lot more family history.
  • After coming back to BlenderBottle, I found the web developer team basically in shambles. The three guys I was working with when I left had all moved on to bigger and better things, so for the past four months it has been just me and a new guy that was hired. That’s been challenging, but also fun to have the greater responsibility. To that point, after Brent left this past December I was promoted to ‘Lead Web Developer’. This is more just a title than anything, but it’s still a title!
  • I started the WebDev Guild with Crystal’s help. This is a program for helping kids learn how to make websites. We started classes in September and had great success! There were about 5 kids at every class and by December they were making their own websites for all kinds of things! Crystal even started making her own website, which made me the most proud!
  • I formally announced Thorium to the Space Center community at large. There seems to be a great deal of interest in the controls, and I’m excited for the opportunities which this is presenting. I was able to accomplish my goal of having a working set of controls by the end of the year - Thorium is now officially in Beta.
  • Crystal and I incorporated a business called Fyreworks. It doesn’t do much, but it’s still something we do together.
  • The band continued playing through August, when I officially resigned and Scott moved away. It was time for me to move on to other things. It was a blast though, and we did a good number of awesome concerts and wrote a couple of great new songs. Biggest thanks to the guys in the band who let me feel like a hot-shot cool kid with them.
  • I was accepted to the Masters of Information Systems program at BYU. It’s been a dream - the first semester of grad school was excellent, and I’m sure those that follow will be the same. I can’t wait!
  • Crystal and I took a trip to Disneyland this fall. It was lots of fun, but both of us agree that Disneyland isn’t the same anymore, now that we’ve grown up. Once we have kids though… that’s another story!
  • I read a bunch of books:

    • Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson
    • Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
    • Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson
    • The Hero Of Ages by Brandon Sanderson
    • Elantris by Brandon Sanderson
    • How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
    • The Tao Of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff
    • Tuesday’s with Morrie by Mitch Albom
    • How will you Measure your Life by Clayton Christiansen
    • The Imposters Handbook by Rob Conery
    • Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham
    • The Tipping Point by Malcolm Gladwell
  • Speaking of books, I started writing a book. Crystal encouraged me to do NaNoWriMo and I got about 14,000 words into a Space Center memoir. I’ll keep working on it sporadically and maybe get it published somehow.

Same as last year, I’ve got some goals:

  • Write more. Write in this blog more often and write in my journal once a week.
  • Read more. I want to get a better breadth and depth of subjects and topics.
  • Teach more. I want to go to code meetups and at least one conference. I would love to speak at a conference, but if that isn’t possible, I’ll just attend. I want to become a part of the coding community.
  • Learn more. Being a masters student helps with that, but I’d like to expand beyond just that. New programming languages, new concepts, new principles. Whatever I can learn, I want to.

Here’s to a great 2018!

Cheers!

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R. Alex Anderson

Alex Anderson is a husband, student, React web developer, Latter-day Saint, amateur rock climber, hobby chef, and spaceship enthusiast. He enjoys learning new things, teaching inspiring things, building cool things, and doing fun things.