Wow, what a year, right? Ignoring the whole electing-a-petty-child-to-the-president thing (which put a serious pallor over the end of 2016 for me, making it a bit hard to be objective here), I had a fairly good year. I thought a bit about not doing this post (mainly because I am still depressed over the state of the world right now) but I'm guessing getting into writing a bit right now will actually make me feel a bit more upbeat.
Moved to Canada
Hey, what an expectedly great year to do this! My husband is Canadian, though we met in the Bay Area, and after quite a few years of gentle nudging, I agreed to move to Toronto. It's been a hard transition for me, as I've only lived in California until now. It's been a bit adjustment but there have been more positives than negatives and I'm hoping it just gets better from now.
Got a job, lost a job
Hey, I got a job for the first time in like six years! Seven? Maybe seven. This was a huge leap for me as I am very comfortable with working for myself and suddenly I had bosses again. And responsibilities. And a paycheck.
Started the job in April, was laid off in August. It certainly was a learning experience, and while I miss having a regular paycheck, it also made be remember why I like working for myself.
Speaking career took off
This was probably the greatest career bump I've had. I love attending conferences and speaking on stage, and this year I've given three keynotes (at Fluent, PyCon Canada, and NodeConf Buenos Aires) as well as numerous talks all over the world (including OSCON London, View Source in Berlin, PyCon US in Portland, and DjangoCon in Philadelphia).
In this time, I flew so much I got Platinum status on American Airlines, which is ridiculous and kind of fun.
For 2017, I'll be giving a keynote at CUSEC in Montreal, then a talk at NodeConf Budapest, then two talks at PyCaribbean. I'm hoping to give more keynotes, as I enjoy storytelling and inspirational talks the most, and I'm also hoping to give more talks at large companies rather than just conferences.
WeddingLovely keeps doing well
Hey, I still have a startup! I hired a virtual assistant for WeddingLovely this year right before I took the job, and honestly I wish I did this four years ago. WeddingLovely continues to grow, and this year was its best year yet - even in a year I was more distracted with other matters.
Hello Web App still doing well
My book series teaching Django web app development continues to do well. This year I hired a fulfillment company - previously I was packing and shipping all the books myself, but I can no longer do this as I'm living in Canada now. So costs went up, I was largely distracted with other things this year, and yet sales (and good reviews) are still going strong.
I did a couple of workshops at conferences for Hello Web App this year and I've decided to stop doing those. It's a bit disappointing because I like teaching in person, but three hours to teach beginner programming is simply too little. By the time three hours hits, we only started to hit our stride, and then the workshop is over. My last workshop also had a crew of three very obnoxious and complain-y people... who actually didn't even pay for the workshop (they came assuming it was a part of their pass). My earlier workshop in the year had a person who complained very loudly about how badly things were going for her while I was trying to teach. Just thinking of these two experiences is making me anxious. So yeah, no more workshops, at least for a bit.
Hello Web Design is still in the works
The talk I gave most in 2016 was my "Design for Non-Designers" talk, a really fabulous (if I do say so myself) talk in a topic I'm super passionate about. I spent pretty much all year talking about the upcoming Hello Web Design book, but ended up punting the Kickstarter fundraiser campaign until January. Stay tuned for that!
Get Hello Web Design out
This book is making me so nervous. I feel a lot more pressure to make it awesome, which (annoyingly) is making it hard to work on the book. Kickstarter campaigns always inspire motivation in me, so I'm hoping for a great kick in the butt come January.
Grow WeddingLovely like a mofo
WeddingLovely has been frustrating to work on for the last few years since it wasn't making enough money to support me and yet requires my time. However, last year's revenue is finally moving it into a position where the money makes it worth it. This was totally unexpected, and I'm hoping to spend a lot of time on it in first quarter of 2017 to really make it take off.
More time spent outdoors
Living in Toronto has made me miss being outside more than I thought it would. Mr. husband and I already have a beach trip booked for February, I'm planning a hiking trip with a friend come July, and I'm trying to figure out how I can spend even more time off in the wilderness somewhere this year.
Learn a new skill
So yeah, there you have it. 2016, you were pretty good. Here's to a better 2017.