2017 was a whopper. It was Trump’s first year as president, the year of the #metoo hashtag, and the year Australia (finally) legalised same-sex marriage. I think my wife will probably always remember it as the year I almost died on a motorbike.
Overall, my highlights were:
- New office for the existing Melbourne team
- New office for the existing Brisbane team
- Opened a brand new SSW branch in Hangzhou, China
- Selling out so many SSW events!
- Competing in a Tough Mudder event only a few months after the motorcycle accident
Melbourne and Brisbane:
Both offices were feeling a bit cramped and now we have a wonderful new working space. Plus SSW loves running events – now we can run events ourselves instead of relying on third parties to host us – and it’s come together so well.
You can see the new Melbourne offices in person next month when we run the first session of the new Melbourne .NET user group.
Behold: the new SSW Melbourne and SSW Brisbane offices.
Both new offices are bigger and shinier than their predecessors, and mean we can be much more flexible with dates and accommodating any special needs our attendees may have. For example, I saw in Melbourne that we had a breastfeeding mother attending the last Angular Super Powers tour and we were able to provide her privacy to feed her baby so she could juggle the course and motherhood together.
Perhaps the most exciting undertaking of the year was opening a whole new branch of SSW, this one in Hangzhou, China.
We’ve been in China for over 10 years, but our office has been in Beijing, though we have worked all around the country. With the crazy strength of the cloud platforms coming from Alibaba, Tencent, and Baidu, we needed a second office.
Hangzhou was deliberately established by the Chinese government as an “Economic & Technological Development Zone” and it has really paid off. Hangzhou is now home to some big, important Chinese companies, including Alibaba, which is the largest and most valuable retailer in the world (can you believe it’s bigger than Amazon?) so it’s a real hub of economic activity and the place to be in China. The new office is headed up by Alvin Shen, and we have a great team for those who want to move their application into the Chinese market.
In 2017, SSW TV continued to grow:
- Received 444,589 views
- Was watched for 2,66,670 minutes (that’s 5 years and 27 days)
- The most popular video – for the 3rd year running! – was my presentation Going Hardcore on your Business Intelligence with Power BI
- The most popular video released in 2017 was the footage of Ben Cull presenting at DDD Brisbane – Identity 4 Server with Angular 2 and ASP.NET Core
All up, we’re at:
- 15,666 subscribers
- Almost 2 million views – wow!
- 874 videos
- 12,824,569 minutes watched (that’s 24 years and 140 days!)
|Years of video watched||11 years||19 years||24 years|
Our favourite technologies and predictions for 2018:
Many of you know SSW have embraced .NET Core in a big way – we haven’t started a new client project for 2 years that wasn’t built on .NET Core. In 2017, we created a new course called the .NET Super Powers, which we ran in Sydney, Brisbane, and Melbourne – and it sold out in every city. It was definitely our favourite technology of the year.
Of course, everybody wants web and it’s Angular and React all the way, with our China office doing Vue.
Predictions for 2018:
I also anticipate that our obsession with DevOps will continue and that our 2 China offices will be helping people make money in China, by helping Western companies break into the sometimes tricky Chinese market.
Conferences, interviews, and presentations:
I got to attend and present at a lot of great conferences this year. All of them were awesome, but my top 6 were:
- February: Microsoft Ignite Australia
- May: Build 2017
- June: NDC Oslo
- August: NDC Sydney
- September: DevOps FastTrack Partner Airlift 2017
- November: Australian Microsoft Tech Conference
At the Microsoft Ignite conference in February and NDC Sydney in August, the SSW TV came along to record some sessions, and, while we were there, we also took the opportunity to squeeze in some interviews with industry leaders, 12 of which I conducted myself, and another dozen or so run by other SSWers.
I was lucky enough to present around 20 times, both in Australia and overseas:
My top 5 talks were:
- What’s new in Visual Studio 2017 and VS Code
- Ice cream and French fries with cheese (aka Office 365 and Power BI with ALM)
- From UX to CX: Improving the customer experience
- Power BI – Finally I can make decisions based on facts
- Migrating from TFS to the cloud… without losing your mind (or any data at all)
The motorcycle accident:
Finally, I want to mention the motorcycle accident. It wasn’t a “highlight” per se, but it was definitely memorable (though I don’t actually recall the accident happening, only lying on the street, winded and gasping like a fish afterwards). It was a scary event, and while the broken bones and sneaky infection that got into the torn-up skin in my arm were painful, I can only be grateful that the outcome wasn’t much, much worse.
What really stood out for me was the love and concern I received from my friends and colleagues in the painful days of my recovery. It made me realise what a gorgeous bunch of people I have in my life.
3 months after the crash, I was due to participate in a Tough Mudder with some pals in Scotland. This event has become a bit of a tradition for me over the past few years, so when doctors told me I wouldn’t be able to participate this time, I was determined to get better and prove them wrong!
That’s all for from me for 2017
I’ll leave you with my favourite video of the year, which has a special memory. I saw this hilarious footage at an inopportune time. Professor Robert Kelly was interrupted by his kids while attempting to give a very serious and professional interview with the BBC. I was in the hospital recovering from the accident when I saw this, and I couldn’t help but howl with laughter, which, thanks to the broken ribs, was quickly followed with howls of pain.