Fires + Adam’s 2019 in Review

Epic fire preparation by Gus! 🔥 🔥 All you need is a big pool and some Tesla batteries.

2019 ended in uncertainty for a lot of people across Australia. Our bush fire season started a lot earlier than usual, and this year the fires are insanely bigger, and burning more land than ever before. It’s been devastating, and there is no end in sight for some areas that have been affected. What has stood out, is the incredible leadership from Shane Fitzsimmons, the Commissioner of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service – he has been compassionate and leading from the front and a good communicator. He’s been the face of the fires.

It’s the main topic of conversation here, and all Aussies are grateful for the commitment and dedication from our poor tired Rural Fire Service volunteers. Some of them have been fighting fires now for over 100 days – an incredible feat. It’s purely their love for their communities keeping them going through the exhaustion and financial stress. I don’t think we’ve ever wished more for rain.

Like many Aussies I have received so many concerned emails from people around the world. I do hope the rest of the world sees this event as the canary in the coal mine, and what’s going to happen elsewhere.

So many families have lost homes – around 2,000 houses have been lost, and when you see people’s reaction to that news, it’s really heartbreaking.  It affected many people I know, and our quality of life is quite a bit lower – smog, filth, ash in the water supply, even black water at the beach!

The amount of current financial devastation Australians are going through today, will pale in comparison to when we see the long-term impacts.

Video: Look at the water at my local Maroubra Beach!
Figure: City slickers are a little removed, other than the ash that is in the air and filthy cars. Look at my car a day after having it washed – this is a visual image of what we are currently breathing everyday
Figure: In remote areas, it is a lot more serious. This is Jennifer Haley’s property in Batlow, NSW. Her family lost everything on their property except the house. There is no washing this car!

I think it’s important in times like this, to remember the things that we are thankful for. Like many, for me it’s my family. My beautiful girls and my team at SSW. My eldest daughter Eve just finished her HSC with some awesome results, Ruby continues to be outgoing and headstrong and she’s about to start driving, which will give me a heart attack.

I’m also really proud of everything that my team at SSW have accomplished this year. We have increased in size as a company, and we have produced some quality web applications for our clients.

Here is an overview of our year:

Figure: SSW’s 2019 in Review – 2020 here we come!

SSW’s 2019 Projects

I love all of my Power BI Reports, I see facts and sexy visualisations for just about everything SSW does.

According to Power BI, in 2019 SSW completed and deployed 152 client projects, which is huge as each one of those was successfully deployed (some hundreds of times).

Figure: The big green slice represents 70%, showing that JavaScript frameworks remain king! Interestingly we also had an increase in Dynamics and CRM work (the black slice), keeping our resident Dynamics 365 gurus very happy (and busy)!
Figure: Breaking down that 70%, we see of all the web work (JS Frameworks, .NET Core and CMS). In the last year SSW’s biggest slice of the pie was Angular development, and for the first time, .NET Core has overtaken our MVC work.

Standout Projects:

The projects that I’m most proud of this year are:

  • Hutchison Weller – see video for KNOWnoise was re-developed as a web application and deployed within 3 months. It allows Hutchison Weller’s clients to accurately plan the noise outputs for upcoming construction projects. This application was built using Angular and NgRx in the frontend. The backend was developed using .Net Core, hosted on Azure, and following the Clean Architecture principles.
  • Sydney Uni – see video for BREAST is a web application that allows radiologists to continuously practice their cancer diagnosis in a safe environment using real case studies. It was built in .NET Core for the backend and Angular for the front-end and the whole application was hosted in Azure.
  • SSW’s Reward App – this is a mobile app we built for the community to use that we launched at NDC Sydney. It is now our main way of engaging with the dev community, using it for communication, user group prizes and more!

SSW TV

Each year our video team does better and better work. Our YouTube channel is a real success. We’ve added some great team members to the SSW TV team this year so that our Multimedia expert Raj Dhatt has the support he needs to make great content.

There’s a bunch of great technical video resources including our user group events, the conferences we’re involved with, interviews with experts, and more. I’m really proud of it.

The analytics for SSW TV on YouTube, show that 2019 was our strongest year yet! In the past 12 months, SSW TV:

  • Released 44 new videos to the public
  • Acquired 6,087 new subscribers
  • Received more than 0.5 million views
  • Was watched for 3,344,580 minutes (that’s 6 years and 132 days!)

Our most popular video released in 2019 was ‘Clean Code with Entity Framework Core’ by Brendan Richards, which accounted for 8% of new views in 2019. And our most popular video of all time is now ‘Clean Architecture with ASP.NET Core 2.1’ by Jason Taylor, which was released in October 2018. It now has 246,887 views and it’s over an hour long!

All up, we’re at:

  • 547 videos
  • 28,184 subscribers
  • Almost 3 million views – wow!
  • 19,338,480 minutes watched (that’s 36 years and 134 days!)
Figure: Our subscribers are slowly growing every year

Conferences and community engagement

Presenting is one of the favourite parts of what many SSW developers do, and I’m always on the lookout to work out what stuff we should share to make us, and the industry better.

Figure: My ‘Rockstar’ moment at my favourite conference NDC Oslo.

For me, my top 10 events in 2019 were:

My favourite talks were:

A couple of other really fun community activities I was involved with included:

  • Microsoft Ignite & meeting Satya Nadella who was the keynote speaker
  • HostingTroy Hunt at the Reactor in Sydney, where I got to introduce him to a crowd of 300 keen devs interested in security
  • SSW’s Angular and Xamarin Hack Days. These events are always great for meeting new devs and working with them to learn new tech.
  • SSW TV’s ‘Tech Tips’ at NDC Sydney, where I got to interview a few of the other conference speakers and got them to do a tech demo with me.

SSW Training

The event stats for 2019 were:

  • 34 paid events (many sold out!)
  • 45 free events
Figure: SSW’s New Course on Clean Architecture with Jason Taylor

In 2020 we’re going to be running updated 1-day and 2-day developer training courses in areas such as Azure, Angular, React and .NET Core. In addition, with the growing importance of clean development, we have launched a new course on Clean Architecture due to run in February 2020. It’s led by SSW’s Jason Taylor, who’s video Clean Architecture with ASP.NET Core 2.1 has attracted close to 250,000 views on YouTube. That will be an exciting event.