2022 has been a breath of fresh air. Finally moving out of the shadow of COVID, life was better as we were able to meet in person again. Finally, we saw the return of our in-person events and awesome developer conferences. For me, 2022 was about reconnecting with people, building great software, and enjoying the ability to travel again. I had become used to zero travel, but it was nice to travel to Melbourne to see my mum, visit my teams in different states and see the return of the SSW Retreat.
Every year my girls and I sit down and do a ‘retro’ of the year. I really enjoy it – it puts things in perspective and helps me set new goals for the next year. I’ve had a good year, and I feel my girls accomplished a lot. Here are some of the things we highlighted:
👩🏻🎓 Ruby graduating from high school (with such a good mark, she got a dangerous fleabag!) and doing super well in her 1st year of uni
🐶 Welcoming a new family member, Simba
🚗 Driving with Eve for a week to the far west of NSW. I was watching her shoot her doco “Charging the Red Desert” – it was great to see how resourceful she got after she discovered the car charger didn’t work! ⚠️
🏡 Finally getting our house plans approved after a 10-year battle with the council
🎙️ Speaking at NDC Conferences in person – twice! This event was a real highlight – I love this conference
⚡Experiencing an electric shock on my way to Mackay QLD (the feeling during those days was definitely more of a low-light! 🤣)
👨🏻💻 Expanding SSW China & getting a new sexy office space
Reflections on 2022
Like the retro I do with my family, I also do one with my SSW team. We do a survey (aka “Chewing the Fat”) every year to see how their year went and get them to list their goals for the upcoming year. I really enjoy reading their highlights and lowlights and seeing what their goals are.
It was good to see that most people at SSW had a much better year than the previous one. ❤️
Planners vs Non-Planners
I was curious, do software developers sit down and do a plan, and has this changed since last year?
Yes! 71% of my team are planners. (Comprised of 19% saying a straight out “yes”, and another 52% saying “yes, kind of”…)
Technical Learning vs Soft Skills
We all strive for constant improvement, and each week I send a new Chewing the Fat to encourage the SSWers to learn something new. It takes them 10 to 15 mins to complete and me a lot longer to prepare!
So I wondered where the team felt they had upskilled the most. This wasn’t an easy question.
Most said they had learned a lot of new tech (48% – blue), and others said they had improved their communication (27% – orange), and leadership skills (23% – green).
2022 Highlights from the SSW Software Developers
Coming out of the shadows of COVID has given us a little light back into our lives. So how have our developers spent their year (with more freedom).
Here are some things that make a software developer smile. I thought I’d share some of my favorites…
👨🏻🎓 “My highlight was breaking into the industry FINALLY and getting to work. Uni is a soul-sucking experience and working at SSW has been the most cathartic experience I’ve had.”
🏆 “Became a Scrum Master / Got more responsibilities on Induction + Design team”
🏆 “Getting better at managing people – expanding the team and being seen as the senior SysAdmin.”
✈️ “Moving from Pakistan to Australia was one of the biggest highlights of 2022 for me. I found it a different experience living with family and working in my own field. Learned a lot of new technologies and improved my communication skills and made friends from different countries.”
💪🏻 “When I started working in SSW, after like 3 weeks, I had to join an Initial Meeting and act as the expert on the Power Platform. Since I didn’t have much experience, I didn’t talk much and I felt I didn’t know much about the possible solutions. At the end of this year, after a couple of months working in SSW, Levi asked me to join another Initial Meeting, and I could see the change within myself and the knowledge I have. I felt a lot more confident when giving my answers and that was really gratifying.”
🧑🏻💻 “Client work – I enhanced the UX big time. The most fun enhancement was designing and implementing a drag-drop system. Now that whole piece works on drag and drop.”
👨🏻🎓 “I became a mentor for new starters in SSW Hangzhou Office and also the client noticed I had this skill too. So the client made me a mentor for their global rotation program.”
🧑🏻💻 “Writing new testing rules for SSW Rules, as a way to share my wide knowledge and experience in the testing industry.”
🧑🏻💻 “Leading the TimePro team as Product Champion was a big challenge for me. I think that it was great to experience that kind of leadership”
🧑🏻💻 “The insane amount of skills and connections I’ve gained through client work this year.”
In the 2021 survey, family was a big theme – I expect COVID brought us all closer together. A few others mentioned completing some study was their highlight.
In 2022 what were their personal goals?
Plenty said family time, while others were building houses, having babies, and getting married! Let’s take a look at some of the comments… 👀
👨🏻🎓 “Being able to study in person”
🤝🏻 “Personally for me it was eventually picking up the virtual phone (though LinkedIn) and messaging Adam about a chance to join SSW”
📖 “First time I finished reading a Japanese novel in Japanese.”
✈️ “First time overseas since COVID”
👨👩👧 “Going back home after 3 years and having lost my dad in Nov/2020.”
✈️ “Moving to Australia”
🏡 “Finally making progress on the house renovations (and buying a whole bunch of gardening equipment in the meantime)”
👨👩👧 “We built a house in Sydney. Watching my kids grow up. Going by her negotiation skills, it feels like in the last 12 months my daughter has grown 3 years. My son is a bundle of joy.”
💍 “Getting married!”
🏘️ “Buying a big, scary house!”
🤓 “Finding the perfect conclusion to a 3-year long D&D campaign”
A Quick Re-cap of the Year 2022 for SSW
We’ve had a really great year at SSW, with some seriously cool client work, and of course fun presentations and events. Looking forward to more this year!
One of the things I’m really proud of at SSW is how transparent we are with everything we do. We have some really cool Power BI reports, and they are open to everyone in the company. I get some really good feedback on these reports through sharing the company data. It also means I can see how well the projects have gone for us easily.
Here are some of the interesting outliers from those reports…
What tech was dominant?
Answer: Full stack solutions using .NET Core (including .NET 6 and 7), and the new front-runner, Blazor dominated our projects. Angular was knocked off its perch at SSW for the first time since its release, but it’s surprisingly still dominating React which is quite far down the list. Cloud tech is everywhere, with the word ‘Azure’ taking the top spot at the helm of our technology stack.
The top 5 technologies used were: Azure, Blazor, Dynamics 365, .NET Core… and also Azure DevOps and GitHub continues to battle it out in the DevOps space.
SSW TV continued to grow in 2022 with more than 37,000 subscribers tuning in to watch our videos! That is a lot of free learning! There are over 700 great technical video resources including talks from our user group events, the NDC Conferences we’re involved with, interviews with experts, and more. I’m really proud of it.
The analytics for SSW TV on YouTube shows that 2022 has continued our upwards trajectory, taking on another 1,600 subscribers in that time. In the past 12 months, SSW TV has:
- Released 122 new videos to the public
- Acquired 1,600+ new subscribers
- Received 0.4 million views
- Was watched for 1,694,238 minutes (that’s 3 years and 81 days!)
Our most popular videos released in 2022 are:
- “Common Mistakes in EF Core” with Jernej JK Kavka
- “Developing Flexible Authorization Capabilities in ASP.NET Core” with Jason Taylor
- “Clean Architecture in .NET MAUI and ASP.NET Core” with Matt Goldman
- “Tech News #13 – State of JS Survey 2021, AU domains available, GitHub issues changes, .NET 7 preview” with Adam Cogan
- “Duplicate an entire email in one keystroke in Microsoft Outlook” with Adam Cogan
All up, we’re at:
- 788 videos
- 37,217 subscribers ⭐
- Over 4.3 million views
- 26,580,810 minutes watched (that’s 50 years and 196 days!)
Conferences and community engagement
It was really nice to have consistent, in-person events this year. I’ve run the Sydney .NET User Group for 30 years now, and I really missed the community engagement!
Here are some of the great events I was able to participate in!
🎙️ Speaking & attending NDC Conferences, in Sydney & Melbourne
🎙️ Richard Campbell of .NET Rocks MC’ing the SSW Sydney Brainstorming Day and joining our retreat
🧑🏻💻 DDD Brisbane – back & celebrating 10 years!
🌩️ Azure Superskills Course – upskilling for devs wanting to learn Azure
🧑🏻💻 Launching the new MAUI Hack Day for devs to kick start their MAUI journey
🧑🏻💻 15 User Groups, across 3 states
🧑🏻💻15 in-person training days covering tech like: .NET 6, Azure, Angular & Clean Architecture
🌞 3 SSW Retreats & Brainstorming Days
🎄 Team dinners and Christmas parties
2022 – it’s been great, we fitted in so much. Cannot wait to see what 2023 holds!