Every year I like to sit down with myself and create some personal or career goals that I would like to achieve in the forthcoming year, but equally, I also want to review my last year’s goals and how I got on.
It’s not about hurting myself with any goals that I might have missed or didn’t achieve, but it allows me to reflect on all the great things I have done, how they went, and if there is anything I can learn from going forward.
I have done this for many years and have always found it enjoyable. However, there is one example that I will never forget.
In 2016 one of my ambitions and goals was to start writing technical articles, I pushed myself, and I saw an opportunity come up to write at raywenderlich.com. So, after putting myself forward, I chatted with the one and only Ray Wenderlich. He offered me a unique role within the RayWenderlich team to have my own “Indie Developer Interview Column” on the website.
It’s a prime example of having a career goal and chasing it down. Could this process work for you? Try it, and let me know how you get on.
This year has been fast-paced, and I wanted to break down some key takeaways from 2022; perhaps there is something that you can also learn from this.
When I joined Stream back in 2021, it was a hugely exciting moment for me because of several reasons;
- The company was growing exceptionally fast, and I thrive in these environments; I love scaling teams and working with the challenges you face.
- The people were terrific.
- It was a new challenge for me working within an SDK environment.
- There was an opportunity to grow into a more “leadership” role which again was hugely challenging and exciting.
However, back in August, when the economy was shrinking, Stream had to make the difficult decision of laying out half my team, including me and many others within the company. It was a hugely challenging time for me and many others, but it was time to move on and look for new opportunities. I want to thank everyone for all the messages and opportunities that came my way; it was challenging, unexpected and quite stressful.
I still have fond memories of working at Stream and am still friends with many ex-colleagues. Stream also supports my SwiftLeeds conference in many ways, which I appreciate.
We all have the big “app idea”, right? However, like many of you reading, I have always struggled to complete a project from start to finish that is of my own accord and ship it as a *real* product.
My goal for 2022 was finally to get over this and launch my product. VStack is an iOS application that will share some in-depth videos and content to help you learn SwiftUI, it’s growing, and I have yet to add more content, but it contains over 15 videos, of which I am very proud.
It was one of those moments whereby I could finally say that I have launched my app from start to finish, and I know that many of you are finding it helpful to “learn on the go”.
I have always enjoyed the 360iDev Conference in Denver, Colorado. Simply because it’s probably, if not one of the oldest, iOS/macOS conferences that are still running, but I have always been a massive fan of their mission statement and how friendly the conference has been to many people in the US region.
I finally got accepted as a speaker in 2021 and jetted across the Atlantic to speak at this incredible conference. My talk was about MetricKit, which I am hugely passionate about, and you can watch it back here.
I am also told the conference is no longer running from now on, which is deeply saddening, but I understand the reasons behind this. I thank John and Nicole for running such a fabulous conference and having me join them in 2021.
SwiftLeeds is a big passion of mine; having created this conference in 2019, it was time for SwiftLeeds 2.0.
We launched the conference at the height of a global pandemic and raised massive attention to our conference efforts. However, we did have some tailwinds due to people being eager to attend an in-person conference, so 2022 was going to be interesting, given that many more conferences were reopening again.
However, it was hugely successful, and we are now the biggest conference in the UK in terms of attendance numbers, with over 300 attendees attending from across the globe. In addition, we launched a unique swag bag item of an “Indie Developer SwiftLeeds Stencil” explicitly manufactured for SwiftLeeds attendees and from a local company in Leeds.
I had an unequivocal mission statement for SwiftLeeds, and that message still stands:
“A conference that is for the community by the community”
This sounds simple, but it means all our decisions about the conference always fall back on this statement, and we will continue to build a true community-driven conference.
We have big plans for 2023, and I know you will share the excitement.
Finally, as I wrap up for 2022, I have recently launched my first *actual* open-source library that wraps the OpenAI API for developers using Swift.
I have always wanted to launch my Open Source library, this was my first opportunity to do that, and it’s now trending on socials with over 130 stars on Github. Thank you, and I hope you will contribute or help share with your friends.
This year has been full of swings, turns and surprises, and I am sure 2023 will be no different. I love what we are building together, I love the iOS community, and I want to thank you all deeply from the bottom of my heart for supporting any of my work, whether attending SwiftLeeds or cloning OpenAISwift or simply sending me a DM during my redundancy. Thank you!
Our brains are set up in that we often think about the bad things that occur and never focus enough on the great things we achieved or did; I mean, look at all the amazing things you did.
I wish you, your family and your loved ones a Merry Christmas and a prosperous 2023.