MindBodySoulDeveloper Turns Two Years Old!

It’s true what they say: the first year of anything is usually the roughest. But, I think it’s because you gain a level of mastery (or practice) which makes the following years a bit easier.

Exactly two years ago, the MindBodySoulDeveloper blog was born.

You can check my first blog post here. And read my first year anniversary.

I continue to learn many things from a personal and technical perspective. Last year, I spoke about consistency being my #1 pick… and still is.

This time it’s different. This year I was less consistent on my blog posts than my first year.

Nevertheless, I didn’t stop and let the blog die. It’s something I’m very proud of at a personal level.

Let’s talk about The Great, The Bad, and The More Unexpected Awesomesauce.

Caution: This a long post. I tried my best to compact its content. But many things happened in one year!

The Great

I have a lot of great things happen in my life. I moved to a new state (within the USA), new job(s), new life all together. It has been a crazy and busy transition. But we are happy with our new life.

Sometimes you need to take risks to get what you want.

And I believe I’ve done it.

Back to the more professional side of things…

There’s been many firsts this year:

  • First lightning talk
  • First regional conference
  • Blogging in other platforms
  • Sinking my teeth into functional programming
  • Long distance runs!

Wow, I’ve been busy. And here I am thinking I’m living a boring life 🙂

First Lightning Talk

(This should’ve been a blog post on its own. But yeah, remember when I told you I had a rough time being consistent this year? This is a reflection of that.)

This one came out as a dare in Twitter.
(https://twitter.com/JoseGonz321/status/799620115759296512)

I decided to share my Mega Man Robot Master’s React application.

I accepted the challenge and signed up for the lightning talk at my local .NET user group TRINUG!

I won’t lie, I was hesitant at first. Nah, I’m not nervous getting in front of people. I actually did it for a living at the very beginning of my career.

But I thought being in a .NET group, I didn’t think many would care for my Node + React app.

How did it turned out?

Great! Actually, better than great!

Even though it was 5mins (OK more like 6), people at my user group still remember me from that lightning talk. They may have forgotten my name, but almost everyone says:

Hey, I still remember your lightning talk!

In my head all I can think is:

Oh? That was like x months ago?

But it’s good to know people enjoyed it or at least were entertained by it.

First Regional Conference

I attended All Things Open on late October. It was a great conference overall. Although I’ve been to code camps before, I didn’t know what to expect.

It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed my first day. I followed my schedule and attended some great talks.

Second day was different. I met with a co-worker and some of his buddies. We ended up just hanging out. We had a lot of hallway conversations and then some random dude join our group:

Scott and Jose

Yeah, you may or may not know him. 🙂

We tried to loose him. But he wouldn’t go away and ended up chilling with him for the rest of the day.

Blogging at Medium and Dev.to()

Although I’ve been an active contributor to Medium, I began to share some of my content a few months ago. Nothing crazy. Basically, I shared some of my previous articles.

Dev.to has turned into something more proactive as it’s aimed at developers. It’s a very active community.

Here are some of the articles I’ve published there:
You are going to suck at blogging, but that’s OK!
Lower Your Expectations When Blogging
Hello World Blog Template
What’s the Unit Type in F#

I’m thinking of sharing more content there to have a bigger reach.

Improving Functional Programming

Last year it was all about React for me.

This year I turned my attention to functional programming in general. I’ve dabbled with Elm and spent some time in FSharp.

I’m trying to remain language agnostic and focus on the functional programming paradigm. It has been a wild ride and I will continue this from the technical perspective.

Awesome runs

My running adventure continues. My distance has increase like crazy. Moving to a new area with friendly-running streets has made that easier.

I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for over 2 years. I thought the first year was crazy enough. 🙂

Two things stood out:

The Bad

Not everything is rainbows and unicorns. So, now let’s talk about some rough situations.

Inconsistency

Yeah, it killed me. My blog post count isn’t what it should be. In other words, I have not blogged weekly as my intended goal.

2 year blog posts count

I struggled with this. I wanted to drop off so many times. I’d start writing a blog post and not finish it. Let alone publish it.

It wasn’t due to lack of content.

If you read the sections above, I missed many great events that would’ve turned into awesome blog posts: my first 5-min lightning talk, first 5K run, first regional conference to name a few.

On the flip-side, I’ve been going thru some crazy personal and professional transitions. Everything feels like a blur.

Ultimately, I screwed up and lost momentum somewhere. I won’t beat up myself and push forward!

Dropping off JavaScript

I’ve almost completely drop off the [JavaScript scene](javascript category). I still keep tabs on React, but my focus has been more on functional programming. Elm replaced my React adventure. FP replaced my Elm adventure.

Can I do it all?

Maybe. But time is my highest commodity. I have a family which I enjoy spending time with.

I only have one chance to enjoy my boys at their current age.

There will be plenty of chances to learn or catch up with whatever is out there. I don’t need to be bleeding edge to provide for them.

Family > bleeding edge

(For now!)

More Unexpected Awesomesauce

Although my blog posts count is low, I continue to meet (both face to face and virtually) some really awesome people.

Scott Hanselman

At All Things Open. It was good enough to watch him speak live. But never imagined hanging out with him for most of the second day. I even got a autograph for my wife.

(Side note: My wife introduced Baby Smash to my kids years ago. I told him about Scott. She emailed him to thank him for such a great application. He emailed her back. When I told her I was with him during the conference, she had to get her autograph.)

Ed Finkler

Again, at the All Things Open, I met Ed Finkler. He gave a talk on how to be an awesome developer. I was expecting some soft skills talk and walked away with much more than that. You can catch his talk on YouTube.

I’ve written about what he does and his OSMI foundation.

Erik Dietrich

Erik’s book on Developer Hemogony. I already wrote about it in May’s monthly resources.

It changed my perception of how I view my services as a software developer.

After reading this book, I can’t see the ‘corporate ladder’ the same way. It was truly a great read.

If you care about your career and where you want to go, learn to play the game. Yep, the game IS rigged.

If you’re not convinced, check out these two interviews:

Developer On Fire Weekly Hangout

Last year, I wrote how I created a professional Facebook account just to join Developer on Fire Facebook Group.

Today it’s a different story.

If you are a Developer On Fire Patreon, you may be eligible to join a weekly hangout session with the Dave Rael, the podcast’s host.

Aside from supporting an awesome podcast, which provides a unique value to software developers, you get to spend 1hr each Sunday with a bunch of wise and awesome people.

It’s not exclusive to technologies chats. The topics varied widely.

It has turned into a master mind on more than just software development. It’s a welcome-y bunch, and we love to see new faces.

I think Dave started to save the recordings and put them in the DoF Slack channel. But it’s only available to show’s supporters.

The wisdom provided in these recordings are worth the mere $10/mo (as of the time of this post). Seriously, sign up!

Expanding virtual network

Dave Rael

Dave has been a huge influence directly and indirectly. Seriously, check out his podcast. ‘Nuff said!

Scott Nimrod

Scott is a blunt guy. He’s a functional programming learning machine and not afraid to talk about certain topics in his YouTube Channel. I like his un-scripted conversations. It’s real developers having real conversations.

We even recorded a conversation we had a while back. You can check out the recording here.

Lately, he and others who he talked to in his channel started the Lamda Cartel.

Pablo Rivera

I think Twitter introduced me to Pablo somehow. He’s been another developer I continuously exchange tweets with.

He also appeared in Scott’s YouTube Channel more than once. And a founder of the Lamda Cartel.

Pavneet Singh Saund

Although, our conversations are less frequent, it’s amazing to see his recent growth. He has appeared in several podcasts: DoF and Legacy Code Rocks.

Oh, let’s not forget his Pavlog.

Recently, he presented at NDC Oslo and QConn in NYC.

A true inspiration for the rest of us,who are still on the fence, and don’t know if we are ready or not to do presentations.

John Sonmez

I can’t thank this guy enough. Even two years later after I found his blog, he continues to inspire and motivate me.

He is the main reason why this blog exists. He has changed many software developers lives, mine included.

Picks of the Month

This is an attempt to consolidate all the resources I come across during a month. I got the idea from Gjermund Bjaanes and ran with it.

It’s usually 3 to 4 resources I’ve found useful or helpful. They can be (but not limited to) blog articles, books, videos or a specific person.

Closing Thoughts

Phew, that was a lot of writing (not to mention reading!).

Thank you for reading this post. I wanted to write something short. But, I couldn’t help myself and decided to share as much as possible with you.

My main remains the same: share my stories from my adventure. Hopefully, they can help you learn something or at least entertain you..

It’s been another year with another wild ride. I can’t or won’t predict the future.

I’m an awful future teller.

I can hardly believe it’s been two years. Yet, here we are.

I’ll use the same quote I used last time:

Be goalless

Mastery – George Leonard

Do you still you can’t blog? Think again.

See you next year!

  • Great job to a great dude. Jose, it’s a joy and a blessing to know you and to be a part of what you are doing for your family and for the world.