In trying to keep the tradition of posting a year in review, so here it goes.


This year I continued working part-time on a LAMP stack app, the one that used Angular 1.x for the UI. I also continued fixing bugs and adding new features to the “web based application to assist in monitoring local government, which I still continue to do. I did move it over to use Amazon AWS hosted Elasticsearch because the single, “small” EC2 server was being overloaded.

This year, I gave up working remote to help focus on getting the “next generation backend processing system” (mentioned in last years post) to production. I’m happy to report we did get it deployed to production in September with only a few issues in the weeks after the cut-over. In particular, we realized that heavily using blobs in Crate was not feasible, at least with our use case and cluster size. We actually migrated blob storage over to a self-hosted Minio cluster. The biggest drawback so far with Minio, is the time it takes to list objects and delete them. A co-worker developed an application that runs alongside Minio that can “age-off” data by time, by simply deleting the files from disk (on each server + disk(s)) which has been working quite well.

This year I only tried and used a few new technologies or libraries:

  • Minio
  • http4k
  • AWS SDKs - Java/Python/Go - the Minio clients didn’t support batch deletes at the time

The languages and prominent technologies I continued using this year included:

Looking Back

To recap, for 2018 I wanted to:

  • exercise regularly
    • I averaged 3 days per week
  • give up energy drinks
    • I didn’t completely, in June I decided to stop and I ended up having a few more from June - December (mostly because of long working days where I’d only get 3.5 - 4 hours of sleep). I do occasionally drink coffee and sometimes I’ll have other energy style drinks (hi-ball for example), though they use coffee beans for caffeine and don’t include other chemicals.
  • read more books
  • take the kids to Disney
    • we went on a 7 day cruise on Disney Fantasy to the Eastern Caribbean (Philipsburg, St. Maarten; St. Thomas; Castaway Cay, Bahamas)
  • get more experience with machine learning and natural language processing
    • not really
  • have a date night (in or out of the house) with Kelly at least every other month (more the better :)
    • we went to frederick a few times (hootch and banter was one that was a lot of fun) and to a few places in Westminster
    • we also were able to go to the gym and run errands from time to time
  • celebrated 20 years with my the love of my life
  • officially started a company, Codescratch with two partners and we celebrated the new beginning with our wives at Rose’s Luxury

Looking Forward

In 2019 I will:

I want to:

  • get our driveway paved, its currently just stone
  • landscaping in the backyard, the grass by the deck stairs and around needs some major love, thanks to our wonderful Sheepies
  • try new things, perhaps: