2019 Year in Review

The year began in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.

Sunrise ocean view in Mexico

It was a year of growth.

I ran my first 5k and finished two half marathons. I got pretty serious about my morning protein shakes and green drinks with a blender towards the end of the year.

At work, I experienced exponential growth in my SQL and Looker knowledge, which contributed to my promotion to Business Analyst. I recreated our support team’s performance management system and am currently working on the performance management system for another team.

In the first half of the year I completely redid this portfolio website and blog.

I went much deeper into programming beyond just front end. I started with Laravel by recreating some of my simple PHP projects from 2018. Ultimately, I completed a Laravel run tracking app, Track Your Run. This was my first deployed app with user authentication. Next I focused on the fundamentals of Python and explored Flask and Django for web frameworks. I loved Django, and made a project called Colors From Image that returns the dominant color palette from an image. I had fun playing around with the Python Tweepy package to use the Twitter API. I’m ending the year with Python for data science and machine learning. I also got to stay fresh on front end by creating our company’s summer retreat website, coding a redesign for an internal tool, and coding the new GoFundMe Charity Help Center.

I saw my Raspberry Pi in a new light. I learned more about Internet of things and how the Raspberry Pi fits into that. I was able to power an LED light from the Pi, run a Python program to turn the LED on and off every second, and run another program that turns the LED on and off from a button press on the breadboard.

Raspberry Pi powering an LED light

Favorite ____ of 2019


  • Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth: Buckminster Fuller’s name came up a few times this year, and I wanted to find a book that was hopeful about the future. This is one of his most well known works. I read it twice.
    • “I am enthusiastic over humanity’s extraordinary and sometimes very timely ingenuities. If you are in a shipwreck and all the boats are gone, a piano top buoyant enough to keep you afloat that comes along makes a fortuitous life preserver. But this is not to say that the best way to design a life preserver is in the form of a piano top. I think that we are clinging to a great many piano tops in accepting yesterday’s fortuitous contrivings as constituting the only means for solving a given problem.”
  • The E-Myth Revisited: Why most small businesses fail with great advice on the mindset needed when starting a new business.
  • Hit Makers: How hits have been created in the past and the magic between the familiar and new.

Shows, Movies & Documentaries


I got to see one of my childhood favorite artists, Raffi with my family this year. I’m pretty sure my sister and I were the oldest people in the audience without children.

I got my first analog drum machine, the Roland TR-808. It is fun to create simple beats and jam along with my synthesizer, guitar, or bass.

I listened to a lot of electronic music this year, discovered Synthwave, listened to a few country songs on repeat, and was reminded how much I love Dancing In The Moonlight.

2019 Spotify Genres



Outside of all the work and learning, two particular events from the year stood out. The first was my wife and I visiting The Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden while in Dallas for a conference. The second was taking our dog Pirate for a hike at Fortuna Mountain Trail and seeing how much he loves hiking.

Family hike with our dog