I’ve never been one for writing a review of my year. This year I’ve found myself not only reading, but comparing myself to others’ reviews. I realised that this is not particularly helpful, so decided I’d give myself something to compare myself to at the end of 2019. Thus, here is my first year in review.

Here are some of the things I was proud of this year:


July 2018 saw me cross 4 years of working as a developer evangelist for Twilio. It’s been a really fun, interesting, hard, tiring and compelling role over this time. I’m almost half way through my 5th year now and I’m having a great time sharing my development experiences, helping other developers and being a part of the Twilio community.


GitHub tells me I made 582 contributions in 2018. Those contributions were a good mix of personal projects, example Twilio applications and contributions to other open source projects. They also resulted in the release of 5 libraries; 4 in Ruby and one in JavaScript. They were:

I also began work to resurrect my RubyGem for the Bitly API as it has fallen way out of date. I need to spend more time with this though, the going has been slow so far.

At work I took over maintenance of the Authy-Devise library. The library makes it easy to implement two factor authentication in Devise with Twilio’s Authy API. There’s some good opportunities to improve the library this year, especially in testing. There are some interesting issues with testing a library that plugs in to a library that relies on Rails.


I like to help out on Stack Overflow. At the end of 2018 my reputation was 37,030 which I am incredibly proud of. In 2018 I left 345 answers, of which 169 were accepted. I also left 918 comments on questions/answers either asking for more information or following up.

I am fortunate enough to do this as part of my work, as it can take up quite a bit of time. Most of my answers are for questions tagged “Twilio” though you’d be surprised by the variety of problems developers have within the bounds of including Twilio in an application.


In “exceptionally late to the party” news I managed to take some time in 2018 to start learning both React and Angular. I’ve never been a big fan of applications that just work in the front-end (unless absolutely necessary, you can’t host a WebRTC video chat without JavaScript!) and frameworks have tended to encourage that. This has changed over time and frankly both React and Angular are too big to ignore any more (and arguably were well before 2018 too).

I’ve enjoyed kicking up my learning and there’s going to be more of this, likely around React, for 2019. Look out for more blog posts as I discover new things.


This leads me to my writing this year. Before 2018 I wrote the last post on my blog in July 2017. I intended to be more consistent in my writing in 2018 and that sort of worked for the first 3/4 of the year. My last posts on both my blog and the Twilio blog were both in October. Still, the results aren’t all bad. I wrote:

21 posts in total is good, but I want to improve on that this year. More consistency is the main aim again. Thankfully I have a number of drafts and projects already lined up.


I spoke 12 times in 2018. This is a marked step down from 2017 and even further from 2016. This coincides with my move to Australia where there are fewer events and fewer nearby countries to pop over to give talks, something I was fortunate enough to do in the past.

That said, speaking is more about quality than quantity. I was lucky to be selected to speak at these wonderful conferences:

JSConf EU was certainly my highlight here, I’ve been trying for years to get a talk accepted and I was elated when I received the confirmation email. The talk was one of the more important ones I’ve given too, addressing developers’ use of push notifications and permissions on the web. It might also be the best talk title I’ve ever come up with. You can see “Aggressive Web Apps” on YouTube.

I had a lot of fun also presenting at local meetups. 2018 included talks at MelbJS, The Web Meetup, RoRo Melbourne and RoRo Sydney.


In 2018 I visited Sydney, Brisbane, Hobart, Singapore, Phuket, Bali, London, Berlin, New York, San Diego and San Francisco. 11 different places and 6 countries (aside from Australia).

I certainly racked up some miles there. I enjoy travelling, it’s both part of the job and how I like to holiday. It can be tiring, particularly when it is for work, but with enough recovery time built in this much travel is sustainable. Getting to travel back to Europe for JSConf EU and use that as an opportunity to call in on my friends and family in the UK was fantastic too.

I am looking forward to exploring more new parts of the world in 2019.


2018 was my first full year living in Australia. It’s been a fantastic year, Melbourne is an amazing city full of great food, interesting beer, lot’s to do and above all welcoming and friendly people. Kelly and I liked it so much we bought a house here this year! This, combined with getting my permanent residency, means that we’re going to be enjoying life in Melbourne for a while longer.

In numbers

To summarise the above, here’s what it looks like in numbers:

🏠 1 new house
🛂 1 permanent residency
☎️ 4 years at Twilio
📝 21 blog posts
🎙 12 talks given
💻 582 GitHub contributions
💎 5 new libraries released
🏙 11 cities visited
🌏 6 countries visited
🍻 296 new beers

I hope you had a great 2018 and wish you all the best for 2019.