2015 in Review

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2015 was the year my son Nick completed his Masters degree at the University of South Florida, He is now the Director of Basketball Operations at Southern Illinois University - Edwardsville. I was able to attend 2 SIUE games in December - at Wisconsin-Milwaukee and at Northwestern (both losses by the Cougars).

2015 was the year my son Tim decided to pursue Informatics - a field of applied Computer Science - as a major at Indiana University. He is currently halfway through his third year of college.

2015 was the year I finally got serious about my health. It had been years since I had a medical checkup so I scheduled one, along with a long-overdue colonoscopy. I had not been to the dentist since the Reagan administration so I scheduled a checkup and a series of teeth cleanings. Miraculously, I had no health issues and only one small cavity. The doctors did not point it out, but I was aware that I had been steadily gaining wait over the past few years. So I began a serious exercise program and cut my calorie intake dramatically. As a result, I lost about 45 pounds and I've kept it off for 4-5 months now. I hired a personal trainer and worked with him to increase my stamina and core strength and I began riding my bicycle all over downtown until the weather dropped below freezing.

2015 was the summer I finally sold my house in Michigan, closing an unpleasant chapter in my life. My drivers license now reads "Illinois" and I have very nice home in urban Chicago. More importantly, for the first time in over a decade, I was able to choose where I want to live.

2015 was the year that my friend Jay lost his wife to an automobile accident and my friend Bill lost his life to cancer. It was also the year my cousin Sharon successfully made it through her cancer treatments.

2015 was a busy year for me professionally. I delivered well over 100 presentations at user groups, conferences, universities, and startup incubators; mentored at 7 student hackathons; held monthly office hours at 2 startup incubators; staffed the Office 365 booth at the Ignite conference; and attended countless user group meetings. I delivered 9 Cloud Camps and 14 Dev Camps during the year. I traveled around the country from Miami to Seattle to San Diego. I made my first trip ever to Alabama when I spoke at the DevSpace conference in Huntsville. I delivered 2 keynote presentations: One at Detroit Dev Day at Cobo Hall and one at GR DevNight in Grand Rapids, MI.

2015 was the year I accelerated my practice of producing online videos. I released a new episode of Technology and Friends ever Monday (Episode 400 aired in early 2016) and I recorded and released 15 DevRadio episodes; I also began a new series - GCast - featuring short educational screencasts.

2015 included a trip to Europe. In May, I flew to Romania to speak at the IT Camp (my second time speaking at the this conference); then to Stockholm, Sweden to speak at DevSum. I spent a few extra days in Stockholm visiting friends and exploring the region. This is by far the farthest north I have ever been. Although most days were partly cloudy, the sun set after I went to bed at night and rose before I awoke in the morning. I highly recommend a visit to Stockholm.

2015 was an excellent year for my favourite sports teams - the Michigan State Spartans. Both the basketball team and the football team advanced to the national Final Four - an unexpected and amazing accomplishments. I was blessed to see a few games, including the Big 10 Championship football game in Indianapolis last month.

In 2015, I continued my practice of beginning each day thinking of something for which I am grateful.

It's hard to believe 2015 consisted of only 12 months. I packed a lot into this time. On the other hand, it feels like I wrote a retrospective of 2014 just a few weeks ago. 2016 is beginning strong. I've already attended one excellent conference and I have some adventures planned for the first month. I approach this coming year with much optimism and much anticipation.