2016 Goals

Each year I like to reflect on the previous year & set new goals.

This blog post doesn’t have too much relevance to anyone apart from me but I have found value in looking back at the previous year and setting myself new goals.

I’d normally try & write this at the beginning of January so it’s probably a good reflection of how busy I have been that i’m doing this early Feb.

This year was a transitional year for me learning how to be a dad to my new daughter.

As a new parent I certainly have a lot less time that I took for granted previously (and less energy) so had to cut back on a few things – this also made me much more selective about what I spent my time on!

Highlights for me of the last year included:

Pluralsight – Edge for Developers course

Microsoft surprised everyone this year with the release of a browser to replace Internet Explorer. Despite a few annoyances and omissions (an extension model was the big one for me as meant no password managers etc) Edge is a massive step forward.

This year I released another course for Pluralsight that has been well received called Edge for Developers concentrating on those changes of interest to developers and site owners.

BuzzConf, Microsoft Ignite and Web Directions

I really enjoyed talking at a new technology focussed conference called BuzzConf on brain computer interfaces. It’s a mix of developer conference, hackathon & music festival.
We are going to be talking to the buzz conf guys about the possibility of running a DDD track at the next buzz conf so watch this space!

It was great to head up to the Gold Coast this year to talk about Microsoft Edge for Developers at Microsoft’s ignite conference.

Web Directions as always was a lot of fun and I enjoyed taking a deep dive into how numbers work in JavaScript.

Black belt in Taekwondo

It was great to reach the level of blackbelt in Taekwondo. I did feel that students were pushed quickly through the grading system & know I would have benefited from additional time spent on some aspects & was under no illusion that I have a long way to go to reach any level of mastery.


Practice Lead promotion

I was promoted to practice lead at my workplace – I really enjoy the opportunity amongst other things to focus on learning whats working and what is not working for our teams, helping teams work closer together, improving our processes, identifying educational opportunities & refining our induction and recruitment processes.

Visit Singapore and the UK

It was great to catch up with family and friends in the UK although flying with a 15 month year old was er not so fun.

House Sale

After putting it off for some time we finally got around to selling our house & will very shortly be moving into a much larger house in a nicer suburb and around 1km from the beach!

Weight Training

I pretty much dedicated the last year to strength based training & worked with a great PT specializing in this area.

Weight training really rewards consistency & although I missed some of my original targets set last year (which were maybe optimistic) I was happy with the progress including a massive increase in deadlift.

One unexpected benefit I found was that heavy weights (especially 1RM squats!) can really test you psychologically and your state of mind can make a massive difference in terms of what you can lift. I believe that practicing something that scares you regularly helps you learn focus skills and be applied to other areas.

I made the following improvements 1RM numbers wise:

  • Deadlift – 102kg -142kg  (over double body weight!)
  • Squat – 87kg – 107kg
  • Bench – 75kg – 85kg
  • Overhead Press – 50kg – 52.25kg



So for 2016 I have the following targets:


  • I”m currently quite interested in Actor approach and playing with Akka.net. I have a personal project in mind to utilize this for
  • Learn more about F# – I havent revisited F# in a while so think its time for another look
  • React. I haven’t had too much of a play with this yet & intend to work with this as part of my personal project.
  • Talk at NDC Sydney & Microsoft Ignite


  • Get back into the Cross Fit/cross training. I focussed more on strength this year and really missed that burn of good cross training workout
  • I’d like to be able to do a bar muscle up by the end of the year
  • Weights – Deadlift to 155kg, Squat to 115kg, Bench to 90kg, Press to 56kg.
  • Get back into healthy eating – my current diets a bit crap which is a mix of laziness & tiredness. I kicked this off with some advice from a friend of mine currently training to be a nutritionist

I wish you all the best for your own 2016!






BuzzConf 2015

Last weekend I had the opportunity to talk at the inaugural BuzzConf.

BuzzConf is a bit different to other technology conferences with bands & DJ’s in the evenings and a family/kid orientated track with workshops on robots and Minecraft!

The conference was held in the beautiful but somewhat cold Phoenix Park to the west of Melbourne and attendees had the choice of either camping or staying in dorm/cabin style accommodation.


Free Internet access was provided to all attendees & a number of catering vans offered drinks and food for sale.

The theme of BuzzConf is emerging technology which certainly led to some interesting talks – I have to say currently I am enjoying these type of talks a lot more than how to use a new framework or language feature style ones.

I gave a 30 min talk on brain computer interfaces which has been one of the more interesting talks I have put together.

Putting this talk together made me realize:

  • Brain/Computer interfaces are further advanced than you may think
  • Although it is less comfortable it is possible to put together a talk on something you have a shallow knowledge of..
  • Everyday work can seem a bit trivial when compared to developers dealing with real tricky problems such as decoding optical neurological impulses
  • I want an Emotiv (a consumer BCI device) to play with

You can see my slides under the download section of my site.

I only spent a short time at BuzzConf due to parental responsibilities but my favorite thing about it was there was a nice feeling of community at the event.

I left the conference feeling very optimistic after a number of inspiring talks.

BuzzConf will be held again in 2016 and you can register your interest on the main page of the site – I look forward to attending the whole weekend next time with family.

Whats new in Microsoft Edge?

The last four months I have been a bit quiet blog and talk wise. This is because I have been hard at work developing a course for Pluralsight – Microsoft Edge for Developers which was released a few weeks ago!

But why should you care?

Well Edge is the default browser going forwards for Windows systems & devices so expect a large amount of your visitors to be Edge users – and you need to know how this browser could impact you and your sites and applications.

This is not a course on how to use browser developer tools (John Sonmez already has a great course on this) oh no this is a course exploring why Microsoft released Edge and focussing on the new functionality and changes just in Edge.

This course is 2hrs 37 minutes of quality Edge focussed content that is divided into 5 modules :

  • Introduction to Microsoft Edge
  • F12 Tools – Debugging
  • F12 Tools – Performance
  • What does Edge mean for you as a developer?
  • Edge user features

In the course I cover the following:

  • The motivations behind releasing Edge
  • Depreciated technology & APIs
  • New technology support
  • New developer orientated features (F12 Tools)
  • How to debug memory leaks & circular references
  • Edge WebDriver support
  • End user features such as Web Notes, Reading View and List and Cortana Integration

Thanks to the Microsoft Edge team for assisting me with a number of queries & in particular Ade Bateman.