Following up from my previous article where I looked back in 2021 on the various things I’ve accomplished, I also wanted to look ahead to the coming year and provide an outline of a few goals I want to achieve there too.
Open Sourcing My Projects
Like many developers, I use open source projects ALL THE TIME to simplify my life. Over the years, I’ve built numerous tools that have helped streamline my processes and I want to start looking to give back to the community in general through open sourcing these tools.
When building GuardianForge, one of the most interesting struggles is trying to assemble the huge amount of data that is returned from the various APIs into something that usable. It was no small feat. Well I decided a few months after releasing Forge that I wanted to build an NPM package to simplify this process, thus DestinyDataTools (the name might change) was born. Its essentially a wrapper around the data that makes working with the data much easier, at least in my opinion. Here are some screenshots of it in action for the upcoming version of GuardianForge. (Please note that this is all very early in the development process, naming is likely to change before I push the first release)
These few lines handle the process of fetching a users’ inventory and building out data structures within the managing class.
object is the main entity, here are some of the methods that can be used to easily pull useful info for that item.
And finally, here are a few screenshots of what this is helping me do for Forge.
When I started building Forge, I made it closed source mostly because I had a ton of secrets and API keys that I was working with (yeah, I know, I know...) but I’d love to open it up so other developers can see how it was built and hopefully use it as a reference when building their own third party companion apps for Destiny. I just need to take time to comb through all the source, as well reconfigure my own workspace so its as productive as it was before.
Quick Capture Tool
One of my secret productivity weapons. Many years ago I built an electron app with Vue that hooks into Trello via their API and lets me quickly add cards using global hotkeys. This way, if I want to quickly add myself a task, note, whatever, I can just press Ctrl+Alt+O and it gives me a quick dialog box to enter something. Click Enter and it disappears into the background, adding that note to my board. The beauty of it is I can swap the backend service out with anything that has an API. My goal is to update it for using with Notion then put it out for the world to see.
My Custom CMS - BMOPS
When I built the current version of my website, I decided to build my own CMS which I wanted to do for years. There were three features I really wanted: A markdown editor, the ability to drop or paste images and have them upload to my CDN, and an API to access the data programatically. Thats BMOPS in a nutshell, with a backend on AWS and a frontend in Netlify. Oh, and that silly name stands for Brian Morrison’s Operations, because us techies love our abbreviations 😎
My consistency with making content took a hit this year with some stuff going on personally, but I want to get back into a more consistent routine with creating content, with the initial focus on once every other week. Here are a few things you can expect from me in 2022 in this area. In a nutshell, it will mostly be content on how to use code to make life & business more productive.
Focusing on Integrations
Projects that integrate multiple platforms together are probably some of my favorite to work with. I got into development because I enjoyed automating things, so my goal for a chunk of my content going into 2022 is to focus on finding various platforms that with APIs, Webhooks, or other integration-type setups and create guides around them.
On the topic of automation, sometimes low or no code platforms may be the easiest way to accomplish something, so I plan to explore these platforms to see what value they can provide in integrating other services together.
Productivity & Project Management
One of my other passions in life. I really strive to find tools & processes to simplify my life as much as possible. This will very likely be centered on Notion, but may branch out to other supporting tools I use in my daily work.
A Go/AWS Book
I started writing a book a month or so ago and I’m a few chapters in so far. Unfortunately the holidays and other properties have taken over so I’m currently planning on launching this sometime in Q1 2022. Here’s a sneak peek of the tentative chapter outline:
1 - Getting Setup in AWS
2 - Serverless Functions w/Lambda
3 - Building APIs with API Gateway
4 - Serverless Auth using Cognito
5 - Working with DynamoDB
6 - File Management using S3
7 - Message Queueing with SQS
8 - Putting It All Together with AWS SAM
Honestly, Im on the fence on this one. When GuardianForge started getting some traction, one of the things I’ve had on my list is to create build videos that leverage the builds in Forge as a base. As much as I’d love to do this, it may be overstretching a bit, and I’m trying NOT to burn out again.
AWS Professional Certification
Hard to believe I first took my AWS certs 3 years ago, but they are coming due this year so instead of re-certifying my Associate level certificates, I’m instead going to obtain the Professional Solutions Architect certification. I’m considering going for the DevOps cert as well, but it might be a bit too much on my plate due to the following goal.
PMP Disciplined Agile Certification
As mentioned earlier, project management is another interest of mine and I’d love to get more practical knowledge on how to properly run projects. I may at some point transition my career fully into that area, but at the very least it is complimentary to my goals of working with backend code & architecture.
Health & Fitness
Many people don’t know this, but at one point in my life I was able to claim I’d lost over 100lbs, going from 280 → 175 in my late teens. Since then, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been important to me. So much so that I actually wanted to get into bodybuilding as a career before I got into tech! Well the lockdown/isolation/covid stuff made me more complacent than I’ve been in a long time, and its had some negative effects on my overall health. My main goal this year is really just to optimize my health as much as possible, with short term goals of losing 30ish lbs and getting my cholesterol within healthy ranges. Its not an extreme amount but it certainly will be challenging, especially now that Im much older than the first time I’ve tried to get my health nailed down.
Some Kind of Humanitarian Project
I know that I am very blessed to have the resources and knowledge I do to grow myself, and there are so many people in this world that suffer for absolutely no reason. I dont even know what to put in this category, but I’d love to find some projects that I can collaborate with to reduce the pain that our fellow humans experience every single day.
If you have a project along these lines, please (!) DM me on Twitter @brianmmdev and we can talk.
So now that I have SOME of my ambitions for 2022 laid out (less some other personal ones), I plan to follow this up with the final entry in the series on how I’m going to map these goals out into 2022.