Its hard to believe that 2021 is nearly behind us already! As we get nearer to the end of the year, I’ve been thinking about what I’ve accomplished over the last year, as well as things I plan to knock out in 2022 (to be detailed in a separate post). I’m going to keep most of these to one paragraph, but hit me up on Twitter if you are interested in a deeper dive.

Honestly when I started thinking about 2021, it really felt like a rough year. The second year of lockdown from the pandemic (isolation really got to me this year), actually getting COVID earlier this year, the constant struggle of a family of boys growing up way too fast, and having been dealt a blow to my personal health recently got me down. But as I’m listing things I’ve accomplished this year, it definitely wasn’t all bad.

Personal Projects


Starting with the big one, GuardianForge. I’ve been a long time player of Destiny 2 and got into build crafting earlier in the year. I conceived the idea of Forge as a way for content creators to make simple links to their builds they can share with their audiences. The best moment is when it got shared by the developer of Destiny Insights on Twitter. Through that experience, I was able to get a decent user base to bounce ideas off of to grow the product. It was also my very first public-facing application I’ve built under my own name. Stack uses a combination of Go and JavaScript and is hosted in AWS. Many of my ideas I have for the app are still on the backlog due to lack of time, but lots of new things coming next year!

Daily Reps

So this is something I haven’t been so vocal about. I wanted a simple way to track reps of certain exercises I do throughout the day just to see how I progress over time. After scouring the App Store and turning up nothing, I decided to just build something myself. Basically I can log a simple number and it resets each day. Currently using Gatsby, Netlify, and Fauna.

Twitter/Notion Bot

Still in development, but I built myself a bot to schedule Tweets using Notion as a backend. It’s written entirely in Go and running on my Docker server. The idea is I have a Notion table where I can store tweets for later around my content or whatever and I can defer sending them until a certain time. I also plan to use this to schedule tweets from the Forge account. I’ll eventually open source it when I get time.

Work Stuff

Building a Go GraphQL API for Dynamic Asset Groups

Assets are the core entity of our app at work, and one of the things thats been on the backlog since I started with the company over 2 years ago was to build a way to dynamically update groups of assets based on data fields. I made that a reality by building a GraphQL API in Go, and the necessary UI forms to build queries that can be run at intervals. Since GraphQL is essentially a HTTP endpoint that uses JSON, I simply had to create the necessary query strings and store them in a DB for later use. It was one of my favorite projects of the year hands down.

A Custom OpenID Integration

TECHNICALLY this one is still in the works, but essentially I’m building a fully custom SSO implementation in the work app. It was interesting learning about the various SSO protocols (mainly OpenID and SAML) and learning how to properly implement them. This allows our users to sign into our application using their own ID server, as well as our support team to map access groups across the systems.

A Newsfeed Powered by WordPress

We use WordPress as our marketing site, and the request was specifically to setup a way to notify our users when something new is added to the system. We built a system that pulls data from our WordPress site and renders it in our app using the WordPress REST API, along with ACF for custom data fields. This was mostly inspired by building previous iterations on my own blog. The nice thing is it allows a really nice WYSIWYG editor to be used by non technical people to show things within our app to our users.

Other Accomplishments

Year 2 AWS Community Builder

I was approved for a second year as AWS Community Builder. Honored to be a part of the program again 😊

Lead Backend Engineer

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to shift my career away from full stack development and more towards backend development. I have a pretty big background in infrastructure engineering and I realized I prefer projects where Im making systems talk over making them pretty. Recently a coworker of mine landed another opportunity and when I mentioned to my boss where I’d like to see my career go, without hesitation he gave me the title of Lead Backend Engineer!

Celebrating 8 Years Married

Hard to believe I’ve been married to the love of my life for 8 years, and 14 years together. Life has certainly dealt us some strange cards over the years, but we’ve never been stronger as a couple and I am very grateful for that.

Wrapping it Up

I feel like I’m missing a few things but these are the ones that came to mind. Expect another article soon outlining my goals for 2022!