David W Parker - Developer

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2013 in Review

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This is my second annual review blog post. Below, you’ll see the Awesome Stuff, the Not Awesome Stuff, and The Numbers. Finally, I’ll be comparing these to my 2013 Agenda.

Awesome Stuff

I accomplished three of my life goals this year: I finished my Master’s of Science in Computer Science in May, completed a Sprint Triathlon in June, and lived (and visited) New York in June through September. Arguably, I also (started to complete) a 4th goal of starting a successful tech company (Uvize) in May too, but at this point, it’s still too early to say that we’re really ‘successful’. And one goal that I started last year, bboying (breakdancing) came out of left field as well.

Master’s of Science in Computer Science

In May this year, I completed my dual-degree program getting both my MBA and my MS in CS. Last year, I had actually finished the MBA portion of my degree. The last year I was able to focus solely on CS, which I personally enjoy much more than business. I spent a majority of my time thinking about and working with algorithms, graphics, software engineering, and startups.

Sprint Triathlon

In June I completed my first Triathlon. I wasn’t particulary proud of my results, but I didn’t really train for it at all. In fact, it was the first time I’ve ever swam in open water or in a wet suit. It was also the second swim I’ve completed this year… oh well. This year ended up not being my year for triathlons like I thought it would be… more on that in a second. The stats:

  • Time: 1:52:17; Swim: 24:27, T1: 7:53, Bike 50:04, T2: 1:09, Run: 28:44
  • Boulder Tri Sprint

Uvize

In May, I co-founded a startup called Uvize. We help military veterans succeed in college. While I wouldn’t call this a ‘successful’ startup (yet!), I really believe in the company, my co-founder, and the mission. In May, we applied for a “Powered by Techstars” program through Kaplan (the education company). To my surprise, we ended getting in! With over 300 applications, we were one of ten accepted into the program. While moving to NYC for three months and away from my wife was less than ideal, it was still a lot of fun and I got to do the NYC thing…

Techstars was a pretty crazy program. For the first five or six weeks, we didn’t have a designer on the team, and that almost killed us. Fortunately, I was introduced to a great designer who helped pull things together. Simultaneously, we had just hired a design firm to get us a basic start- between the two, we were able to make a ton of progress in the last ten weeks. The entire program seemed to whiz by and just like that, we were back in Denver/Boulder.

NYC

Having been accepted into Techstars, my co-founder Dave and I moved to NYC. Technically, I moved to Jersey City to live with a long-time friend (for super cheap). But I was eight minutes away from PATH and my total commute was only about 25 minutes… which is less than a lot of people in the City to other parts in the City! And even shorter than my 45 commute here in Denver.

My wife came out to visit me about every other weekend. I would work extra during the week and pretty much every weekend that she wasn’t visiting, so we were able to have three day weekends every other weekend. We did all the typical tourist-y stuff the first weekend: broadway shows, times square, Statue of Liberty, 9/11 Memorial, Grand Central Terminal, Central Park, etc. The second trip out, we went down to Atlantic City and enjoyed the beach and the food there. Her third trip out, we went down to DC/Baltimore to visit some long-time friends. Her last trip out we made it a foodie trip in NYC and went to Per Se and Peter Luger Steakhouse. Every trip was a blast- and while expensive, it was worth it.

Bboying

Due to being in NYC, I didn’t end up doing the Olympic or Half Ironman Triathlons this year. During the Spring I was really getting into bboying and I’ve been enjoying much more than I thought I would. I made certain goals for what I wanted to do on a cruise we were going on in fall, and although I didn’t make those specific goals, I’ve been loving bboying a lot. Next year, and really for the next few years, I plan on doing a lot less running and a lot more breaking. When in NYC, I regularly took lessons and I even made it out to a few workshops at Dynamic Rockers anniversary jam.

Code

Once again, I competed in all three Ludum Dare competitions this year. You can find my code and entries on the game dev page. I taught myself Three.js for the first, and used Angular.js for the latter two. For the second one, I was in NYC during the compo, and so I only worked on the game for about six hours. It was pretty good for only six hours. For the last one, I only took about four hours, as I was doing a lot of work for Uvize (and have been), so I didn’t really do as well as I would have liked. That was also the first compo that I didn’t really take the time to judge others’ games, so I didn’t get a final score. Next time!

Books

The number one book of the year was by far Refuse to Choose. If you think you can’t concentrate on a single project and you’re constantly jumping around in big things in life, then you may be a ‘scanner’ and you should definitely check the book out.

Travel and more Life

As above, I went to NYC.

In Spring, I went to GDC (Game Developer’s Conference) in San Fransisco, after receiving a scholarship to go via the IGDA. It was a great trip and I really would love to go again next year (unfortunately, that won’t be happening as I can’t really justify the costs right now).

Tyler and I also went on a cruise in the Western Caribbean with fantastic friends as well. Oh yeah, on the cruise I turned 30 and I decided to run 30 miles that day. It was kind of a life goal. The first 27 miles or so were actually fine, but I hit a wall like no other for the last 3 miles. Several friends and my wife ran portions of it with me. While I’m a little disappointed it was so hard in the end, I’m glad I did it.

Not Awesome Stuff

I didn’t read nearly enough books (numbers below). I watched way too much TV. I spent way too much time on FB.

I let my blog just sit there, and that really killed the numbers. It was the first year it went down in visits from the previous year ever. I’m hoping to change that this year… more on that in next year’s agenda.

The Numbers

I’ve posted 2013’s numbers below. I’ve also included numbers for 2011-2012.

What \ When 2013 2012 2011
Intellect      
Books read 10 28 21
University Courses Taken 2 7 12
Physical      
Total Miles Ran 389.125 362.47 616
Half-Marathons Ran 1 0 3
Marathons Ran 1 0 1
Total Miles Biked 289.37 422.5 50
14ers climbed 0 1 2
BBoy hours 144.17 31.17 0
Number of Workouts 200 311 202
Random      
Emails sent (home) 1476 912 704
Emails sent (work) 489    
Concerts 2 2 3
Songs starred in Spotify 158 97 173
Travel      
Roundtrip Flights to Montgomery 1 1 1
Roundtrip Flights elsewhere 3 4 0
Career      
Networking Events 23 37 28
Conferences attended 1 1 0
Tech      
Blog Posts 7 32 22
* Visits 32247 44284 41792
* Uniques 27542 36337 32509
* Pageviews 44559 61132 58891
Apps Published (total) 0 1 1
Android Apps 0 1 1
# Releases (new and old Android) 0 2 7
Games Created (total) 3 3 1
Screencasts Recorded 0 4 19
Youtube data      
# of hours watched on my screencasts 711.1 129.97  
# of views on my screencasts 20699 10841 2000

RescueTime

See % of year for actual comparison in that regard.

What \ When 2013 2012 2011 2013% 2012% 2011%
Hours Logged 2424.5 1926.5 682      
Productivity 63% 57% 65%      
Unproductive Hours Spent…            
… on Facebook 122 108 37 1.39% 1.23% 1.31%
… on Google+ 15 11 1 0.17% 0.13% 0.04%
… on Twitter 28 4 1 0.32% 0.05% 0.04%
… on LinkedIn 11     0.13%    
… on Hacker News 116 115 34 1.32% 1.31% 1.20%
… on Silverlight (Netflix) 59 143 28 0.67% 1.63% 0.99%
… on Flash (Some % is Youtube) 146 155 78 1.67% 1.77% 2.75%
TOTAL Unproductive Hours 497 536 179 5.67% 6.11% 6.32%
Productive Hours Spent…            
… house chores 54 90 20 0.62% 1.03% 0.71%
… studying 0 70 42 0.00% 0.80% 1.48%
… writing (gmail) 249 128 36 2.84% 1.46% 1.28%
… writing (google docs) 55 110 71 0.63% 1.25% 2.51%
… coding (Emacs) 333 129 70 3.80% 1.47% 2.47%
… coding (localhost) 103     1.18%    
… coding (github) 74     0.84%    
… coding (stack overflow) 20     0.23%    
… coding (Terminal) 60 34 14 0.68% 0.39% 0.49%
… coding (Eclipse) 0 150 3 0.00% 1.28% 0.11%
… coding (Xcode) 0 25 0 0.00% 0.25% 0.00%
TOTAL Productive Hours 948 695 256 10.81% 7.93% 9.04%

Vs the Agenda

tldr; I accomplished all of The Big Stuff that I wanted to accomplish from 2013. A few changes in plans:

  1. I didn’t get to do the tri Olympic or tri Half Iron-Man.
  2. I didn’t work on design as much as I planned. My designer friend got a job and we stopped doing “Developer meets Designer” shortly after.
  3. I read much less than desired.
  4. I didn’t do monthly updates for Ideal Tracker (or really, any Android development).
  5. I didn’t do one game a month.
  6. I didn’t do a single screencast.

And that’s it. While it may seem like I failed on quite a few fronts, it’s been a great year overall in terms of overall life goals accomplished- And I’m looking forward to another great year ahead.