Goals for 2018

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Every turn of the year is a new opportunity to start over, set goals, and renew optimism that time can heal wounds and drive us to change and achieve.  For me 2018 is my most important year in a long time; 2018 needs to serve as a turning point for this blog and my career.  The following are my goals and promises for the upcoming year.

Podcast & Videocasts/Streaming

I've been asked for years by readers, sponsors, and followers about the possibility of a podcast.  Truth be told, the only factor that has prevented me from podcasting sooner has been my insecurity about my voice; I don't have a smooth, direct voice like Marc Maron or any other voice personality.  What I do have, however, is a wealth of knowledge and loads of people I've met over my time in this industry, and they all have awesome stories and information to share.

I really need to dream up a format and start a DWB podcast in 2018.  I've also purchased a green screen and explored OBS, so a videocast or stream could also be in the works.  Keep me honest and keep pestering me about this podcast!  Also, please throw me podcast format and topic ideas if you have them!

Get Back to JavaScript and CSS

During 2017 I spent my time writing PHP, Python, and Perl for Mozilla; needless to say I didn't have much JavaScript content to share during 2017 and that made writing difficult.  I'll be working on more JavaScript at Mozilla in 2018 (news coming soon!) so look forward to an explosion of JavaScript (React, Node.js, etc.), CSS, and other front-end content next year.

I'm so happy to be getting back to what got me here!

Find My Passion Again

A variety of factors have turned me into a broken man.  Personally and professionally, I'm not the same guy that started this blog.  My optimism and wide eyes for the future have turned to pessimism, annoyance, and a state where I don't find much reward in what I've been doing.  Even worse, that disdain and depression has affected those around me, including my wife and kids, which just isn't acceptable.

This next year I need to find the spark that got me to Mozilla and earned this blog the attention that it has garnered.  I believe that kid is still inside of me -- he just needs to fight through the mold.

DWB Redesign (and Rebrand?)

My current blog theme, "punky" (the nickname for my oldest son), is about four years old now and could really use a new look.  I also need to fix core site problems like lack of clear navigation, random "related" articles, and bloat due to JavaScript and font frameworks that are no longer modern.

The DWB logo could also use an update; after 10 years it looks a bit bland.  Changing a logo is a real tightrope task, so any logo change wont be a huge departure, but I'd love to spruce it up a bit.

Suggestions welcome for either the redesign or rebranding.

Make My Mark at Mozilla

Almost six years into my journey at Mozilla I feel as though I haven't done anything noteworthy; like no one would know I was ever at Mozilla.  It's long been a goal of mine to do something special at Mozilla but I'm hoping 2018 is the year.  I'm hoping that mark is somewhere in Firefox so millions of users can experience it, but in the short term, any unique landmark will do.

All The Small Things

A few more small achievements that would make 2018 a better year than 2017:

  • I haven't started a popular open source project since my old MooTools plugins days.  Whether it's a web extension or tiny NPM module, I'd really be pleased to create something many people find useful.
  • I want to continue my love affair with game and ROM hacking.  Game creation and modification is such an amazing space; I hope to share my new found love of that with all of you.
  • I evangelize cryptocurrencies but I'd love to better understand the code side of them and share that knowledge with all of you.
  • I want to promote a DWB newsletter or, at minimum, an email that summarizes the last two weeks of posts on DWB.  Look forward to seeing this soon.
  • By the end of 2018 I'd like to be a React and Redux master, in the same way I had a full understanding of MooTools.  A contribution to React or Redux would be a real bonus.
  • I want to have an entire day where I can look in the mirror and say "David, you're a quality engineer".  An entire day where Impostor Syndrome doesn't exist.

My goals for 2018 are super as ambitious as any year I can remember but they're incredibly important.  This next year is a make or break year for me, personally and professionally.  Luckily I have the backing of all of you to make it happen.

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  1. Matt

    Hi David

    I have followed your blog for some time, but have never left a comment. I just want to say that I admire you for putting yourself out there and the work you have done educating others through your own experiences. This not only includes the technical posts, but also the other posts that include some of your emotions/feelings within them. Thank you.

    There were a couple of things in your post today which I felt compelled to comment on (I am a survivor of burn out and depression)

    First of all it’s great that you are setting some goals for 2018, well it kind of sounds like a lot of goals :) It also sounds like 2017 has been tough. The friendly advice I’d like to give (based on some painful experience) to you and others when faced with difficulties, time pressures, young family, hard times etc. is don’t put too much pressure on yourself to achieve many things within a short time period, and 1 year is a very short time period in the scheme of things.

    Having goals is great but I’m concerned that you state 2018 is a make or break year for you. It is never black and white like that. You will achieve many things in 2018 and I hope it really is a great year for you, but it will not define you. You are in a new phase of your life and you have less time than you ever had before, the key to long lasting achievement is balance. Balance between work, family, friends, and hobbies. Emotional balance between feeling good and bad. Spend too much time imbalanced (focused on one thing) and everything starts to go awry. Family comes first, your kids are only young once and this is the age they really need more of your time.

    You will do some super cool stuff in the future but it all doesn’t have to be in 2018, it really isn’t make or break. You have the respect of the community, stop judging yourself so harshly on what you haven’t done or what you need to get done. You have already built a great foundation of knowledge and experience. Stop listening to your inner critic, he’s the one that makes you feel insecure and like shit, he’s the one setting too many expectations and belittling you when you don’t achieve them, he’s the one comparing you to others telling you who you should be better than.

    Be kind to yourself. Enjoy the journey and not just the destinations. I think Seth Godin sums it up best with “The Drip”, just keep dripping, drip by drip, for the long term. You will be your best when you are balanced! Lastly, be careful with the expectations you set (these are different than goals), it’s a very simple equation:

    Happiness = Reality – Expections

    Wishing you a Merry Christmas, and a prosperous 2018! Good luck mate!

    P.S. i still have a hard time myself following my own advice, it’s not easy, but life is never meant to be :)

    • Danielle

      Matt – what a thoughtful and wise comment. I think we could all use this perspective in our goal setting this year. I, too, tend to try to eat the apple in one bite.

  2. Patrik

    Hi David, I’ve also followed your journey for a while now. I can even say it got my career where it’s at now. Your blog has always served me as my older brother to whom I can come to with my questions or to get some motivation.

    For those followers like me you already made it, thanks for all!

    Have a wonderful 2018

  3. Fun fact: May 2018, I’ll have been at Mozilla for 10 years. I’ve been having the exact same “make a mark” thoughts and feel like I need to carve something out next year.

    • Daniel Buchner

      You both have done plenty to help the cause of open source and the Web – I am proud to have worked with you.

  4. Hi David. Like a few other commenters here, I’ve followed you for a good long while and have always enjoyed your contributions to the web. I just wanted to say I’ve always appreciated your work and looking forward to seeing what 2018 brings you — whether it’s some, all or even *none* of the things you’ve touched on here. I can relate to many of the challenges you’re describing, but just know that the stuff you do and have already done matters to a lot of people.

  5. Derick

    I’m on a similar journey this coming year in regard to React and Redux, as well as dealing with Imposter Syndrome. I’ve struggled in white boarding and just explaining simple concepts I know due to anxiety associated with it. You’re blog and discussion around it have been really helpful for me and I expect many others in the community. Thanks!

  6. Facundo Corradini

    Hey man! First off I just want to say a big THANK YOU. You have inspired me as a developer more times than I can count, and I’m sure there are thousands out there that can say the very same.

    As for that lack of passion… it’s something pretty much everyone goes through at some point or another. But rest assured it’s still in there. Try and find the way to channel it out: changing the routine, finding a new hobby (maybe totally unrelated to coding), and setting easier, short term goals might help you get there. And don’t be afraid to search for professional help if need be.

    I wish all your plans for 2018 become true, but setting the bar so high can also be the exact opposite of what you need. So keep those expectations in check (and double check). And make sure to smile every waking morning. Even if it’s the fakiest fake smile. Fake it till you make it.

    Best wishes!

  7. Alex

    Not many people can say they work for Mozilla :P

    I used to follow this blog when I was learning MooTools back in 2008 (maybe even earlier?).
    10 years is quite the time. I graduated from high school, did 6.5 years in university, fulfilled my military duties as required by the Greek law and currently work as a freelancer coding XenForo add-ons and data migration tools for clients.

    3 hours before the new year’s celebration, my nostalgia hit me and I’m here to tell you YOU ROCK DAVID WALSH xD FTW

  8. Michael Kerr

    Just like some of the people above David, I’ve been sourcing out your blog for years and years and haven’t commented. Without your efforts, creativity and your willingness to share ( not to mention your dedication ) I wouldn’t have a career in programming. Seriously, it could not have happened without you. Thank you!!

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