Overview of 2019

Hey, it’s me again! I’m back, sort of!
Obviously this is the first blog post for quite some time. My last overview has been posted a few years ago if we have to be exact.
I have started the overview of the past two years a few times but I have never finished them and I’ve just deleted the drafts. I’m a bit rusty, so bear with me!

Personal news

I’ll start with some personal news this time, as I usually share them around the end of the blog post but these are very very important for me!

I’ve got married

Yup! After a very happy 13 years relationship with Beni, we got married! Some of the old folks from the family would say – finally πŸ˜€
This was something I wanted to do for quite some time and this year I proposed, got the “yes” and we are not officially a husband and a wife. Cheers!

Beni and me during the wedding ceremony

I’m a father now!

This is by far, the most important change in my life to date. This year, on 26th May, Bilyana was born and I’m the proudest and the happiest dad in the world!

Bilyana and me

Reading

I’m mentioning this from time to time – I don’t read books that much. This is not something I’m proud of, but it’s a fact so it is what it is.

However, I love reading, don’t get me wrong! Obviously books are not my thing (yet), but I do read a lot. I’m saving articles from different resources – plenty of newsletters, Twitter, LinkedIn, our DevriX internal chats and resources channels where the team is sharing inspiring and useful articles.

I’m using Pocket, one of my favorite apps on my phone. I do save (almost) all of the articles which I’m reading there, so I can reach out to them at any point, tag them and read/listen to them.

This year I’m a part of the top 5% of readers in Pocket for 2019. In the past few years, I’m constantly part of the top 5%, which is a very cool personal stats.

Stanko Metodiev Pocket overview of 2019

This year I’ve added one more useful tool – I have subscribed to Audible and I have finished my first audiobook. I plan to “read” (I still can’t get used to “reading” an audiobook :D) more like this, as it’s super useful and interesting.
Also, I’m continuing following a few podcasts and I’m listening to a few of them on regular bases on any occasion – while driving while doing the dishes and the like.

DevriX in 2019

… and some part of 2018 πŸ™‚

In the autumn of 2018, we have moved to a new office. At some point, the old location just wasn’t enough and after some “office hunt”, we have found the place and we have moved to the new location, which is very very nice πŸ™‚

The view from the office

For the past 2 years, our team expanded and now we are as twice as we were when I did my last overview post. At the moment of writing this, we are 50+ people. Our local crew has the biggest portion, but we are also keeping the balance and grow our remote team members as well.

DevriX team stats of 2019

The past 2 years have been very interesting and we had the so-called “fast grow”. We had to update, adjust and improve some of our internal workflow, tools, making sure we can keep the good work, being productive and efficient as much as possible and continue to grow as a team and individuals.

In these two years, we have expanded our services and we have added Ad Ops services and consultancy at the top of our other WordPress services.
We are working with some of the big names in the industry. Since the niche is very demanding and you can learn new things every day, so this is making is so much exciting.

At the same time, we continue working with some of our long-term partners and clients and we are working hard on building better and better solutions for their businesses and projects.

DevriX partner stats 2019

We are blessed to work with amazing partners and clients and we are working on some very interesting and challenging projects.

I can’t wait to see what we are going to achieve in 2020 and I’m looking it forward! With such an amazing team, I’m sure it’s going to be awesome!

Conferences and Events

HackConf 2019

As the organizers describe the conference as Organized β€œby developers, for developers” this was an interesting one. I went to some of the sessions and learned new things and it was my first conference outside of WordPress Community for some time, so it was refreshing πŸ™‚

Part of DevriX team at HackConf 2019

WordCamp Nis, WordCamp Plovdiv and WordCamp Sinemorets Retreat

We went to WordCamp Nis and WordCamp Plovdiv. Both of these were fist events in the cities. It’s always super cool where a new city has its first local event!

We were sponsors of both events and I was leading the Core team during the Contributor day at WCPLD. We have a lot of fun and quality time in both events!

Also, I’ve spent a weekend on the first WordCamp Retreat here in Bulgaria – WordCamp Sinemorets Retreat.
I have to be honest – I was a bit skeptical about the idea behind having a chill and almost an unofficial event, but it was a great one and we had a lot of fun, so I hope we’ll have more of these in the future πŸ™‚

Ignat, Emil, Bobby and me at WordCamp Sinemorets Retreat 2019

WordCamp Sofia

As usual, we are very active in the WordPress community and this year is no different. WordCamp Sofia has a special place in my heart and being the biggest WordPress event in Bulgaria, there is no way we are going to miss it!

DevriX Team at WordCamp Sofia 2019

This year we were a silver sponsor and we had a speaker from the team – Bobby. It was a bit different event this year – we had only one track and the event was held on Sunday. This was due to the fact that we had PHP Bulgaria conference at the same weekend, which was unfortunate, but around this time of the year it’s pretty crowded with events, so there is that.

me, leading the Core team at WCSof 2019

I had the honor to lead the WordPress Core team during the Contributor day and I’m very proud of the people who joined the team. This is one of the very few WordCamps I’ve been to where we were able to set the local environments, deliver plenty of Core patches and all of this before the pizza has arrived! Good job guys!

WPBGUG

This is the abbreviation of our WordPress Bulgaria User Group. In the past few years, we are calling it WordPress Sofia User Group, as we have a few more active WordPress meetups in Bulgaria, which is very nice!

me, asking some questions during the opening of one of our meetups

This year we had more regular events, compared to 2018, but overall the past two years were a bit slow. My goal for 2020 is to have regular monthly meetups and I’m working on some ideas and improvements so that can happen.
I’ve made a promise to some of the loyal members and I’m planning to keep it! πŸ™‚

This year one more event is Sofia has started and we are going to collaborate and help each other, so I’m excited about 2020!

Goals for 2020

I don’t believe in things like “new year, new me” and usually I try to avoid things like “From Monday”, “from New year”, etc etc. However, I would like to set some personal goals for 2020 and I’ll be working hard on achieving them!

My blog(s)

I have some plans to update the dated design and look and feel of this website. I don’t want to overpromise, so I prefer to share the result once this is a fact.
The same goes for my Bulgarian blog, which hasn’t been updated for quite some time too.

All of these won’t make much sense if blogs are just sitting here, so I’ll try to write more often. I do enjoy writing even if I don’t do it that often here as I’m wiring internally. Mostly, things like articles for our internal Wiki and documentation, but I would like to be more active here too, or at least I would try.

Level up

As a person who is always hungry for leveling up and being better and better of what I do, I would like to skill up and be better at what I do every day. This would include a few main items, such as

Expand the technical stack

I’ll be as honest as possible – I didn’t grow on a tech level as much as I wanted this year, so I would like to change that in 2020. I plan to learn a few new items and get outside of my comfort zone, learning more JavaScript, possible some of the popular modern frameworks and the like.
Again, I prefer to act on this one more than writing about it, so we’ll see what I would share at the end of the year.

Time management skills

I think I can plan my days in a good way, but there is always room for improvement. Especially with the goals I’m setting for the next year, I would have to find more time for personal growth, writing more often and the like, so having a better understanding and “control” of my time is something that I’ll be working on.

This is something interesting I’ve watched a few weeks ago, which is related to what I’m sharing here, so feel free to check it out

Open Source and WordPress Community

I try to be active in the WP community, helping on the Bulgarian support forum, going to the local translation meetups and the like but I would like to be more active, so I’m setting this as one of the goals for the next year.
I would love to see if I would work on something a bit outside of the WP world, but the time will show πŸ™‚

Tooling

I have changed my personal Tasks Management system and I’m experimenting with Todoist for the past month or so. So far I’m happy and ill work on optimizing the usage and make it as useful as helpful.
In addition to that, I’ll be working on improving the tools I’m using on a daily basis.
Things like Notes taking apps, backup scripts and my dotfiles and the like.

I might consider updating or having a new Laptop, but all of these are going to be decided based on the needs and the type of work I’ll be doing and improve over the year.

And of course, family, friends and free time

I think this goes without saying, but making time for my family and the kiddo is a top priority. I’m now having most of my weekend free, so I can catch up and spend as much time as possible with the little one and the family.
I’ll be working more in that direction – being as effective as possible, so I can spend more time with family and friends.

Sport and being active

I have bought a smartwatch and the health app is counting my steps. There are some days where I don’t meet the quota and I just grab my headset and go out for a walk, so I can do the daily steps.
Due to some injuries and external factors, I didn’t do as much sport as I wanted, so this is one more time in the long list of items for 2020 πŸ™‚

Before we go – what’s your overview? Have you managed to collect and share it with the world? If yes, feel free to share it as a comment, I’ll be looking forward to seeing your overview πŸ™‚

That’s all friends, see you soon!

Stanko Metodiev is a WordPress technical lead and a Project Manager at DevriX. Here is also a WordPress Core contributor, themes and plugins author and occasional speaker.

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