Year in Review: 2015

A reflection on family, business, and travel. See also: 2014, 2013.

What a year. It’s hard to imagine life moving any faster — and then it does. Having a second kid is parenting squared.

Wait a sec… I haven’t blogged about my son yet. Hey, Charlie!

IMG_3191

Charles Edward Bachhuber was born at home on December 16th, 2015 weighing 9 pounds 6 ounces. He’s a total bundle of joy. Leah, Ava, and I are proud to welcome him to the family, and can’t wait to share our world with him.

Here are some of the highlights of the year from Instagram:

Professionally-speaking

There were two big points to my career this year: joining Fusion (May), and then leaving (November). Yeah yeah, thanks for the jokes about me holding down a full-time job.

I joined Fusion because I’ve always wanted to work for a news organization. It seemed like the prime opportunity to build a distributed technology team within a startup media company. But, as I discovered, sometimes things don’t work out the way you want them to.

Fusion was a great “Intro to Management” experience. In hindsight, I can safely say I had no idea what I was getting into. And now I know! But it took me a half year of experience in the role, and consuming dozens upon dozens of blog posts, podcasts, and books, to fully appreciate how a management role is different than what I’ve historically done.

The takeaway I can share in a sentence: distributed and co-located teams don’t mix. Companies with both a physical office and remote employees absolutely need to operate as though everyone is distributed. Without this commitment, many things break in many frustrating ways. And, learning to be a manager in this context is incredibly difficult.

Since November, I’ve been back in the saddle with Hand Built. Business is going well. Notably, I helped PBS Frontline launch their new website, and built a new blog for Pottery Barn. I also have a number of potential projects in the hopper for 2016.

What I’m most proud of professionally, though, is how much time I get to spend contributing to open source. In 2015, this turned out to be 12.26% of all tracked time (282 hours). On behalf of Hand Built, this was 128 hours towards WP-API, 60 hours towards WP-CLI, and 13 hours towards WordPress core.

2015-12-30 at 2.35 PM

Jet-setting

Travel slowed way down for me this year — and I didn’t make MVP Gold on Alaska. According to TripIt, here’s the tally for 2015 compared to 2014 and 2013:

  • 15 trips over 62 days (2014: 18 trips over 90 days; 2013: 24 trips over 139 days).
  • 48,692 miles flown (2014: 64,193 miles; 2013: 99,228 miles).
  • Visited 18 cities in 4 countries (2014: 19 cities in 4 countries; 2013: 33 cities in 8 countries).

Happy (almost) New Year!

Author: Daniel Bachhuber

Proud father x2. Principal, Hand Built. Maintainer, WP-CLI.

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