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2017 had finished with a talk at SydCSS that got very positive feedback. I was amped up and full of ambition for the year 2018. How did it stack up?

Starting with a bang 💥

New Year resolutions are fun. Most of the time, they’re out the window within a few weeks.

In this case, one thing I really wanted to do was to produce an course on TailwindCSS.

The sooner the better. I committed early, and within the first two weeks of the year, I was done. My course was in queue for publishing.

A few weeks later, there it was! Build User Interfaces by Composing CSS Utility Classes with Tailwind.

As I am writing this post, the course has been completed by more than 400 people and has a rating of 4.6/5 based on 83 ratings!

Building a team 💪

In March, I organised my first series of interviews, as we were hiring for a front-end developer position at SocietyOne.

I was responsible for creating the job ad, promoting it, reviewing applicants, scheduling phone interviews, in-person interviews etc.

I surprisingly really enjoyed the whole process. I think I was pretty good at it too! A few applicants mentioned they found the whole procedure very friendly and well conducted. 🤗

In April, we hired a fantastic candidate, my now good friend Verity Stothard, who turned out to be a great fit!

Berlin Bound! ✈️🍻

This is a big one for me. One of these way out of the comfort zone thing.

On May 15th 2018, my good buddy Andrew Welch suggested I submitted a talk for the DotAll 2018 conference organised by the CraftCMS folks.

The Call For Speakers was closing in less than 24 hours. I giggled, and went back to work.

“Seriously, Simon. Submit a talk”, Andrew said.

Sure, why not. So I put together a talk outline for a topic I have at heart: utility-first CSS.

The next morning, I woke up to an e-mail titled “Speaking at Dot All 2018”.


Just like that, I found myself embarking on an epic 40+ hour journey across the globe to Berlin!

The CraftCMS community is special. It’s truly something else. I couldn’t wait to catch up with all these people I consider friends but have never met in real life.

Slack buddies, twitter buddies, but no IRL buddies.

Oh and my close friend, mentor, colleague, and the reason I submitted the talk in the first place: Andrew Welch.

DotAll CraftCMS conference 2018 logo

So, ummm.. I stepped on stage at an international conference and I nailed it! 😎

I had a blast! The conference was superb. Such a welcoming and interesting community. Everyone knows each other from Slack, but mingling in person was awesome.

Uumm.. so my talk was scheduled to close day 1 of the conference. Sort of a mini keynote! :) It went extremely well and the discussions it sparked showed my presentation definitely hit a nerve.

These few days in Berlin are a sure highlight of my year!

Laracon AU 🇦🇺

Same talk, different community. Home crowd here in Sydney.

My second ever conference talk, and also my second in three weeks!

Stepping on stage didn’t feel nearly as overwhelming as it did in Berlin. I had done it before, and although still very nervous, I knew I could do it again.

This time, my talk was scheduled early in the morning. The second talk of the conference, right after the headline opening act: Adam Wathan.

Holy crap.

Adam is kind of a big deal in the Laravel community. He is also the author of Tailwind CSS, a utility-first CSS framework I feature multiple times in my talk.

It was both an honour and a fright to go right after Adam.

The talk went well. I had some dreadful “clicker” hiccups that messed up the flow of my talk (timing, jokes..) but I am happy with how I delivered the talk overall. The feedback from the audience was really positive too!

Overall, another incredible conference. The talks were very interesting, but again my highlight was the people I met.

Oh - hanging out with 3/4 of the Tailwind CSS crew was real fun! It’s awesome to spend some quality time with people that build software you use every day. I am a people person, and getting to know the fine folks behind Tailwind makes me appreciate the framework 10x more!

B’ball Championship 🏀🏆

If I’m not writing code, I love playing basketball and surfing.

When I moved to Sydney 4 years ago, I joined a rec league competition, it’s good fun!

The team is awesome. We’re almost all dads. At 37, I am one of the youngest players on the team. But we whooped a bunch of athletic teams in their early 20s.

We get in their heads and grind them out. And we’re the league champs! 💪

Love this team. As long as I live in Sydney, I’ll be playing with them! Years go by and I get slower, but I can still drain threes like there’s no tomorrow! 👌

Basketball rec league champions team photo with the cup

Grand final champions! Ok ok, rec league div 3, but still! 😎

Landed a new job 🙌

To wrap things up - I have some exciting news: I will be joining Thinkmill in January 2019.

This should be really exciting, very much looking forward to this new chapter!

Wrapping it up

I am pretty pleased with myself and what I have accomplished in 2018. I am now wrapping up the year with my little family on a camping trip.

See you all in 2019! ❤️

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