This year went over quite fast and it is time again for my personal retrospective of 2018. First of all  I will take a look at my goals for 2018, I wrote down in my retrospective of 2017. After that I will look back at what went well this year and what can be improved. I will conclude with my goals for 2019.

My goals of 2018

As written down in my retrospective of 2017, I had several goals for this year. Did I work on all goals? I will have a look at the goals I've set and will tell you what I have done regarding those goals.

Increase amount of TYPO3 core development

As I’ve told before in other blog posts, I find it quite important that developers not only use an open source solution, but also try to contribute to those products. First of all to help the product to become even better. Besides that, it will definitely make you a better developer. Because you work together with a lot of people from all over the world, you learn from other developers but even more: you learn about use-cases you have never thought about before! For me, the last one was the reason I would like to do more TYPO3 core development.

This year I can say I really succeeded with my personal goal. After some small steps in the beginning of 2018, I attended the TYPO3 UXW in April. This was the starting point of quite an interesting and challenging road towards more core contributions. I started this week working on a new API to handle meta tags in TYPO3, I ended the week with founding the TYPO3 SEO Initiative. The goal? Add a lot of basic SEO features to the core of TYPO3 so everyone can benefit. Within the several sprint releases of TYPO3 v9, I added more and more features and more and more people joined me and helped me out. When the LTS version of v9 was released I was a really proud developer. Not even I reach my personal goal by doing more core contributions, but I also realised that a lot of people really liked those new features. So I was not only a happy developer, I became an even more happy person as well. It felt great to help other people by giving the the right tools!

Help people to gain more knowledge

Another goal of me was to help people to gain more knowledge. Colleagues but also people in the rest of the TYPO3 community. Besides giving talks in our office, on TYPO3 camps, on conferences and during user groups, I really was looking for another way to spread my knowledge. Finally I decided to start my own blog. Not only for sharing my knowledge, but it also became my personal try-out zone of new features. During the time I’ve spend a lot of time on core development, I didn’t had a lot of time to spend on my blog, but at the end it resulted in some nice blog posts about several topics like TYPO3 CertiFUNcation, the TYPO3 SEO Initiative and the PageTitle API

I hope people liked my presentations and blog posts and can use the knowledge in their day-to-day work! I think I succeeded in helping other people gaining more knowledge.

Improve my own knowledge

In my retrospective of 2017 I told that I would focus on getting some certificates. Well, this went another direction. On TYPO3 CertiFUNcation, I did renew my TYPO3 Integrator certificate, but furthermore I didn’t do the Scrum certificate or the Zend certificate. During this year, I got more interested in SEO and how to make it as easy as possible for other developers to do SEO the “right” way. Because of that I did almost all SEO trainings of my friends of Yoast. They gave me the possibility to improve my knowledge about SEO and I was in the luxury position I even had the possibility to discuss SEO issues with them. Thanks Joost, Omar, Taco and all others! It was a real pleasure working with you guys again!

Besides that, and I’ve said that before, I learned a lot about TYPO3 core. I learned about features that were available for ages. I learned new features earlier than before. And most important, I really learned where to search if I have an issue with TYPO3. In code, but also who to contant if I have questions. This information is invaluable!

So not really worked on the certificates I thought I would work on, but I think I gained more knowledge the way I did it now than learning for a Zend or Scrum-master exam. 

What went well?

Well, besides that I’m proud on reaching all my personal goals, also at MaxServ things go the right direction. It was quite an interesting year with a change in management, a lot of long-term projects and as always: limited developer capacity. All people at MaxServ did a tremendous job. We launched several new projects like a rebranded website for the Technical University of Eindhoven, a new website for Piet Klerkx and a new e-commerce platform for Woonexpress. All great projects!

One of the things I like the most of MaxServ this year, is that we started to support Compassion. Besides working on the website of Compassion in the Netherlands, we also started to sponsor several children. Compassion gives children the possibility to attend school, give access to medical care and give them a safe environment. This is all done with the word of God. Besides MaxServ sponsoring for 10 kids, I personally became a sponsor of Sangeti. An almost 4 year old boy, living in Tanzania. It is a really satisfying idea that we could help him to get a decent life and to save him and his family from poverty.

Of course I’m also really proud on my own family! Both of my kids are growing fast and it is cool to see they make progress every day! My wife always supports me in everything I do and I can only hope I can be of the same support for her! I’m blessed with such a family!

What can be improved?

Well, a lot went well this year but there are also some things that can be improved. My main problem was that I did too much myself. When people had problems, I was trying to fix them myselves instead of helping them to solve the issue theirselves.

Another thing I should work on is my knowledge about Magento. It is one of our main platforms we work on at MaxServ and as a development lead I should have more knowledge about that system. It doesn’t have to be in-depth knowledge. We have our Magento experts for that, but to decide what is best, I need some more basic knowledge. 

My goals for 2019

My role at MaxServ will change a little bit. This year I was mainly a developer / scrum master myself. Next year my role will be to manage the technical division of MaxServ and to make it possible that we get the best results out of MaxServ. Improve quality even more, preparing for the future and make not only our applications scalable, but also our development teams. That will be my main goal at MaxServ for 2019. Of course I also will do some TYPO3 development myself, but this will be far less as last year.

I also have some personal goals for this year. First of all I really want to “recruit” at least one developer that will join me working on TYPO3 core with the same passion I have. It can be a colleague, but it can also be a total stranger. If someone would like to get introduced into core-development or want to know how I did it? Please contact me! More than happy to help you!

As I have learned from 2018, I want to help other people to solve their problems theirselves. By doing more pair-programming in those cases, I hope I can learn them how to find a solution for such a problem.

Another goal of my is besides “recruiting” other developers, to work on TYPO3 core even more as last year. To be honest, I can not increase the amount of time per week I spend on core development, but I can start (or better: continue) right away. Last year I started for real in April. This year I will start in January! My main goals will be: even more SEO in core, but also things like a dashboard. 

Last but not least, I will explore the possibilities to improve my communications and management skills. Reading articles, getting inspired by examples and maybe even attend workshops. I would really like to take this next step in my career to help other people.

Happy 2019!

As it is the last day of the year I would like to wish you all a really happy new year. I hope you stay healthy and that you may succeed in your personal goals for 2019. I hope to see you next year!