2014 Year In Review

I can’t remember if I’ve done a “year in review” post before. They are, of course, all the rage this time of year so I’m sure mine will simply blend in with all the rest, but it seems like a good thing to do as I reboot and move forward into 2015.

Znode Shutdown

I think probably the biggest event this past year was the Znode shutdown in April. Znode was [1] an ecommerce product company where I spent its last 14 months in business as the lead architect for its ecommerce engine. In the months leading up to the shutdown there were a couple rounds of layoffs, and the 20 of us that were left all saw it coming, we just didn’t know when.

But I will say this: that last group of us were an awesome team. High performing, completely kicked ass, delivered, and played some serious ping pong. We had a blast those last few months, too bad we ran out of runway.

Stepped Away from Max Foundry

With Znode gone, I took a few weeks to collect myself and figure out my next steps. In that time period I actually did quite a bit of Max Foundry work, re-launching MaxGalleria as a WordPress gallery platform, complete with addons and a new website. It kept me busy and I’m glad I did it, but as soon as that work was done I decided to officially step away from Max Foundry for good.

Joined Standard Register

During those few weeks after the Znode shutdown, I talked to a number of people and companies about various opportunities, one of which was Standard Register. I knew about them because a couple months before Znode ended, they were evaluating our ecommerce software for a project and I got involved in some architectural and design discussions. Standard Register found out about Znode pretty quick and got in touch with me about an architect position to lead a massive undertaking they were about to embark on. I began working there in mid-May.

NHibernateCocoon

Soon after joining Standard Register we were doing a quick evaluation of NHibernate and Entity Framework. Being a long time NHibernate user, I had some code that makes working with NHibernate much easier out-of-the-box, so I spent a little time and turned it into an open source library on GitHub named NHibernateCocoon. It felt good to share code like that again. If you happen to be using it on a project, I’d love to know about it.

Family Stuff

We had a few family milestones in 2014, namely:

  • My wife Amy became a Director for Pampered Chef. This was a major goal for her business and she worked her butt off to get it. Super proud of her.
  • Ethan (our oldest, 16) got his driver’s license. Funny thing is he never actually drives; he hasn’t had much interest in it. But that’s starting to change and we’re buying him a car in a few weeks.
  • Drew (middle child, 14) attended his first rock concert, courtesy of J Roddy Walston & The Business. He and I are both huge fans of J Roddy, so we got tickets and saw the show at the legendary Newport Music Hall.
  • Emma (the youngest, 12) is now in 6th grade. This is a big deal because we no longer have kids in elementary school. Amy doesn’t like to talk about it.

[1] I’ve learned that a couple months after Znode shutdown, it’s parent company sold the IP to a small group and they are trying to bring the product back to market.

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