Today I turn 43! That means it is time to take a moment and reflect on last year and what is to come. Now last year I signed off with the hope that today's birthday review would be "a lot more interesting".
I'm afraid, Dear Reader, that while the last year remained incredibly busy; there are not a lot of specifics I can share at this time. But there is still lots to review and I expect some of it will deserve follow-up posts.
Working from home remains one of the best "perks" of starting FireGiant. I get my kids ready before school and see them when they first get home. Even when deadlines require working many hours, I'm still able to remain very involved in their lives because I have no commute.
Life outside of work revolves around soccer. We travel the greater Seattle area almost every weekend to attend my son's soccer games. During the Sounders' season I invite friends to attend matches with me where we catch up. Watching soccer with friends and family has proven to be a great way to breaking up the natural isolation of working from home.
Oh, and my son and I attended the match where we saw the Seattle Sounders win MLS Cup.
I also started lifting weights. I felt like my many hours working at a desk slowly atrophied what little muscle mass I had. I decided enough was enough at the end of 2018 but it was last year that I really noticed improvements. I'll save the details for a future post.
I also took a hiatus from social media, Twitter specifically. This topic also deserves a follow up blog post. For now, suffice it to say that I am much happier and productive without Twitter despite the occasional FOMO (yes, I know it is ironic that I am afflicted by a social media syndrome while abstaining from social media).
Finally, the last few months have been pretty rough as one family member after another picked up one virus after another. It felt like we have been in a constant state of "sick" until just this last week. That has been disruptive to say the least. The sun is starting to come out now and I'm looking forward to a healthier spring.
First, let me say that I really love my job. I've been in the software installation industry for over 20 years now and I still really enjoy solving installation challenges. I'll be honest, sometimes I wonder if I should have moved on to something different. But every time I do, I look at the potential solutions that still need to be developed and I get excited about tackling them.
And FireGiant still feels excellently positioned to provide those solutions.
But for the last couple years, we've prioritized our customers' success over completing general solutions. "What's wrong with that?" you might ask. "Making customers successful seems like a good way to stay in business." And I would agree with you. That's why making customers' successful is our focus at FireGiant.
And sometimes it works out that the solution for one customer is general enough to apply to other customers. The WiX Expansion Pack is full of examples of this. For example, the MSIX Extension for the WiX Toolset has features tailored to the requirements of its first customer but it is absolutely useful for anyone wanting to build MSI and MSIX packages from .wxs source code.
Contrast the WEP--and MSIX in particular--with a project we are doing to move a very large WiX customer from an old version of WiX v3 to WiX v4. Porting their expansive collection of v3 .wxs source code to v4 has stress tested WiX v4. But at this point, the bulk of the remaining work is to modernize their build process around WiX v4. That means we are busy making the customer successful and not available to finish WiX v4 (see the WiX v4 status report for details what is not complete).
Balancing progress on general solutions against taking on tailored projects to make customers' immediately successful is one of the most challenging facets of my job. It is also one of the most interesting.
Much like last year, some big projects wrap up in March. That will then allow me to prioritize our opportunities. Completing WiX v4 is at the top of my list.
So, bring on 43 and bring on WiX v4.
In the meantime, keep coding. You know I am!