A Look Back on 2019

A reflection on my personal accomplishments in 2019.

Published on  • Updated on  • 📖📖 9 min. read Edit on GitHub

I did this last year, so now I need to make it an annual thing. Personal reflections aren't so bad, right?

Here are ten notable things that I accomplished in 2019:

  1. In January, I joined some wonderful people and became a co-organizer of JavaScriptMN, a user-group/meetup for JavaScript and related technologies in the Twin Cities.

  2. Early in March I traveled to Salt Lake City, Utah with a coworker to visit my cousin and go skiing. We spent two days at Solitude, my first time skiing on a mountain (vs the "hills" in Minnesota) in eight years! Getting used to mountain skiing was a bit rough and I had a good fall on my first run on the second day, but some real elevation and distance was so much fun.

  3. In early June, I rode the MS150 for the third time. This is a two day ride from Proctor, MN to White Bear Lake, MN, totaling 150 miles. I rode with some great friends and coworkers, we absolutely crushed it.

  4. In the second half of June, I traveled with a friend to Norway (Oslo and the southeast coast areas), Copenhagen, Denmark, Malmö, Sweden, and Gdańsk, Poland. It was great to see some of my Scandinavian family, and also visit Poland for the first time. I would particularly love to go back and see other cities in Poland on another trip...

    View this post on Instagram

    Gdańsk is beautiful!

    A post shared by Brian Mitchell (@brianmitchl) on

  5. In July, I had jury duty for the first time. I was assigned to a civil case that went for nine days. It was a long one, but I learned a lot about the judicial process, and really enjoyed taking the bus into downtown Minneapolis and living that city life!

  6. In August, as part of a trip with my family, I spent a day in Yosemite National Park. The Sequoia grove as well as the valley were beautiful! After seeing the half-dome and El Capitan as the wallpapers from macOS, I was thrilled to be able to see them in person. This park had been on my list of sights to see for a very long time, so I am thrilled to have been able to visit.

  7. In late August, I found my way back to Salt Lake City, Utah for React Rally, a community conference about React and topics interesting to React developers. I met some great people, saw some terrific talks, and feel much more connected to the React community at large. Pro tip, stay an extra day, or arrive early to a tech conference if you can. There will be others who do the same, and being able to hang out with people while going on a hike, playing board games, or exploring the city was a huge highlight of my time there.

  8. I gave three talks at meetups this year. The first was a long lightning talk (~15 minutes) about React and TypeScript at JavaScriptMN in March. I adapted that into a full-length talk and presented it at React Minneapolis in July. Finally, I gave a talk about React Testing Library for React Minneapolis in October with only hours notice ahead of time (it went great).

  9. I read several books this year. My top two favorites were Breaking and Entering: The Extraordinary Story of a Hacker Called "Alien" by Jeremy N. Smith and Robopocalypse by Daniel H. Wilson. If you're into information-security, or science-fiction, check them out!

  10. I was promoted to Software Engineer III midway through the year. I have really pushed further learning, developing, and teaching React, TypeScript, React Testing Library, React hooks, and other front-end tools, patterns, and concepts at work. I'm so glad that I've been able to focus on front-end development and work to become a more experienced software engineer this past year. Every year, I've looked back and thought about how much more I feel like I know than I did at the beginning of the year. 2019 has certainly been no exception.

Thanks for reading! If you want to keep up with what I'm working on, head on over to my Twitter or give the podcast I co-host, PodKit a listen!

Update: Here's my compilation of a second from each day in 2019, made with the 1 Second Every Day app:

1 Second Every Day 2019