This past year has been quite an experience! Most years come and go without much drama or cause to reflect but 2013 has been filled with opportunities and decisions that require a little reflection. First and foremost I am a family man. I love my family and love my life as a father of 4 beautiful children and an amazing and beautiful wife. So that seems to be a logical place to start although I’ll be touching on some things that have happened on a more personal level, work related, and even some political lessons of the year.
As you know, or may have been able to gather from the first paragraph, my family means the world to me. Four kids and four birthdays celebrated this year. Denilson, our oldest, made a significant jump into the teens this year. Yes, I have a 13-year-old boy. Our daughter turned 10 this year and she’s doing great. Our middle son turned 8. We’ve found out that he’s a pretty good artist and is really good building with Legos so we may have a little architect on our hands. Of course our youngest turned 2-years-old this year and is doing fantastic! Despite everything he’s been through, he’s growing up to be just another crazy, normal boy.
My wife was finally able to find a great job that fits her talents and I couldn’t be more proud of her. Every year that passes when I’m with her makes me appreciate and love her even more.
- DealerTrack Technologies
Some of you may know that I work for DealerTrack Technologies(DT). I’ve been here now going on 3-years and it’s as crazy as ever. Early in 2013 we started talking about building a responsive website as one of our new offerings. At DT I’m in the Interactive division where we build out websites for automotive dealers. We do anything from a fully custom website to pretty cookie cutter templates. When we first started talking about building a responsive design we were looking at a single customer that we could build a one-off design for. Of course like any business atmosphere doing it the easy way never garners the most attention so we decided to build a new template that could be flexible and customizable enough for hundreds of dealers to be on at one time. This was a pretty daunting task so we decided to tackle it in steps. We decided to develop the site as a replacement for our current mobile skin, which was in need of major updates, and make a phone to tablet website with desktop further down the roadmap.
It’s been hard work and has taken a lot of time but finally in December we launched our first beta customers, one being Journey Ford where you can check out what we’ve done.
The writing I do at txGarage has been great for me. I love cars and love being able to voice my opinions about them. The site has been doing fantastic despite me being extra lazy this year and not publishing as many reviews or news as I would have liked. Some highlights this year include driving the new SRT Viper, Chevrolet Stingray Corvette, my trip to California to drive some Ram trucks, and the trip to Virginia to drive some Hyundai’s. Needless to say, I’m really excited to see what 2014 brings!
On a more personal level, I feel like I’ve grown and learned so much this year. I’ve started doing more online training and educational stuff like with Treehouse - (my profile). I’ve been focused on learning more about web development and web design to better myself at work but they also have great stuff on building a business and marketing as well. This year I’ve gone through changing hosting on all of my websites - which was a huge deal for txGarage - and starting up a few new ones including a few freelance projects. I’m at a place now where I’m really excited to see where the next step takes me whether that be within my company now or new opportunities I couldn’t even foresee.
Here’s where you may want to tune out or prepare to scream at your computer while reading my words. I guess you could end up nodding in agreement too, we’ll see.
Politics is a difficult and frustrating matter. I like politics and feel the need to stay engaged and in the know. It’s been a difficult couple of years though as this country struggles with its continual push to the left. Keeping 2013 in mind one of the easiest things to look back on is the Affordable Healthcare Act aka Obamacare. This was and is going to continue to be a disastrous law and many people in this country will be adversely affected by it.
Although Obamacare is the most visible and memorable it’s not the biggest thing bugging me politically right now though. My biggest political gripe has more to do with leadership and responsibility. This country has no real leaders anymore and the people that do stand up and try to be leaders end up getting trashed and no one believes their efforts are genuine because we’re all lead to believe that politicians are disingenuous. There are major problems this country needs to solve but we’re getting nowhere. Quite frankly though I’d rather be going nowhere than moving in this direction; going further and further to the left.
We as Americans need to find a leader and soon. We need to fix things like healthcare, immigration, the budget, entitlements, and more but we cannot do that with today’s leaders on either side.
Come on 2014!
Okay, that’s all I’ll talk about politics and the rest of my life. I say Come On 2014! Bring it! I literally can’t wait to see what’s in store for my life going forward and maybe even sharing more as the months pass.