Jack Skinner

Ramblings of a programmer

A year in the life

To the stratosphere and beyond!

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A year ago today I walked through the front doors of MYOB HQ in Glen Waverly and its been one hell of a 12 months! This weekend has been a chance to reflect on what an amazing year its been! And yet its impossible to boil down the entire year into a single blog post. 525, 600 minutes; so how does one measure the year?

It started with an announcement blog post and reply from my soon-to-be CEO Tim Reed welcoming me to the team. It was such a warm and encouraging welcome to a new company! And from then on its been a rollercoaster ride (literally)!

Hackathons Hackathons Hackathons!

Sydney has played host to what has to be a hackathon boom! From corporate sponsored idea-athons to startup mentor-a-thons we've seen a huge growth in the brainstorming and build-in-a-weekend style events!

Hack4Refugees in November has to be my absolute highlight event! Over a hundred folks turned up to build solutions to help new Australians establish a new life in Australia. An incredibly humbling and rewarding experience to be able to mentor both techies and non-techies alike for a good cause!

One or two conferences!

There've been just a few conferences (well actually 14 of them by my count), 5 roadshow extravaganza's with #MYOBINCITE and thats on top of the hackathons! Certainly put to shame any previous personal record.

As a frequenter of the hallway track I've enjoyed the delights of conference co-working! A different office each week is one of my favourite perks of the job. One highlight however has to be working alongside Anthony Ferrara, Davey Shafik and Yitz Willroth in Wellington last year!

Naturally BuzzConf has a warm (actually it was bloody cold in Ballan) place in my heart as a fantastic smash of future tech and festival culture! Yes, I have heard about buzzconf (thank you for asking), have you?

PHPConf.asia was a amazing, having had the chance to speak at the inaugural conference for PHP developers across Asia!

And I'll never forget that moment Paul Fenwick featured me in a poem recital while I stroked a SuSe gecko at OSDC. I'm told its one of the rare moments I was without words.



SydPHP & Meetups

SydPHP has played a huge part of my life for the past few years. From my first meetup over 4 years ago to stepping up to lead organiser I've loved every minute!

During that year we've seen a huge growth in the diversity of the group both in age and gender which I'm absolutely thrilled with! We see on average 30% or more new members every month as we welcome new developers to the profession, technology, and city!

We held a huge birthday party for SydPHP (and I'm secretly thrilled with how that awesome birthday cake turned out!).

I'm also thrilled to welcome @trycatchally to the organiser fold who's taking over the next few months of SydPHP organising!


Meetup Mixup

It's been a growing trend - groups of meetups throwing a combined end of year Christmas party. While not the original creator of such an event, it's been my priviledge to help organise the past few year's parties! The highlight however was officially launching Meetup Mixup, a formal and (still work-in-progress) open source event format focusing on culture and inclusion!

We've more to do with #mumu - we'll be putting the format under a creative commons license with a checklist of requirements like code of conduct and budget transparency (so more on that soon). But for now I want to say a huge thank you to my fellow #mumu co-founders Katie McLaughlin, Wil Brown and Peter Bui for making #mumu15 absolutely amazing!


Oh the Travel

There's been a LOT of it! Far more than Keran ever mentioned. (I believe the interview question was "How do you feel about occasionally having to fly to Melbourne?")

Instead, TripIt tells me its been 60 thousand kilometers! A few memorable roadtrips and quite a few more #wingpic and #wheelsup tweets!

But I wouldn't have it any other way - because each and every trip has been utterly amazing. Exhausting, yes, but amazing!

To the Stratosphere and Beyond!

I work with an phenomenal team at MYOB. We help take over 200+ addons to market to 1.2 million small businesses across Australia and New Zealand. Our work reaches over 4,000+ developers and its an incredibly rewarding moment when each solution goes live!

Thrilled that the #myobapi team have been nominated for @myobteam's #ignition award! #loveyourwork #yourworkmatters

A photo posted by Jack Skinner (@developerjack) on

We make a difference.

I reflect on a comment from one of our developer partners - their solution saves small businesses roughly 4 hours a week on manual processing.

The integration with MYOB saves me 3 or 4 hours every week! I can now spend my Friday afternoons buying my kids icecream after school instead of manually doing my books.

Knowing the impact we have makes every single day worthwhile!

In a poetic end to my first year the API team also received a nomination for MYOB's #IgnitionAwards for our sky-high results!



So there we have it. A year in the life of an evangelist and its like nothing I ever expected! To everyone that was a part of it I want to say a very very warm thank you!

To the next 12 months, and beyond! #loveyourwork