Community, Valuable Resources

Reflecting on 2016

We’re coming upon the end of another year. An eventful year that may have left you with a mix of feelings. Some people wish for 2016 to just get over with and hope for a more positive 2017. I won’t dwell on those aspects. Let’s let the years events be and do what we must to improve and make it better.

On a personal note, I’ve come a long way in the past year and as a result, so has this blog. It’s hard to imagine I was just coming out of a period of burnout, struggle and depression. My recovery manifested itself into the journey that is this blog and everything that’s spawned out of it. I’ve made some wonderful connections along the way, and what better way to celebrate the end of the year than to celebrate these connections?

Showing Gratitude

I’ll get into some facts and statistics a bit later, but I’d like to start off this post by sharing some highlights and thanking some people who have been part of my journey in 2016. I recommend following every one of these people on twitter, or their respective blogs. I also want to apologize to anyone I’ve forgotten!

Transition to 2016 / starting the blog

I’m fortunate enough to be working at a company that has supported me through a difficult time in my personal and professional life, which was my burnout. I had the understanding and support of my leader and closest colleagues, which made the transition back to work and into 2016 possible.

The transition to 2016 was also strongly influenced by Corey House’s Outlierdeveloper and John Sonmez’ Simple Programmer courses. They were part of starting me down a path of taking my personal career seriously, and the value in blogging about my journey.

I’ve always loved podcasts, but the transition to 2016 was also marked by consuming massive amounts of podcasts from Dave Rael’s Developer On Fire. Listening to tales from the trenches from known and unknown developers was inspiring. What really lifted me up, though, was Dave reaching out to me and recording an episode. We continued the discussion and we had the chance to meet at NDC Oslo in 2016. I value our friendship, and his continued work with Developer on Fire is inspiring. I also recommend the Facebook community with listeners and guests from the show. It’s a wonderful mastermind group of people.

Blogging / Twitter Connections

MVE’s 2016 (Most Valuable Empathizers)

Closely following the Developer in Fire podcast, I connected with and spoke to Shawn Rakowski on his podcast. Shawn has been a supportive person throughout the year, with regular interactions on twitter and even a few mastermind-calls. Check out his conversation with Scott Nimrod.

I was introduced to my another supporter for empathy in tech, Andrea Goulet by Geert Vermeiren. She’s promotes empathy, communication, caring for people and code. I was fortunate enough to have spoken with her and Scott Ford on the Legacy Code Rocks podcast.

Scott Nimrod has been present and supportive throughout the year. It’s been valuable to have his perspective and influence nearby. I recently spoke with him on a recorded conversation.

It’s been wonderful to have Jose Gonzalez nearby as well. I’ve had many conversations with Jose, and he’s always a pleasure to talk to. He’s also had a conversation with Scott. I also recommend his blog:

Kevin O’Shaughnessy has been an inspiration. He’s a knowledgable, reflected individual who has the wonderful site We’ve also had many conversations, and shared valuable insights. He’s even the first guest-blogger on coding with empathy (I need to write a follow-up a post for his site too… sorry Kevin!).

Gjermund Bjaanes has been another support pillar, always commenting retweeting and writing on his own blog. I met him at NDC Oslo, and he even came to our local community to hold a talk. Check out his blog.

Speaking at NDC Oslo 2016

NDC Oslo

NDC Oslo 2016 was filled with valuable experiences and connections. It was the first time I attended as a speaker. The experience was wonderful and it gave an entirely new dimension to the conference. It also was an eye-opener to making new connections.

There’s one connection I’d like to emphasize; Kylie M Hunt, with her wonderful focus on workplace happiness. I don’t know how others felt during her session, but I was moved to tears. I encourage everyone to take her message of workplace happiness with them into 2017.

Vestfold Developers Community

I got the ball rolling and created a slack community for all the developer groups in Vestfold county. It’s steadily grown to over 100 members the past year and we’ve had our first community evening with 3 different meetups represented. Starting the group was easy, but building up a community takes time. There are some core members that have played a key part in keeping the open and inclusive dialogue going and pulled in more members than I could ever have dreamed of alone: Ole Edvard Hansen, Remi Nyborg, Thomas Presthus & Terje Solem. You guys are awesome!

Friends and Colleagues


Kodepanelet, or “Code Panel”, is a YouTube channel where we speak about our development department at work. It’s a wonderful way to have fun at work, showcase our department and, most importantly, spend time with wonderful colleagues Simen Hansen, Vidar A. Westrum and Tomas Ekeli.

I need to bring up Einar Ingebrigtsen, an ex-colleague and friend that has always been supportive. He’s been around the industry a few times and is a voice of reason I trust and probably the closest thing I’ve had to a mentor. Check out his latest project:, a live coding show diving into many relevant topics.

Expanding horizons and taking action

Trying to expand horizons and learning from others is something I try to do as much as possible. There’s a special person out there that has been both open to sharing his thoughts and helpful when reflecting back. Gregory Brown, the author of Programming Beyong Practices. I’m halfway through the book, and really recommend it to developers.

Pablo Rivera has reached out, and been extremely supportive towards the site and the message of empathy in software development. He’s also been a key part of the next expansion of Coding With Empathy (more about that a little further down). Check out his video series: The Daily Walk


Last but in no way least: I’d like to thank my wife who is a constant support and voice of reason in my life. She’s supported me for the past year and lived through the panic of getting the weekly blog post out. Also to my children that teach me to slow down and appreciate the smaller things.

Facts and Statistics

Facts and statistics

So here are a few cool numbers I dug up from Google Analytics / WordPress Site Stats. There’s a high probability I’m interpreting them wrong, but I’ll put them out there and let’s take it from there.

You’ve been served 47 posts this year on Coding with Empathy. You’ve had a new post to read every week, except 1 week where other priorities took over.

You’ve left 143 comments and the most valuable commenters are: Jose Gonzalez, Dave Rael, Gjermund Bjaanes.

23000 unique users have dropped by the site and read something this year. 20% of you are returning readers (Wow!). 34% of you prefer using a mobile / tablet device.

Your favourite posts have been: My Personal Burnout, Empathy: An essential skill in software developlment, Dealing with feedback when it’s personal, The mindful developer.

My favourite post this year is: Quit blaming others. It’s your fault!

What’s next?

I mentioned a bit further up that there will be some expansion to the Coding with Empathy blog and…it’s all about video! I’ve started to explore the video format and enjoying the experience so far. I’ve received some feedback already, and I really hope to get more feedback on the format and any ideas you have for it. Check it out here:

I’m curious if you’re hungry for more content? I’m looking into ways to curate valuable newsletters, and also creating exclusive content. Perhaps you have some suggestions?

Thank you for 2016! Looking forward to a great 2017 with you all!

I’m always open to feedback in any form and love learning from and sharing those learnings back to you, the readers of the blog. Please reach out to me and tell me your personal favourite post(s), experiences or any other reflections from 2016 in the comments below.