2017 - A Retrospective

Published on 11 January 2018

Looking back on 2017

In many ways, 2017 has been an amazing year, with lots of stuff happening both from a personal stand point, as well as other stuff. It has also been a very sad year with the passing of both my Granny and my cousin.

As per the post that I did last year, this post is a brief recap, in no particular order, of some of the highlights of 2017.

Baby Park #2

On the 17th February, we welcomed our second child, Amelia Mabel Park into the world. To say that the last 10 months have just flown by would be an understatement. My wife and I have had so much fun watching Amelia grow and form her own little personality. Alivia has taken to being a big sister very well, and she loves her little sister.

Alivia and Amelia

Microsoft MVP

In July, I was awarded the Microsoft MVP Award. Although I knew I had been nominated for this award, it still came as a very nice surprise to actually be awarded. Unfortunately, I am not able to make it to the MVP Summit in 2018. I'm obviously hoping to be renewed again next year so that I can make it along to the Summit, as I have heard that it is a very good experience!

GitHub Contributions

Following on from 2016's increased level of contributions to GitHub, I sort of got onto a little bit of a run in 2017, and once I got started, I didn't want to stop!

GitHub Contributions for 2017

A couple months into the streak, I started wondering whether it would be possible to keep up the contributions for the entire year, and the rest as they say is history.

The eagle eyed amongst you might notice that there is a blip on the 2nd March. To be honest, I am not sure what happened here, as I did have a contribution on this day. Shrug.

GitHub Contribution Blip


In 2017, I was invited to appear on two podcasts. The first was my second appearance on the Cynical Developer podcast where I got to talk about all things Chocolatey. And the second was an appearance on the Gone Mobile podcast, where myself and Mattias talked about all things Cake.


With the arrival of Amelia in the first part of the year, my ability to attend conferences this year wasn't the same as last year. As a result, I was only able to submit and speak at 2 conferences.

The first was at DDD Reading where I did a talk entitled "Control your GitHub releases with GitVersion and GitReleaseManager", where I talked about two tools that I use on almost all the Open Source Projects that I work on. I also presented the same talk at DDD East Anglia. If you are interested in checking out this talk you can find a recording of it on YouTube.

In 2018 I plan on doing a lot more talks. In fact, I already have 6 speaking engagements lined up. I will have a follow-up blog post with links to where I will be speaking in case you are able to make it along.


In what is now turning into a yearly tradition, I once again took part in Hacktoberfest. If you haven't heard about this event, I strongly encourage you to check it out. All it takes is 4 pull requests in the month of October. It is a great bit of fun and at the end of it, you get some quality swag.

And here is the swag I mentioned:

Hacktoberfest 2017 Swag

24 Pull Requests

Although there is no swag involved in this contest, it is still great fun, and once again I encourage everyone to take part in 24 Pull Requests. It is a great way to get involved in Open Source, and give back something to the community.

This year was slightly different from last year because Andrew invited me to join the 24 Pull Requests GitHub Organisation. This was mainly due to me hanging out in the Gitter Chat Room and helping out where I could when questions were being asked.

Stack Overflow Contributions

In 2017, I made a committed effort to answer more questions on Stack Overflow, focusing on questions surrounding:

  • Cake
  • Chocolatey
  • GitFlow

All topics which are important to me, and which I think I am capable of answering questions on.

My Reputation on Stack Overflow increased to 4797 (an increase on 2074):

Stack Overflow Reputation

I also increased the number of badges which I have earned:

Stack Overflow Badges

Including the Fanatic badge (which meant visiting the site on 100 consecutive days), which sort of went hand in hand with my GitHub Contribution streak.

And according to the site, I have reached 87 thousand people:

Stack Overflow Impact

YouTube Videos

In 2017 I ventured into an area which I had never been before, namely creating and publishing videos to YouTube. This really came about after watching the work that Geoffrey Huntley was doing, and I wanted to give it a try.

You can find my YouTube Channel here.

So far, I have created some videos on AppVeyor and Cake (mainly around releases of the VSCode Extension for Cake), but I am planning on expanding to include some more topics this year. So be sure to subscribe to my channel to catch the new videos.

WinOps Conf 2017 and PowerShell Dev Day

This was my third year in a row attending the WinOps Conf, and I am happy to say that it didn't disappoint. Once again it was a great event, thank you to all the organisers and helpers for making it a great day.

This year was a slightly different experience, since I was helping out at the other side of the fence. I was there representing Chocolatey, who were both a sponsor of the event, as well as doing a Full Day Workshop and Presentation. This was the first time that I was able to meet Rob in person!

I had loads of great conversations across the two days, and it was great to see the excitement that people have for Chocolatey!

This was me chatting with Steve Murawski at the Chocolatey booth:

Chatting with Steve Murawski

While in London, I was also able to attend the PowerShell Dev Day, which was also a great event. I would encourage anyone to go to this!

tretton37 Knowabunga

This was quite simply an AMAZING event! For those of you that haven't heard of this before, you can find some information here and here.

So, the story goes like this...

Out of the blue, Andreas asked me if I wanted an all expenses paid trip to Sweden, to spend the day representing Cake at their all day Open Source event. Obviously, I said that I would love to go, so off I went!

The format of the day was that there were a number of people from the Open Source Community there representing their projects, and different members of the tretton37 team were assigned to each project. With that part done, we then set about hacking on the project. This included a brief overview of what the project is, and then jumping in to work on some issues that were currently open. In the end, I think we had 9 Pull Requests submitted, across a number of the Cake Repositories. Also included in the day was a panel discussion about Open Source.

I have to say that I had an amazing day in Sweden (my first time visiting), and I was, and still am, amazed at the tretton37 Organisation for their commitment to Open Source and its Community. Thank you!

Aberdeen Developers

With one thing or another, I haven't been as active at Aberdeen Developers as I would have liked, but I am very happy to say that Douglas has been keeping things ticking over nicely. Thank you!

2017 saw events from:

Wow! An amazing list of speakers. Aberdeen is very lucky to have these people come and speak. I am looking forward to getting more involved in Aberdeen Developers in 2018.

Chocolatey Contributions

Throughout the year, I have been working on a number of things related to Chocolatey, but there are two things that stand out for me.

The first is the release of Chocolatey GUI 0.15.0. There is more information about this release here. Put simply, this was a HUGE release, and saw essentially a complete re-write of major parts of the application. There are loads more things planned for Chocolatey GUI (including a much awaited Tile View), so be sure to keep an eye out for that in the next release.

The second is with regard to dtgm's Chocolatey Packages. For those of you that don't know, dtgm has LOADS of Chocolatey packages, almost all of which are automated using ketarin. However, dtgm hasn't been able to spend as much time maintaining these packages as he once did, and as a result, these packages have started to fail. After a number of attempts to reach out to him, I was finally able to get access to his GitHub repository, and as a result, I have been able to start merging some of the long awaited PR's to fix some packages, and as well as to migrate some of his packages to the Core Team Packages repository. Now that I have access to this repository, I am hoping to be able to fix more of the packages that require attention, as well as migrate more of his packages to the Core Team packages repository. If you are interested in helping with this work, please feel free to reach out.

Cake Contributions

There have been loads of exciting announcements for Cake in 2017, not least Intellisense for Visual Studio Code.

However, my main focus this year has been growing the Cake-Contrib Organisation. For those of you who know me, I am very passionate about the longevity and maintainability of Open Source Projects, and to that end, I am a HUGE advocate of not working in silos. Instead, I much prefer to see projects being worked on within a GitHub Organisation, so that if the worst should happen or life gets in the way, other people can step in and help out. That is what the Cake-Contrib Organisation is all about. A place where Cake maintainers can place their repositories, knowing that they will still have full access to the repository, but also know that others can help out should the need arise.

Related to this, is the cake-contrib user on NuGet.org. Whenever I see a new Cake Addin being released, one of the first things that I do is submit an issue to the maintainer to add the cake-contrib user as a co-owner of the package. This is really for two reasons. The first being that it increases the publicity of that package, as people as able to find it easier as all packages are in one place. The second is that it means other people can push a new package version, rather than it being locked down to a single user.

In 2017, we were able to grow the Cake-Contrib Organisation to the following:

  • 43 People now a member of the Organisation on GitHub
  • 110 Repositories now in the Organisation
  • 202 Packages associated with the cake-contrib user on NuGet.org
  • 3,397,862 downloads of addins and modules associated with the cake-contrib user

Put simply, this is amazing, and I am grateful to all the Cake Contributors who have chosen to join this Organisation.

An interesting side effect of this work is the synchronisation of permissions and settings that needs to happen between GitHub and AppVeyor (our main CI platform). For the longest time, I was doing this manually, but it got to the point that this was completely unmanageable. As a result, I now have a set of scripts that helps with the synchronisation of permissions and settings between GitHub and AppVeyor. This will likely be the topic of a YouTube video this year, so keep an eye out for that.

There is still work to be done here, and I will continue to reach out to the maintainers of addins and modules to see if they are interested in joining.

Office Hours

Once again, after watching the work that Geoffrey Huntley has been doing, I signed up for Officehours. Put simply, I think this is a great idea, and a great service. If you have anything you wanted to talk to me about, whether about Cake, or Chocolatey, Build System, or Open Source in general, feel free to reach out and we can get something scheduled.

That's a wrap

And that as they say, is that! Looking back, it has been a very busy, but very enjoyable year (aside for the sad times). 2018 is shaping up to be as busy, and I am truly excited to share some amazing news that will be happening at the end of January. It is amazing!

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