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As usual, it's time to reflect on what happened this year, and start thinking about what I want to achieve next year...

I became a Microsoft MVP

I got a very nice and unexpected surprise back in March of becoming a Microsoft MVP. This was a tremendous honour and it's been fascinating to gain some insider access to what's going on with various product groups at Microsoft. I'm particularly looking forward to my first ever trip to the USA in March to attend the global MVP summit.

In January I released Azure Functions Fundamentals. Azure Functions is a really exciting platform that has continued to pick up great new features over the last year. I followed it up with Building Serverless Applications in Azure where I walked through creating a real-world application in a serverless application, using Azure Functions. And then finally I produced Azure CLI - Getting Started. The Azure CLI is a really easy to use and powerful commandline tool for managing Azure resources that's well worth your time learning.

I learned a lot of new stuff...

One of the joys (and frustrations) of programming is that you never stop needing to learn new things. And this year was no exception.

I started the year getting up to speed on Docker on Windows and am really impressed with what l've seen so far. As well as buying his excellent book, I've been following Elton Stoneman's weekly Windows Docker file series which has been a great way of reinforcing what I've learned so far.

Another focus area for me has been improving my front end web skills. I've picked up some new CSS techniques, completed a 30 day JavaScript course, completed a great Vue.js course, and completed this year's Advent of Code challenges in ES6. Finally, the eagle-eyed among you might have noticed that I've just relaunched my blog written in ASP.NET Core 2. Hopefully I've not broken anything important in the transition, and you can expect some blog posts about the journey in the near future.

The two languages I've made most progress in this year have been JavaScript (particularly the new ES6 syntax) and PowerShell. It’s also nice to see C# picking up some new features (a few of which I blogged about), especially since I haven't really had the opportunity to use F# as much as I'd like in the last year.

Of course, a huge focus this year has been Azure, which has been the main technology I use in my day job. I published 29 posts about Azure this year.

NAudio is slowly improving

During the year I released several new versions of NAudio, the latest being 1.8.4. I answered hundreds of NAudio questions on Stack Overflow and GitHub and I did a month of documention in November, adding 30 new tutorials to the project. I also accepted 13 pull requests So NAudio continues to progress but it is also true that now my day job is much more cloud focused, my time available for working on it is limited. Hopefully next year it will keep progressing in the right direction, and I'm still very open to bringing new people onto the NAudio team.

What's next?

I'm sure there'll be plenty of surprises next year, but it's looking like Azure (and especially Azure Functions) will remain a major focus area for me. I'm also hoping that next year includes some Docker, Vue.js and ASP.NET Core.

In 2018 I'd also like to give a few talks at local user groups. Topics I enjoy speaking on include LINQ, Technical Debt and Azure Functions/Serverless, so do let me know if you're on the lookout for something on those lines in the South of England and I'll see what I can do.

Big thanks to everyone who's followed this blog and helped me learn new stuff this year.