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With many other people taking a moment to reflect over the past year, I thought it might be a good time for me to do so as well.  This article is very much going to take the format of Phil Haack’s Reflections on 2012 post.  First, we’ll start with some highlights over the last year. 

Highlights of 2012

It was an extremely exciting year so I’ve got a ton of things to be happy about.

  • January I spoke at my first major conference, CodeMash.  I actually attended the first CodeMash many years ago and the conference has grown by leaps and bounds since then.  I actually just went back last week to attend CodeMash 2013 and delivered two sessions.
  • February A little company named Microsoft reached out to me about a pretty interesting position.  If you know me or follow the blog, you already know how this turned out.
  • March I got married.  This was obviously pretty exciting for me.  We were married in Hawaii and had an amazingly great time.
  • April Remember where I said Microsoft reached out to me in February, well in April I started working for them.  I was working remote since we still had a lot going on in Michigan but it was only a matter of time before we made the big move across the country. 
  • May Since we got married in Hawaii, we needed to throw a party back in Michigan for all of the family and friends that couldn’t join us on the island.  This was a blast for just about everyone that came, even the party crashers from Europe!
  • June I went on my first work trip which was for a Day of Azure in London.  It was pretty exciting and I learned a lot about presenting on this trip.
  • July As we were nearly ready to move, Erin and I wrapped up a lot of visits with friends including trips to western and northern Michigan as well as Chicago.
  • August We finally made the big move from Michigan out to Washington.  We’re still loving Washington and are really happy we moved (despite missing all of our friends).
  • September Technically August (but the end of it) but we launched Windows Azure Mobile Services which is what I’m primarily focusing on for work.
  • October I spoke at MacTech in LA.  This was my first experience speaking at a primarily Apple focused event and it went over really well.  My favorite quote was “I’d never thought the first tech which makes me think ‘hey, this is really cool’ on a Mac conference is from Microsoft.”  Just think about how crazy that is. 
  • November I spoke at Build and 1DevDay Detroit.  Build was a huge achievement as I was very new at Microsoft and this was there biggest developer event of the year.  We also went to Hawaii….again.  What can I say, the food was good and flights to Hawaii are super cheap from Washington (compared with flying from Michigan).
  • December We started December in Hawaii.  It was a mini-repeat of our wedding trip, minus the actual wedding.  Kauai is definitely one of our favorite places in the world (ok we have a lot of places we still need to visit).  More important, technically, was that we officially launched iOS support for Windows Azure Mobile Services.

2012 was huge for me, both personally and professionally.  I couldn’t be happier with where I’m at with my job and where Erin and I are at in our relationship and lives.

Top 3 blog posts

Just by looking at the unique view count, these are the top three blog posts I had in 2012:

Top 3 non-Android series posts

So the big ones were all part of my Android series.  However, I few articles about other things:

  • Windows Azure Mobile Services and iOS – This article announced the initial “in-development” SDK for iOS and Mobile Services.  Since then we’ve made a lot of improvements and moved it out of “in-development” and into officially supported.
  • Accessing Outlook Contacts via Exchange Web Services – This article (a pretty old one) deals with pulling a user’s contacts out of Exchange using Exchange Web Services.  Crazy that it’s still so popular.
  • iOS and Windows Azure communication using Signal-R – Signal-R is a super cool way of doing two way communication (re: sending information from the server to the client).  Signal-R is becoming a bigger and bigger thing so there should be a lot more exciting developments for this over the next year.

The visitors

Let’s look at some stats on the people that actually visited the site:

  • Unique Visitors There were 47,251 unique visitors for the year. 
  • Visits There were 68,801 visits to the site.
  • Page View There were 144,112 page views meaning on average, people visited 2.09 pages on each visit.
  • Location and Language The vast majority of people were from the United States (at 16,304) followed by India (12,999) and then the UK (3,820).  Overwhelmingly the language of choice was English.
  • Browser and OS Almost half the traffic (48.02%) was from Chrome, then Firefox (27.71%), Internet Explorer (11.89%) and finally Safari (6.79%).  Windows was at the head of the OSes (with 70.95%), then OS X (14.91%), and then Linux (7.99%).
  • Mobile About 5% of the traffic was considered “mobile” with the iPad leading the iPhone, leading the Galaxy Nexus. 
  • Where you came from Overwhelmingly people got here from Google (49,043), then directly (10,876), and then Twitter (1,861).

What’s really nice is that outside of a few peaks, traffic has been overwhelmingly growing over the year.  At the beginning of the year I was averaging in the low 100s for per day visits.  At the end of the year, that moved to the high 200s and low 300s.

It will be fun to see how things grow over the next year and see what posts are leading by 2014.  Thanks for all your visits and feedback!  I truly appreciate the comments and feedback and hope this continues to be a place which can help developers learn.


Chris Risner