What I’ve Been Working On in 2018

Jayson DeLancey
Dec 26, 2018 · 5 min read

Last year, I did a round-up of some of the things I worked on in 2017. While 2018 didn’t include as many volcanoes, virus labs, or boats as the year prior — I worked on a few interesting projects while working for General Electric (GE) and part way through the year made the switch to join HERE Technologies in the Developer Relations group.

Community — Makers

I align myself closely with the maker community and had the fun task of building out a makerspace at GE Digital in San Ramon. With a small budget and the help of Rik Dryfoos we furnished the makerspace with 3D Printers, tools, electronic components, and a number of demos to help explain Industrial IoT concepts to corporate guests who visited the GE Digital Foundry. We also developed some workshops and small group training while collaborating with other maker communities within GE at other offices such as Detroit, New Orleans, and then Crotonville.

Solution Architects building a demo (top-left), Jeffrey Knapp leading a 3D printing class (top-right), and Rik Dryfoos running a Digital Industrial Workshop (bottom).

Community — Open Source

Another community that demonstrates the spirit of a rising tide lifts all boats is the open-source organizations within a company. Upon joining HERE Technologies, I was delighted to find the engineering teams actively engaged and doing some amazing work. I took a bit of a deep dive into a few of the projects that have been generously shared with the world in order to shine the spotlight on the engineers making it happen.

Events

In the second half of 2018 I found myself on the road quite a bit. Including internal meetings, hackathons, and conferences where I visited Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Detroit, Kansas City, Austin, and Berlin.

https://flightmapper.io/maps/jdelancey

To share things I’ve learned along the way that might save somebody some time I had a few speaking sessions:

The first webinar is just the start and we are ready to announce many more coming in January.

Events are a great place to share information through speaking but even more than that it is a great way to learn about what others are building and ask questions. There were a handful of events where HERE Technologies sponsored hackathons or booths to meet with folks in the communities.

  • Hack Midwest
  • TechCrunch
  • CalHacks
  • DroidCon NYC
  • State of the Maps US

Another great aspect of going to events is it is also a good chance to catch up with former colleagues when everybody has moved on to new roles and companies.

Impromptu AWS re:Invent reunion with Rackspace (left) and DreamWorks Animation (right)

Content

A key responsibility of my role is to advocate on behalf of the community internally to product teams. One way I do this is by building projects myself to stumble over any pain points before others do and channel that back as feedback to engineering or teach others some of the things I learned along the way in written tutorials.

I haven’t been a front-end web developer for several years but I wanted to get back up to speed with one of the more popular frameworks — React. There had been a number of questions from the developer community about how to be successful with web components and location so I spent some time writing blog posts to describe some of the projects I built after learning more about how to use the library better myself.

I have a few more projects in progress with ReactJS so expect a few more over the next few months.

Another theme I focused on was to provide some guidance for developers and engineering teams feeling the impact of Google’s decision to raise prices. Google has been successful with their consumer application that many developers didn’t even realize there were alternatives such as HERE Technologies, myself included. Once you get a chance to explore the HERE services you often can build the same applications. I wrote a few posts to help highlight a few difference to try and make those migrations easier:

We also put together a freemium SwitchToHERE site that helps learn the basics like these and covers a few more done with the help of some of my teammates.

I’ve spent a great deal of time to help shape the voice and technical depth of the HERE Developer Blog by authoring posts myself, working with teammates, and mentoring other writers to help them tell their story. Here’s a sample:

What’s Next

I’ve been gathering and preparing a lot more events and content for 2019 so if you like Python, Open-Source, Robotics, Autonomous Driving, and Cloud Services stay tuned for more next year.

Thanks, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year.

Jayson DeLancey

Written by

Head of Developer Relations @Dolby; Maker at Robot Garden; Previously HERE, GE, Rackspace, DreamWorks Animation, MathWorks, Carnegie Mellon

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