2013 Year in Review

A year of Marilyn, CrossFit, audiobooks, Ember.js and Piano.

Written on January 1, 2014 in Personal, Goals.
Adam Fortuna

Hey hey! I'm a developer who lives in Orlando, FL. Right now I work at Code School, listen to a lot of audiobooks, set way too many goals, write at minafi.com and tweet often.

This is my annual recap of what’s happened in my life over the last year. I’ve come to realize every 5th or 6th year is extremely active, while the other years seem to be less so. This year was not one of those 5/6 years, but instead more about personal growth and finding balance in my life. The biggest parts of my life this year were: Marilyn, Code School, CrossFit, audiobooks, learning Ember.js, and learning Piano.


I didn’t travel all that much this year. The biggest trips were Rails Conf and WWDC - both week long conferences attended with coworkers.

  • Rails Conf in Portland, OR

  • Was extremely lucky to attend WWDC in San Francisco

  • Sanibel with Marilyn for her birthday weekend

  • Went to Miami for Distant Worlds, a Final Fantasy Concert

Events and Entertainment

The most random event this year was Distant Worlds. Marilyn and I were discussing “What musical acts would you absolutely love to see that you haven’t?” and I mentioned Nobuo Uematsu, the composer behind the Final Fantasy games. After looking to see if he had a tour coming up, there was one in Miami 2 months out. Considering he’s only performed in the US 10 times in 10+ years, we really lucked out!

If you like movies, I’d encourage you to create a Letterboxd account and friend me!

  • Saw a load of movies, my favorites for the year being: Somm, Gravity and Stoker

  • Went to the Florida Film Festival Premiere, followed by seeing a number of awesome movies

  • Attended Megacon for the 15th straight year

  • Lots of audiobooks – 45 total for the year. My favorites were Hyperion, Maphead, His Dark Materials and Bossypants. Many more were amazing.

  • The TV Shows I looked forward to most this year were Game of Thrones, Walking Dead, Homeland and Breaking Bad

  • Went to BarCampOrlando and presented on “R Programming for Ruby and Rails Developers”

  • The Postal Service concert viewed from the balcony at Hard Rock

  • A hilarious Richard Cheese and Lounge Against the Machine concert at House of Blues

  • Saw Kevin Smith live at the Plaza Theater

  • Distant Worlds Concert

  • Only played a few video games, including more Skyrim, Final Fantasy VI, Bioshock and Final Fantasy XII


2011 was about having fun and keeping interested (when it comes to CrossFit). This year was more about testing my limits and seeing how I could improve. Towards the end of the year I did start to plateau when it comes to working out. I suspect it was due to an awful diet and lack of sleep.

  • Worked out usually around 3 or 4 times a week, nearly always at 8am

  • Stopped by CrossFit Portland with Casey when in town for Rails Conf

  • Participated in the CrossFit Open with a few other people to see how I matched up. My best performance was in the 20% percentile, but most were in the 4%

  • Continued doing yoga at work on Wednesdays. Great way to relax and prevent injury

  • Did Murph in 51:17 for Memorial Day. Confident I can do better next time!

  • Ran in a Warrior Dash outside of Orlando with a few friends. Muddy and cold, but a load of fun

  • Running around Lake Eola in downtown Orlando after work occasionally when not too hot out

The FitBit is awesome, but it doesn’t understand how much I hate wall balls.

  • Got a FitBit for Christmas, with the hope of monitoring my sleep patterns and general fitness. When I keep track of things, they generally get better.


Worked at Envy Labs entirely on Code School all year long. My main focus has been on putting out awesome courses and trying to improve education through technology.

Work mantra: always ask “What Would Bret Victor Do?”

  • Changed job titles to “Technical Director at Code School”, whatever that means.

  • Helped released a ton of Code School courses over the last year. A total of 17 went out in 2013

  • Helped write and worked on Try jQuery, a free way to learn jQuery in the browser (and linked to from the jQuery site). Followed up by writing jQuery: The Return Flight

  • Helped write the Ruby/JavaScript side of Code Schools Core iOS 7 course, which lead to a few blog posts about it

  • Wrote and helped implement Warming up with Emberjs, a course to learn Ember.js from scratch. Basing the implemention on everything we’d learned about teaching programming in the browser.

Great Meals

I tend to remember amazing meals far longer than I probably should. Here’s a few that stand out.

Having coffee at Victoria & Alberts is a magical experience.

  • Went to Victoria & Alberts restaurant with Marilyn for our Anniversary

  • Had a great birthday dinner with Cask and Larder with Marilyn, my Dad and Paige

  • The Chefs Table of Edgewater for mothers day with Marilyns family

  • Went to Cask & Larder for an Envy Labs lunch

  • The Chefs Table of Edgewater dinner with Alli and Jeff

  • Had Marilyns Birthday dinner at Pharmacy with tons of friends

  • Stone Crab Festival in St. Pete with Nate and so many friends

  • Food and Wine Festival with the Envy Labs gang


Seriously, the little girl in the Piano lesson after mine is soo much better than me.

  • Bought an electric piano and started taking lessons every week. Still not very good, but making progress

  • Cleaned out and organized the garage and attic to where we actually know where things are

  • Launched a programming blog called eval everything, where I’ve been writing about anything technical topics that are interesting

  • Updated this blog from it’s previous setup!

Next Year

Looks like I’m in the 45% of people who make New Years resolutions.

Continue learning piano. For me this means doing more practice at home as well as keeping up with lessons.

Get into Angular.js development, which we’re using for a new Code School project. Kind of have to do this one for work anyways, but I’ve been wanting to do it too.

Get more into JavaScript testing frameworks out there. I’ve let my JavaScript go untested for far too long.

Invite friends over more, typically to play games or anything really. Too many times this year we said “we need to have a game night”. If you ever want to have a game night, just let me know!

Keep track of things more. Kind of an obvious one, but “What gets measured gets improved” has always been true for me. I’m already doing these – some all the time, some intermittently.

  • My Todo list in Things

  • Workouts and fitness goals in Evernote

  • Piano practice in Evernote

  • Audiobooks in my book log

  • Sleep in FitBit

  • Expenses in Google Docs

  • Weight via Withings

  • Monthly goals in Evernote

Confident that 2014 will be an amazing year!