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My 2020 in review
Open Source
BTCPay Server
There are many noteworthy things that happened during the last 9 months, which I'd like to share in this post.

My 2020 in review

2020 has been quite a ride for everyone. At the end of 2019 I decided to quit client work and do open source from April on. The timing of this coincided directly with the start of lockdowns in Europe. So luckily, the work-related aspect of the pandemic didn't affect me much as I had made my plans already.

Nevertheless there are many noteworthy things that happened during the last nine months, which I'd like to share in this post. In fact, there was so much stuff and work to do, that I somehow lost track of doing the monthly recaps. But here we go with the all-in-one summary of my 2020 …

The sad part 😔

I really missed the conferences and other opportunities to meet friends and colleagues from around the world. I very much looked forward to hanging out with the Einundzwanzig crew for one week in Munich. We planned to share an appartment for the Value of Bitcoin conference and surrounding events early this year, but sadly all of this couldn't happen.

Also the 2020 editions of the Baltic Honeybadger and another potential Lightning Conference didn't happen. Plans to visit Prague for HCPP 2020 had to be cancelled last minute, but the conference took place as a remote event. Though remote conferences are a workaround, they can't compensate for meeting each other in person and all the fun this entails.

Being forced to stay at home for long stretches of the year led me to work a bit too much. Not that I don't enjoy the things I do – in fact just the opposite – but other things like sport and spending time away from the desk got neglected a bit too much. This is something I learned and will try to fix during the next months.

Other than that, I think our family and I have never been as healthy as this year. So luckily we can already end talking about the bad side of this year …

The good part 😀

In some regards I've learned so much this year, that I felt like a complete noob from time to time. But that's a very good thing: It also makes me realize that I've been in my comfort zone for too long and doing something different was absolutely the right way to go. I don't think that there has been a year in which I've worked on so many different things: New programming languages and frameworks (mostly C# and ASP.NET for me) as well as different environments. Though I had some experience in those areas before, now I had to dive deeper into shell scripting, process automation, Docker and Linux.

But I still got to tinker in my confort zone: One of the highlights here was building the Square Crypto website. The Square Crypto folks are nice to work with, they pay attention to detail, have put a good dose of humour into the project and the whole process was fun. Hint: See if you can spot the eastereggs on the site.

The Bitcoin Dev List is also a funny one, because it took only four hours from idea to launch: The goal is to increase the visibility of contributors to the Bitcoin space that are accepting donations. Matt Odell had the original idea and he talked about it a few times on the TFTC podcast. After hearing the idea again, I approached Matt, saying I had some time to work on it and a few hours later it went live. It is now referenced oftentimes when people discuss the important topic of funding open source and I'm glad we finally made this website happen.

For Einundzwanzig we launched the website and more importantly our shop. The latter is built with WooCommerce and the BTCPay Server integration. We sell some merchandise there and are one of the few shops that do not accept any fiat shitcoin: The shop is bitcoin-only, which we are very proud of. We try to do our share as part of the new and forming bitcoin circular economy here.

I can't close talking about the good part of the year without mentioning our beloved BTCPay Server. Which leads us to the even better part of the year …

The awesome part 🥳

I can't express how grateful I am to be a part of the BTCPay Server team and the project in general. Everyone working on the project is so motivated, friendly and open – this is the spirit and community I enjoy working with. Throughout the monthly recaps I've already praised that and highlighted some of the things I'm working on (e.g the UI or docs) – so no need to bore you with that again. 😉

But the one thing I would like to close this with is: Some people have approached me and told me that they really like reading these posts. Seeing that having the guts to take the steps towards becoming an open source developer can work motivates them. I myself have been motivated by kukks' story and am immensely grateful that I got the opportunity to follow his example. Receiving this kind of feedback and hearing from people thinking about doing the same is incredible!

I am also immensely grateful that the BTCPay Server Foundation offered me to support my efforts. Thanks to them I can now announce that this "journey" – as I refer to it – does not have to stop with the end of this year. I'm looking forward to continue working on – at least in my view – one of the most exciting and important projects in this space.

Thanks again to everyone who made this possible, encouraged me with feedback and donations as well as shout-outs on Twitter. 2021 will be a wild ride too. Here's to making the world a better and freer place, enabled by Bitcoin. 🚀