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The year 2020 was like no other for a lot of us. When I look back, I can’t help but think about the World of Warcraft achievement, What a Long, Strange Trip it’s Been. This is one of my favorite WoW achievements. Each special event has to be completed for an entire year to earn it; so, you not only have to invest a lot of time, but also consistently. This year-long journey of unique challenges could also describe this past year. Whether it was adjusting to a work from home atmosphere, publishing new updates, or working in uncharted development territory; the year was a long consistent grind.
I’m quite pleased with what we were able to accomplish in 2020. We released 16 updates covering: privacy, security, better appearance for BootStrap, many new shortcodes, 6 new widgets, new team management options and tools for admins, new tournament management features, an entirely new player dashboard, completely reworked the match reporting and confirmation screens for consistency, added support for custom player profile and social icon fields, updated FontAwesome to use version 5, updated the database to support MySQL 8, and improved almost ever page with asynchronous behavior. We also hired our first (non-family) employee! And while we didn’t quite get as far as I hoped we would, we kept busy and improved the software significantly.
This year should be exciting for us. I have some ambitious goals again this year for Tournamatch. My primary focus is to replace all of our proprietary database tables with custom post types. The end result is software which may be more easily integrated with other WordPress plugins and the ability to develop new Tournamatch features more quickly. There are quite a bit of indirect advantages of this change – too many to hash out here. Almost all of our work over the last 1.5 years has centered around this ultimate change. I think we’ll get there this year. I sincerely appreciate the patience while we take care of some important backend business.
If I could tweak my achievement for 2020, I’d shorten it to just, “What a Long Trip it’s Been.” And I should emphasize that I am now completely okay with long. This past year has taught me that long is fine. Terrific. I honestly hope for many more long slow-moving years. Time goes by too quick and there isn’t enough time left in the universe for me to spend with Little Tournamatch. Twenty-twenty also marked a tragic year for my family; our second child, Jayden, was born in June and experienced several complications which ultimately led to his passing eight days after birth. Life is a precious gift and much too short.
Thank you for your support in 2020, and take care.