Brian McKeiver's Blog

2021 Year in Review


Another year has passed us all by as we sit here on New Year’s Eve. Since today is technically a holiday day off for us, and I’m dead tired from the crazy workout this morning, I found a little inspiration to write up a ‘year in review’ blog post. It’s a nice way to reflect on all the things that were accomplished this year. Global pandemic aside, 2021 was a busy and productive year. Blog

In 2020, I rebuilt my blog here at using the latest and greatest version of Kentico Xperience and .NET Core. A lot of my time went into that project and after launch I didn’t have as much motivation to keep going on pure blog posts. Instead, 2021 was the year of speaking and podcasts for me (see below). However, according to my analytics, my top 5 blog posts of the year were:


Kontent Rocks Podcast

One of the areas that I am proud of this year is my newly rebranded and relaunched Kontent Rocks Podcast. I’ve recorded and published the first 4 episodes. During those shows I have really enjoyed discussing all things Kontent related with talented teams at Kontent, Slatwall Commerce, Recombee, and Uniform. Feel free to check out my YouTube channel for Kontent Rocks if you haven’t seen them yet (and click subscribe).

I took a bit of a break in December so I could catch up on end of year stuff, and a much-needed mental break for the holidays, but I will be back next month with more episodes. I already have a few more guests lined up. There are more plans to increase the production quality of the podcast, level up my recording booth, and even do some give aways. Yes, free stuff may be coming. Stay tuned.


Technical Speaking

I was lucky enough to be asked to speak at 6 different conferences and 5 different user groups (both virtually and “in person”). In 2021, I had a blast talking about Azure Cognitive Search, Azure App Services, Azure App Configuration, Azure Static Web Apps, Kontent by Kentico, Kentico Xperience, and JAMStack. I’d have to say my favorite “in person” event was THAT Conference in Wisconsin Dells, WI, USA and favorite virtual event was Kontent Horizons.

I’m really hoping that 2022 is a comeback year for conferences being back “in person”. Speaking virtually is nice and all, but just not the same as being there physically. Being able to interact with an audience is way more fulfilling to me, especially when I get to see the “lights come on” in an audience member’s eyes as I explain a topic.


Work Life @ BizStream

I try not to talk too much about my company here on my personal blog, but 2021 has been a bounce back year for BizStream. The previous few global pandemic laced years were rough for us. But 2021 was complete reversal. We’ve done some amazing work this year in the Kentico Xperience space, where most of our projects have involved building ecommerce solutions and/or highly integrated and personalized sites for our customers. We've also acheived the highest ranking a partner can receive with Kontent this year, and I am very proud of BizStream being a Premium Kontent partner

In fact, our agency has grown a little in terms of total staff count and matured into an organization that can now be described as a full-service digital agency. To support this change, BizStream has even rebranded (including the first new logo in almost 20 years). We are still in the middle of launching this new brand, but I am excited to see where our new direction will take us. Oh, and yeah, I guess I should mention that BizStream also hit 20 years of being in business this year.


Family Life

On the family front, it was a good year. My oldest daughter is now licensed to drive (yes, a scary thought). She was joined by my middle daughter on the high school cross country team this year for the first time. They both crushed it, winning the Coach's award and Freshman of the year award respectively. My youngest daughter is loving her computer (too much?) and I could see her potentially following in my footsteps. My wife is working hard in healthcare and got through a positive COVID test (even though she is fully vaccinated)(no major symptoms thankfully). I’d say the overall highlight for the family was a quick unplanned vacation to San Antonio, TX for spring break back in Q1.

I can’t mention Family or Life without talking about my CrossFit progression this year. I’ve kept the weight off (well mostly off) from 2020. That has allowed me to build some skill and strength in the world of fitness. I’m very happy and surprised even at the movements I thought I would never be able to do, but now can. Remember that crazy workout I mentioned in the intro paragraph? Well, in years past there is no way I could do something like that and not feel like death warmed over a few hours later.


Happy New Year’s everyone, here’s to a better 2022. Let's all go crush it.