Year in Review: 2019

Scott Brady
Scott Brady

I wrote one of these articles last year, talking about what I’d been up to since 2016 and my plans for 2019. I found writing that blog post quite therapeutic, and over the past year, I often caught myself coming back to it (and not just for the pictures).

So, here’s another nostalgic blog post, for a year that felt both too short and too long.

What Happened in 2019

To start, I’ll pat myself on the back. In 2019 I:

The Brady Boys

The State of

This year has seen a steady increase in traffic thanks to a monthly release of articles, with the average number of users per day moving from 1,200 to 1,500.

2019 Website Analytics

I managed to release 20 articles with another 8 on As promised, I branched out towards general user authentication but also developer-focused cryptography. I also got time to play around with Kotlin and Dart.

Top 5 Articles Released in 2019

Out of the articles I wrote this year, you really liked my work on the updated recommendations from the OAuth working group and JWEs.

  1. Migrating oidc-client-js to use the OpenID Connect Authorization Code Flow and PKCE
  2. JSON Web Encryption (JWE) in .NET
  3. ASP.NET Core using Proof Key for Code Exchange (PKCE)
  4. Cheat Sheet: OAuth for Browser-Based Applications (e.g. a JavaScript SPA)
  5. Encrypting Identity Tokens in IdentityServer4


When I initially started blogging I used a free wordpress site. Recently, I forgot to update my payment details for this site, which means it stopped redirecting to my new website. While this was a minor annoyance, it did offer a bizarre snapshot into what my website used to look like and remind me of how much this website has changed over the years.

I am sure I will be changing it again soon enough. - v1
2015 - v2
2016 - v3
2017 - v4

2019 in Pictures

St. Giles Cathedral in Edingburgh
Taking my wife to Edinburgh for her birthday
The Broaden & Build brewery in Copenhagen
And then to Copenhagen at the end of the year (including a visit to one of my favorite breweries: Broaden & Build)
St. Michael's Mount in Conrwall
With a Cornwall “staycation” in between
Myself, Richard Blewett, and Dominick Baier at SDD Conference 2019
Exhibiting at conferences
My fat cat, Benji
Getting one of my cats to lose some weight
Lincoln Memorial at Washington DC
Visiting Washington DC for Identiverse
Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen 2019
Drinking too much beer at the Mikkeller Beer Celebration Copenhagen
Super car day
Driving a fast car around a track
Childish Gambino at the London O2
Seeing Childish Gambino at the O2
A Varmillo Keyboard with Cherry MX Clears
Finding a weird love for mechanical keyboards
My new house
Watching our house get built (our’s is the not grey one with a roof)

Plans from 2019

I set some goals for 2019; some worked out if you squint your eyes, others not so much.

  • Get halfway through the cryptopals challenges - nope, I got the intro done, but got bored by AES. However, I did skip ahead to challenge set 5 for SRP
  • Lay off the imperial stouts - kinda, I’m no longer obese, only overweight
  • Buy a house - yep, just waiting for the builders to finish it
  • Travel only when necessary - kinda, but there was more long-haul
  • Write at least one blog post a month - I missed August as I burnt myself out creating a Pluralsight course. But, I did manage to write 7 in January and 4 in February so I’m going to let that one slide
  • Read The Imposter's Handbook - nah, wasn’t my style
  • Redesign my article layout - yeah, but still not happy, maybe I’ll have another go if I have a holiday in 2020
  • Update the UI of IdentityManager2 - nope, but I overhauled the authentication and updated it to ASP.NET Core 3.1. Expect more on this soon

Plans for 2020

  • Write at least one blog post a month - I found this to be the right cadence for me
  • Lose more weight - another 5 or 10 kilos would be good for me, but let’s not fool myself about the stout this year
  • Build something with my hands - my new house has a garage, and I would like to start woodworking again, which is something I haven’t done since high school
  • More crypto - This year has seen a new focus on cryptography for me. While I often struggle with the maths, I enjoyed making silly implementations and talking about how it all works. So maybe it’ll be more cryptopals or just more stuff on elliptic curves, but expect some more of this over the coming year
  • Update the UI of IdentityManager2 - I mean it this time. I’ll even try and use some resource from Rock Solid Knowledge
  • Another Pluralsight course - I don’t know what on yet, but once a year seems to be all I can manage alongside full-time employment
Benji Toby

Happy New Year!