16 reasons to be cheerful at the close of 2016

Reasons to be cheerful at the close of 2016

Let’s be honest, 2016 has been a bit of a bumpy ride. It all started when David Bowie died on 10 January. We were only to discover later that he was just the first of raft of cultural greats we would lose in the same year. Then came Brexit to shine a spotlight on our deeply divided nation, and subsequently plunge us deep into a leadership crisis. The long and bitter US presidential battle was next to dominate our news feeds, and now we are about to embark on the era of President Trump.

David Bowie Twitter Quote

As 2016 draws to a close, there are many who will reflect that 2016 was a year they would rather forget. Whatever your position on Brexit or Trump, there are few amongst us that welcome the kind of volatility that has split nations apart this year. And surely everyone loved David Bowie.

Is it time to reboot?

In technology terms, it might be the point that you decide it might be worth turning things off and on again, and see if it all runs a bit more smoothly. Depending on your political or cultural perspective, you could even be considering a full factory reset.

World Reset

The fact is though, that viewed through another lens, 2016 did bring with it reasons to be cheerful. Now, admittedly, this list has been written very much from the perspective of Desynit, with a focus on our team, our sector, our city… but stay with us and take a look at our 16 reasons that 2016 should be celebrated. In no particular order…

16 reasons to be cheerful at the close of 2016

1. Driverless cars are going to become a reality on the streets of Bristol

Given the fact that self-driving cars are projected to reduce traffic accidents by 90%, their introduction onto our roads could quite possibly signify one of the greatest health achievements of this century. The news that Bristol will be amongst the UK cities to pilot self-driving car schemes in 2017/2018 is the icing on the cake.

2. For the first time in branding history, an IT logo incorporated daffodils

2016 was the year that saw the launch of Surf Force by Shaun Holmes. For one day in Aberavon this August, Salesforce, surfing and sunshine came together in glorious harmony. And the logo was truly a mini-work of art.

Shaun Holmes at Surf Force

3. Brexit inspired some brilliant Bristol street art

Stokes Croft Street Art

Bristol’s position on the EU Referendum was irreverent and brilliant, just like the city itself

(Picture: Bristol 24/7)

4. UK and Europe remained firm friends

Simon and Julio in Madrid

..certainly as far as Desynit are concerned. Our man in Spain, Julio Fernandez, has proven beyond a doubt that European teams can still work together just fine, while being brilliant and effective. (Can you spot Alex Tennant in this picture?)

5. Bristol and Bath are going from strength to strength as a UK tech hub

In these post-Brexit times, never has London seemed more like an island than it does today. However, while it might be tempting to think that everything revolves around our capital city, the fact is that Bristol & Bath are becoming more established as a genuine centre for digital business in their own right. FinTech, Virtual Reality and Cyber Security businesses are all clustering in the region. Access to world-class academic institutions, along with lower operating costs and a better quality of life for staff have all led to more tech businesses putting down roots in the region.

6. Jenny Bamber managed to get the selfie of the year

Four members of the Desynit team made the trip to Dreamforce this year. We politely asked for some decent social media updates from the conference (not just pictures of cheeseburgers). We think Jenny did quite well in answering the brief.

Jenny & Benioff Selfie

7. The rise and rise of corporate philanthropy

Rich ex-Silicon Valley CEOs turning their time, fortune and influence to solving some of the world’s most thorny problems is not new for 2016. However, what we would say is that this year has only seen this movement gather pace. At Dreamforce this year Marc Benioff announced that in addition to their well established 1-1-1 model, Salesforce would also be joining forces with RED, an organisation founded by Bono to work towards delivering an AIDs-free generation.

8. Everything was Agile

What is Agile?

Desynit has always been a firm advocate of agile methodologies (It’s even written into our manifesto). It does feel however like 2016 is the year that the agile message went mainstream: our customers accept this as standard. That’s good news for better project delivery and outcomes everywhere

9. Edith brought the ‘Day of the Dead’ to Bristol for Halloween

Day of the Dead

Our developer Edith brought the spirit of her native Mexico to Desynit when she took some of the team along to a ‘Day of the Dead’ party in Bedminster this Halloween. The funny thing was, that Jeremy Yearron looked significantly more at home in this spooky outfit than in his usual attire.

10. Artificial Intelligence came of age

Salesforce Einstein

Salesforce is a pretty good technology bellwether, and the fact that their AI offering ‘Einstein’ was the big announcement at Dreamforce 2016 means that it’s really time to pay attention. The robots are coming and it’s good news for many reasons, too many to list here in too many spheres.

11. Nanotechnology is offering new ways to combat cancer

Imagine a robot small enough to enter the human body.  Selectively and precisely this nanobot could then eradicate cancerous cell, while avoiding the healthy cells. Human trials started this year on this cure for cancer, representing significant progress towards combatting this disease.

12. Gary reinvigorated lawn bowls for a new generation

Long Bowls Gary

(OK this one is definitely niche, but..) 2016 was the year that Gary rediscovered his love of lawn bowls and took the team to the green for his birthday.  In the process  we found out that we have some serious bowling talent among our customers – we are talking about you Donna Knight, UK champ – and some seriously enthusiastic amateurs.

13. Desynit built an App

Actually we built a number of Salesforce Apps, on behalf of our customers. However, we also built a standalone app, destined for the AppExchange. We learnt a lot. Watch this space, it’s coming soon…

14. Soon, you’ll never need to change your fire alarm batteries again

2016 saw the development of breakthrough technology enabling the transfer of power via Wifi to communication devices – so that’s the sensors that your smart home will run on. It’s coming soon. No more bleeping-in-the-middle-of-the-night fire alarm.

15. The GoPro emerged as the single most indestructible piece of hardware available

A GoPro's view from inside a dishwasher

We know this because Simon Lawrence took one on his stag do with him and showed us the results. It wasn’t the footage of canoeing or hiking that led us to this conclusion, but the fact that it went through the intensive cycle of an industrial dishwasher.

16. One more final reason to be cheerful this Christmas

Now admittedly as stated at the outset, some of these reasons are a little ‘local’ to say the least. However, the point is that there has been much progress and positivity this year. We’d really like to hear from you too, and your reasons to be cheerful as we approach the end of the year. Tweet us @Desynit using #2016RTBC and tell us what made you happy in 2016.

Most heartwarming tweet wins a Christmas wine box.

Have a wonderful Christmas with your friends and family and we’ll see you (ready for business) in 2017. 

Reasons to be cheerful at the close of 2016
By Amy Grenham
5 December 2016
BusinessThe Good Systems Blog

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