Illustration of a red haired manIllustration of a red haired man

Matt Bidewell

Goodbye, 2022

Goodbye, 2022


2022 was an interesting year for me. I left my previous role at A Million Ads and started a new one at GDS. I've found a passion for working on Open Source. I gained a silly amount of weight. I travelled to 3 countries. I refound my love for running. It was a good year, I realised a lot about myself, what I want to do and how I want to get there.

In the world of tech, I've been busy. I've started work on my own (hobby) programming language called Gloop. Learn a lot about lexical analysis and how NodeJS works. I've rebuilt this site and I'm satisfied with its current design and build. Found a bug in Apple's Safari browser. Found a bug/undocumented feature in AWS Sam. I started caring a lot more about web performance, and much more.


My time at GDS

It's been interesting. I've loved the problem space I've worked in and the engineers I've worked with. However, I did has issues. In the 365 days I've been here, I haven't felt like I've had opportunties to progress my career, for this reason, I've handed my notice in. It's sad. I never expected to leave so soon.

Thats not to say that was the only issue, the over use of contractors who like to work in siloed, are individual contributors and don't bring much to the culture of the team is another big reason. I want to work at a company where people are passionate about the problems they're solving and are not ticket pushers.

What I did thoughly enjoy was the problems. It ignited a passion inside of me for programming in the open, giving back to those libraries we use and doing things in the 'propa' way.

Working at GDS made me feel responsible for every single end user, which quickly translated to every single person who would use a UK Government service. Making everyones journey work is a important component of what I wanted to achieve whilst at GDS. And to an extent. I did.

Code wise, I wasn't learning much new, another reason to look elsewhere. However, what I did find myself learning was a lot of Infrastructure as Code and security best practices. Also its not everyday you can say you worked with colleagues from some of the greatest cyber security divisions. Something I'm proud of.

Onwards to 2023

I'll start by saying, I will be starting a new role in the start of 2023. More on that soon.

When thinking of 2023 goals, I think it's best to make them measurable as possible and themed. In terms of accountability, I'll be including the goals in my vibe check series.


  • Health Improvements

    • Weight loss:
      • Start 256lbs
      • Target of 210lbs
      • Bonus < 200lbs
    • Running:
      • Distance: 500km
      • 5km time: < 30 mins
      • 10km time: < 1:05 hr
  • Personal development

    • Write 12 vibe checks. (1 Per month)
    • Make at least 1 contribution to NodeJS or its core packages

And that's all for now. Happy 2023 everyone.