2015 retrospective

I haven’t blogged in a great while, but I figured I would at the end / start of the year.

It’s being a bumpy ride in the last 2 years. I missed writing a yearly retrospective last year, so I really had to do it for this one.

Ok, here it goes. (btw, I won’t name drop)

Major points in the year:

Writing book reviews

Book reviewing has been a habit of mine that started on a whim.

Looking back into 2014, when I started reviewing books and 2 years later,

I can say that this has been one of the best decisions I’ve made.

Book reviewing gives me the opportunity in a rather serious manner, to give feedback to authors’ and help other people pick a better read.

Needless to say, I review mostly (90%) technical books. I just can’t read a non-technical book anymore.

To anyone wanting to pick a good habbit - start reviewing books. Goodreads is a good platform for that.

To anyone reviewing books longer than me wondering why Goodreas over Amazon - Goodreads gives me a more structured and focused on book reviewing approach.

Also you’ll definitely receive recognition for your reviews at some point. For me this happened after 2 years. But as the Johnie Walker ad goes - “You’ll reach further as long as you have fun on the way.”.

Make sure you enjoy it! :)

Met wonderful colleagues in a new job

March I started a new job. 2nd/3rd job of mine where I was actively part of a great team that developed web and mobile apps.

I learnt a lot about Agile development, team work, what it means to be reliable and how social and fun a company can be.

And the time passed faster than I could ever imagine. :)

Yet, in the fall the job started to become a run, not a marathon. The client was under pressure and it started to reflect on the tech team. At that point my hair started to fal while I barely made 21 years in September. I knew that this wasn’t supposed to be.

While I loved the team at that job and still do, I started to look for new opportunies and found a new home in the new job. And after a stay of 9 months, I changed the job. Move on to next section.

Met wonderful colleagues in a new job, again

The new job revolves around developing a forex trading platform. The platform is mature but there’s a lot of work.

The problems that need to be solved are varying in difficulty and time. The team just recently started growing and there are workflow-based problems that need to be solved.

This is probably the best place to work at if you want to actually prove you are a problem-solver. Yet I feel like I’m under-performing as I’m currently closing a period where I had one of the worst time management and efficiency in the past year. I hadn’t been able to complete and review a book for one whole month at a time. While I did definitely reach 50% and more of more than 1 book, I didn’t commit till the end.

However, as the new year comes with new resolutions, this is to change. If nothing good comes out of the resolutions - at least you have the motivation in the first two months. :D But we all know motivation comes and goes. It’s the habbit that stays and keeps you running.

Spoke at a tech conference to 1000 people

This also happened on a whim where I thought - what could possibly go right if I spoke at a tech conference even though

I’ve never done it before and I’m not a natural talent to begin with.

Turns out the talk about “Open-source contributing” was delivered by me better than expected.

I met new people and had fun at the conference. Huge props for the organizers for giving me the chance!

Minor points:

No rest for the wicked - contributing ever more

I’m only happy when it rains.. wait, what?

I’m happy when I contribute to open source projects and make a change.

In 2015 I submitted some good PRs to ubuntu-make, but in the fall I started slacking big time

and even switched to Ruby. While I think Ruby has more flaws than Python language-wise excluding tooling and eco-system,

I contribute a bit more in Ruby now and try to be useful here and there with JS.

For the life of mine I can’t start something useful by myself. I’ll be eternally “envious” (proud) of the people who

are able to recognize a problem in a language’s community and bring out a tool to solve it. It needs a lot of experience,

nerves and will to make something usable out of it.

Imposter syndrome

As time goes, people’s expectations grow and the burden gets heavier.

While my goals aren’t easy to begin with, I suffered from imposter syndrome a lot this year.

At points I felt I was absolutely bad and unable to solve problems while I was ctually receiving praise for my performance.

One thing is certain - my opinion of my performance is mixed. I always aim for the top, but fall short.

If I could wish to straighten one thing out in the 2016, it’s to focus on less things and excell at them.

I reach new levels where I’m surrounded with amazing people. Being subpar isn’t an option.

Spacemacs (Evil Emacs) user

Finnaly I joined the master race! Jokes aside, Emacs and Vim were always on my radar,

but I never had enough drive to make the change.

Well in the fall I finally changed. Spacemacs hit all the right spots.

It had everything I needed to start using Emacs and Vim at the same time.

Leaving behind Sublime Text and Atom is a big plus for me.

While I can’t say I’m comfortable in Spacemacs yet, I definitely get more out of it than Atom could ever gi

For anyone wondering, I’m using Spacemacs in Evil mode (Vim mode).

I honestly think modal editing is a better fit for me, but the Emacs toolset impressed me more.

Learning Lisp is one of my goals.


Seasons die one after another