2015 in Retrospect

Wow, 2015 is already over and it once again feels like one of these years were I didn’t get anything done. But, luckily, that’s not completely true as I noticed while writing this post. I learnt a lot, went to a lot of great places and had fun. I was also fortunate enough that there were no accidents or family incidents this year with any mid- to long-term effects. Fingers crossed for next year.

Conference & Travel Season

Just like in previous years, I’ve tried to combine exploring cities I haven’t been to before (or not recently) with interesting conferences. As I’ve started to move a bit away from Python as my main focus I’ve also started to go to a more diverse set of conferences. That I heard great talks and met extremely interesting people at all these events goes without saying, … but I just said it anyway 😊

I went to a ton of events I hadn’t been before:

but also to a couple of good old friends:

Most of them I also plan to attend again perhaps with the exception of PolyConf which is simply to far outside of what is useful to me right now. I was especially blown away by the larger community events in this list: FOSDEM and Congress. Both had been on my radar for ages but I had never managed to go there before. Not so last year and I’ve already added them to my list of “must-go events”. Just think about it: The Congress had about 13,000 attendees and more than 1,000 helpers!

On these trips I went to many cities I had never visited before and so I started a dedicated travel blog (travelogue) in April for all the sight-seeing, hotel- and restaurant-reviews. For some reason I forgot to document trips made during the last 4-5 months but I will hopefully get around filling these holes in the next weeks. That and change the theme and update that thing as a whole. That being said, Hugo has worked really well there so far and I plan to do more with this site (like including maps etc.) and possibly Hugo in general.

Technology and Languages

It comes with the job that a big focus for me are programming languages, the tools I use, and technology in general. Last October I finally made the move back to using 100% iOS on my mobile devices simply because of OmniFocus and the camera on the iPhone 6s (and some minor other tools) as detailed here.

When it comes to programming languages the downwards trend for Python and me has continued. For most of the things I write, Go and JavaScript with Node.js are simply better fits but for small tools and simply brainstorming an idea Python is still my language of choice. It’s just too comfortable for extracting data from Excel sheets, for instance.

I’ve also tried to get into some newer languages like Elixir and Clojure but nothing has stuck so far. Elixir looked extremely promising to me but for now it’s simply not a good fit and I don’t enjoy Erlang OTP all that much. Clojure might be more along my alley, though. And don’t get me started on Haskell (which I also at least read a book about this year). This was so far away from what I want to code in, I can’t find the right words πŸ˜‰

When it comes to web-frontend technologies I’ve finally had time to work more with React.JS and absolutely loved it. Especially when combined with Redux I had tons of fun and am really looking forward to doing more with it in 2016. These two were also the two pieces of software that impressed me the most last year.

Life, Health, and everything else

Health-wise I feel better than ever. Over the last 2-3 years I’ve lost about 20kg and changed my daily routine (at least on work-days) to include walking home from work or riding a bike in both directions no matter the weather.

What I’m not yet happy with is my fanatism when it comes to software craftsmanship. Counteracting this with chocolate only works so far πŸ˜‰ I really have to work on that and I will!

Review of the goals for 2015

So did I manage to at least complete some of the goals I had set out to do last year?

  • More JavaScript: I definitely did more JavaScript, also in my spare-time. I’m actually quite happy with the mix I code in right now, so I see that as a βœ“
  • Doing some Django again: Yes, I’ve worked with Django again but not enough for my liking. Esp. with the upcoming channels I want to do more again and perhaps be more active in the community. ❌
  • More blogging. βœ“
  • More weekend trips: To some degree managed that thanks to Django under the Hood, dotGo, FOSDEM et al. βœ“
  • Only spare-time project I enjoy: βœ“

4 out of 5, not bad 😊

But this post has already become too long so I will write about my goals for 2016 another time. Happy new year, everyone! πŸ˜ƒ