2016 retrospective

The absolute highlight of the year: My trip to Portland.

2016 was a bit of a weird year for me. I always had in the back of my head that I should finally move away from Graz but at the same time I wasn’t sure if I actually wanted to. This is something that will probably keep being an issue for the next couple of months πŸ˜‰

Conferences and traveling

But in general, I think it was a good year. I, once again, went to tons of great conferences, albeit not as many as in previous years:

No idea, why I didn’t write about DotGo esp. since this was probably the most enjoyable event of that series so far for me!

That being said, the absolute highlight of the year was my trip to Portland for WriteTheDocs US and PyCon US in May. This city now has a very special place in my heart and I cannot wait to return in a couple of months.

PyVideo & contributing to OSS

There I also started contributing to the PyVideo project. Sadly, over the last months I’ve done far less than I set out to but I hope I can find some time during my trip to Brussels for FOSDEM (and ideally in the time before that) to work on a couple of things that have bother me for some time 😊

In general, I’ve tried to be more active when it comes to contributing code to various projects. Whenever I see something that is bothering me, I try to write a report and ideally even a PR for that. I’m still struggling with keeping a balance between contributing to OSS and my other hobbies (esp. reading and listening to podcasts) but I think I’m starting to see a light at the end of that particular tunnel.

Learning French on Duolingo

During the year I was working really hard on my Duolingo streak. Except for one or two accidental interruptions I managed to keep the streak going throughout the year and finished the French course right before New Year’s Eve. I’m not yet sure what I’ll do as a next step, though. I definitely want to avoid the situation I faced right after my final high-school French exam all those years ago, when I forgot everything within a month because of neglect.

Perhaps I’ll start reading French news or Wikipedia entries alongside German and English ones. As for Duolingo, I will most likely not continue practicing there for now, but perhaps I will return for a different language in the future 😊


Technology-wise this year has probably been the year of containers and Docker for me. By now I’ve moved pretty much every project I’m actively working on over to Docker (if possible) and am integrating it more and more into my local development workflow.

I’m not yet completely happy with how configuration is handled in those projects, though, as having plain-text passwords flying around in environment files is sub-optimal to say the least. There I’m currently looking into Vault.

With regards to other tools and technologies, not all that much has changed in 2016. Emacs is still my editor of choice after a quick sight-seeing tour in VSCode-land. Go, JavaScript, and Python are still my preferred languages and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Sadly, Django hasn’t really resurfaced for me but React is becoming more and more important as the tool-chain around it matures.

Content ownership and privacy

Content ownership and privacy were also becoming even more important for me this year. With the road both Twitter and Facebook are both on, I’ve decided to prioritize my blog. That was also the reason why I spent half of 33C3 re-integrating a search engine and yearly archive into it after moving to Hugo earlier this year. Everything important to me will be reflected here (alongside these other channels).

I’ve started to rely on messengers like Threema and Signal (with WhatsApp as a last resort) more and more. That being said, I’m really not happy with the way this whole market is fragmented and how mediocre some of the provided UIs are. At least I could avoid things like Telegram so far.

My use of GnuPG has also gone up quite significantly. There are still far too few people I communicate with this way, but that’s another issue πŸ˜‰

The world and everything else

  • Soldiers on the streets and in the airports of Brussels and Paris while I was there πŸ˜”
  • Trump, Brexit, right-wing populism, terror attacks all around the world… 😞
  • Austria has a (former) green president πŸ’š
  • Big thanks to Jonny Cruz for the most uplifting tweet of the year and to WeRateDogs for at least one smile per day! ❀️
  • Overwatch ❀️
  • I managed not to play a single minute of PokΓ©mon Go πŸ˜‰

How about last year’s goals?

Last but not least, I want to review the goals I had set for myself last January:

  • Become an angel: As I already wrote in my post about the 33C3, I sadly didn’t angel this year. That being said, I just ordered a DECT phone so not having one will definitely no longer be an excuse πŸ˜‰ ❌
  • More blogging: Well, last year I managed to write 60 blog posts! βœ“
  • I didn’t move out of Graz last year. In the end, that was a good decision, though. Especially during last months of the year I got to know a few really nice people 😊 ❌
  • Re-learning French: Just in time for the new year I’ve managed to get through the core Duolingo course material. βœ“
  • Contributing more: I’m not sure how I should measure this one but to me it feels like a success. Quite a few pull-requests were made, I tried to help here and there with documentation, and I donated more than during 2015. βœ“

3.5 out of 5 (as I don’t really want to count me not moving as a complete failure) doesn’t sound too bad πŸ˜„ Now I just have to come up with some goals for 2017…