2017 retrospective

2017 was a weird year. I experienced lots of firsts: I had my first real encounter with mental illnesses (more on that perhaps in another post) but I also experienced many wonderful things! In this post I want to focus on the positive aspects!

Budapest is gorgeous in spring

Not sure I should include eating so much sushi in that list as it definitely contributed to my body basically exploding, but … nevermind 😂

Conferences and traveling

Obviously, conferences were a big part of my year:

I’m actually quite happy with the spread of topics here as it matches my current technology-use pretty well. There is also once again not a single purely commercial event in there.

That being said, next year I want to focus even more. Given that there isn’t a dotGo in the fall and I’m probably not fit to go to London again anytime soon, I will be attending fewer events in 2018. Sadly, due to scheduling conflicts, I’m most likely not going to make it to any of the WriteTheDocs conferences.

Beer garden in Portland

On the other hand, thanks to my wonderful girlfriend I’ve - for the first time since moving to Graz - enjoyed travels outside of conference trips. We are definitely going to do some of them again in 2018 but, sadly, Portland won’t be on that list of destinations. Over the last two years I’ve grown to love that city and I cannot wait to get back there, but not this year 😊

Residency

While I enjoy getting around and seeing different cities, my girlfriend has shown me that I should stay in Austria. Up until March I had quite detailed and far developed plans for moving to Berlin. Now I know, that I just needed to get a new perspective and therefore am planning to stay in Austria and perhaps even in Graz for the foreseeable future.

Contributions

Even more so than last year I spent less time thinking about contributing code and more on actually doing it. Now, when I see something I want to improve I add it to OmniFocus and in most cases even get it done.

I’ve also decided to clean up utilities I use nearly daily and publish them as part of a custom homebrew tap. I’m also thinking less about if I should automate certain tasks or not. This has led me to release concourse-piper and tpl during the second half of 2017.

The World

OK, this is the only part where I have to get a little gloomy:

  • Trump. I don’t even know where to start.
  • We now have a right-far-right government in Austria. I guess the only positive aspect of this is that the left-wing representatives inside the EU have recognised that you shouldn’t condemn a country for a democratically elected government unlike what happened in 2000 (article on The Guardian about when that whole mess ended).
  • North Korea… see Trump.
  • The UK and Article 50… see Trump.

Social media

With Twitter knowing less and less what they are doing I’ve been keeping an eye on Mastodon and am now (January 2018) nearly exclusively using the federated social network when it comes to using any social network 😉 I’m getting most news nowadays again from classic feeds using Feedly. Trying to keep up with pretty much everything in the industry wasn’t healthy and removing myself from the Twitter stream has helped me get my stress level under control and was probably also beneficial to my blood pressure.

Especially during the first half of the year I’ve given Instagram a try and, to my big surprise, really liked it… except, obviously, the curated timeline 😩

Goals

I’ve started to track my goals inside their own repository on Github as this will help me with actually tracking my progress instead of just looking back at my goals at the end of each year 🙄. I got the idea from a post on Mastodon by Jeff Triplett about his own goals repository.

Anyway, here now the summary of how much of my goals I actually achieved and which met the dirt of the road:

  1. Getting a life: I have a girlfriend, I go on trips to cities without there being a conference. I think that should be enough for now 😉
  2. Less grumpy: This is a bit complicated. During the first half of the year I suffered from some mental health issues which are still lingering around. As such, being “grumpy” is perhaps the least of my problems right now 😉
  3. Deeper knowledge: Focusing on Go but also diving once again into VIM et al. has helped here quite a lot.
  4. Even more writing: While I probably won’t be able to write as many blog posts this year as I did in 2016, I’ve written quite a lot on other platforms and also internally at work.
  5. Become an Angel and/or contribute more: I’m now much more active when it comes to reporting bugs/feature-requests and also contributing code. I’m also donating a bit every month to projects I’m using day-in and day-out.

With the exception of #2 I think I’ve completed all my goals. 4 out of 5 then, not bad!

Well, that was my 2017. My firsts, my things I want to do more of, but also a few I could have lived without. On to 2018 and trying to get rid of the negative points 😃

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