So here we are, the end of a year, the end of a decade even. In a few hours, we will be entering 2020. Welcome to my 2019 year review.
The biggest thing that happened then was that I published my most popular post ever, not the one I expected. One about whether slow CI can be used as an excuse by lazy developers. It surprised me that it got about 6000 reads within the first two days I published it. This flabbergasted me, also I started saying flabbergasting more often. Retrospectively I don’t know that it deserved the attention it got at least in relation to the other posts of the year. I guess the right person read it and spread it around. Also, I bought my first bike since middle school to cycle in Central London, my middle name may be Davy but I think my parents misspelled Danger.
Nothing too crazy there aside from the fact I turned 28. Actually in terms of blogging nothing happened until June. Maybe the pressure of writing a quality post to match the reach of the January entry hit me harder than I thought. I also know that we were in the final months-long push in a project I was traveling for weekly which demanded more effort and time than ever.
Thomas Tuchel pimped PSG players out to Manchester United in yet another remontada. More importantly, I got back in touch with the mobile developer in me. After seeing a resurgence of downloads noticed in February for CoinzProfit, I decided to fix a few UI bugs that laid in there since last year. Nothing crazy but it felt good to open XCode again.
I got back in touch with my inner app dev once more and started developing a new app related to that bike bought in January: ParkMyCycle. Nothing special about it, just an app to share parking locations around the world. The issue with it though is that there are no users. No users, no data. No data, no users. To be fair there are a few users, more than I thought without marketing but I would be surprised that any user got a parking spot from another. I used that project as a way to improve my Typescript skills which I started learning on a side project that I binned last year.
The app isn’t dead, the cloud hosting is cheap and I can sharpen my skills maintaining it once in a while. Maybe it will even have a website at some point. Another notable point from April is the release of Avengers: Endgame which started every single person working around to talk about being in the endgame about any project. Also, we won’t talk about Game of Thrones season 8 even though I enjoyed it.
By then I started laying back work-wise, traveling only every couple of weeks, bringing the final touches on a very lengthy project. Taking fewer and fewer flights definitely helped my work/life balance even up. I also took on a new hobby: podcasting. Following a late April chat with a friend, I got up and bought microphones to record the first episode of the PDW. I am really happy about that new adventure and recorded seven episodes so far, I hope you’ll tune in for episode seven. Another thing I did back then was taking on learning Python for like a day. I got back to it later for an hour but that’s another story that I already published.
Finally, I returned to blogging after a fabulous holiday with my girlfriend. Definitely the best holiday I had in my adult life. I worked fairly hard for it and played really hard. We went to Aruba for a couple of weeks. We explored the island, went for hikes, snorkeling, and even jet-skying. Still, we had plenty of time sipping cocktails with flamingos by our side before heading back to work even harder. Also, I realized a kinda life long dream of seeing the Spice Girls live at the Etihad. Traveling to Manchester was a small price to pay since London dates were in the middle of our dream holiday. And the cherry on the icing is that we even got to see Pink in Wembley upon our return home.
I published an entry about how I did not learn Python back in May and wrote about code refactoring using Java examples. And I had a lot of fun writing both of these. I actually wrote a couple more posts later on so I guess that is when I really got my blogging mojo back. From there I started publishing an average of exactly two posts per month excluding this one. There have been a few more that proved too controversial or low quality to be up in here.
I decided to add a news section to my CoinzProfit app. I spent a bit of time trying to find the right API to integrate with the existing backend. It took me about a few days to write a backlog and enough of it to be happy for a new release.
The month of the more appreciated than I pictured post about studying for and taking on the AWS Solutions Architect Associate exam within ten days. So I passed the exam and wrote a post plus a quickstart/cheatsheet for the world to enjoy. Also, I went to Sweden for the first time for the weekend before taking on the exam. An unusual break but a welcome one for sure. This was definitely the most chill month where I really could take care of my mind between two big projects. Later that month I even went to Paris to attend my little sister engagement ceremony.
I learned about Kubernetes and developed a couple of projects to get a decent grasp of it and started looking into Helm. Finally, I finished dealing with tons of paperwork and got graced with buying my first property in London. Even better, I wrote my first poem in two years. Hopefully, I’ll be inspired to write another one sooner.
I moved into my new place with my girlfriend and wrote a bunch about Github Actions. Actually, I even wrote a couple of actions that allow setting up a build to run Kubernetes applications in there. I may have a deeper look when I actually start playing with Helm charts development. In personal life, I went to Paris once more to attend the baptism of my brand new godson.
The Advent of Code 2019 shaped my December to the extent that my morning routine transformed. Waking up every day around 5-6 am not for the gym but for coding makes a man different. When I took part last year I didn’t go further than day 7, so this year’s goal was to go and get all 50 starts and completing the 25 days. The first couple of weeks were alright as challenges could take about an hour or two max.
I actually did fine until day 18 hit me like a brick. I probably rewrote the code for that one like seven times over a four-day period while catching up on other days. Eventually, I dropped it the challenge with forty stars so five days missing. The day 18 hiccup followed by the loss of the company London #1 rank played in my decision to stop. Add tricker problems for me to tackle plus visiting family in Paris from the 21st to the 30th and voila.
I intend to revisit the bits I haven’t done and those that got me stuck because there are definitely patterns and tricks I can learn for the next editions. I had tons of fun doing it and hope that next year is the one where I get the 50 stars to rescue Santa.
The 2019 year review is now complete
I hope you enjoyed this 2019 year review and enjoyed this year as much as I have. This has been a year full of stuff but only from my point of view others might see it as just another year. However, that other year felt special to me from what I did and what happened. Your year is yours to make special or not. If you don’t like what you’re doing or where you’re at do something, anything. And maybe, just maybe you can look back on your year and see what you’ve done. Failures, successes they’re all attempts. You have more to gain by trying something than by doing nothing. Thanks again for reading this 2019 year review and I will see y’all in 2020.