Year 2017 review and resolutions
Every time a new year passes by I feel a mix of two reactions: on one side, my first impression is always of a slight disappointment, as if I had not accomplished enough or hadn't made much more of a change compared to how I was when the year first started.
Then, I try to keep a cold mind and start enumerating the nice, interesting things I have done and learned, as well as all the new friendships made and the strengthening of existing ones.
I don't really count Belgium since this is my third year living here, and 2018 will start as my fourth year outside my beloved Spain.
I have been to quite some nice places though. Some of them I had already been there, some of them were new, but mostly I prioritized people over places themselves. Almost every new city or country I went to was due to the interest in catching up with old friends or traveling together for a long weekend. There is however one long-trip exception. I don't have the places noted down so I'll try to draw them directly from memory.
- Germany: Berlin.
- The Netherlands: Amsterdam, Den Haag, Maastricht, Rotterdam.
- Spain: Barcelona, Madrid.
- United Kingdom: London.
- Norway: Bergen.
- France: Paris, Reunion Island.
- Bulgaria: Sunny Beach.
Most of the places I went to were due to friends living there, visiting over, or just an excuse to make a small trip. Reunion Island was the best trip I have ever done in my life. The island is a Département d'Outre Mer belonging to France, a small island in the Indic Ocean, next to Madagascar and Mauritius, is a paradise on earth, a territory full of incredible mountains, beautiful views, amazing food, and unbelievably welcoming people.
A hodgepodge of cultures, religions, and origins. A hidden oasis for those who seek an inner voyage.
Best. Place. Ever.
Work & Technologies
The year started quite strong, I moved in October to the Semantic Technology branch of my company in the last part of the year 2016 and I had to learn quite fast all the new technologies and stacks that were used in my new team. I won't make an exhaustive list, just some things where I feel I have sensibly improved.
- Python: I developed & maintained several microservices in this language, so I needed to brush up on it and its particularities. I enjoyed a lot working with async/await, list comprehensions, lambda functions, and OOP back again. I am lucky I have a very patient mentor, my colleague @cecton, a pouring fountain of python know-how.
- Docker: I had to learn, fight and dive into docker containers, images, volumes, docker networking, and docker-compose applications, suffering several quirks, since the majority of the projects were developed in this manner.
- Linux Makefiles: This was equally annoying and fun. I had to extend a data transformation pipeline using a Makefile, so I needed to deal for several weeks with it, it was very nice when I discovered that you can define functions inside Makefiles to avoid repeating code for very similar build targets!
- SPARQL: Since I work in a Linked Data-oriented team, we store data in triplestores accessed with the SPARQL query language, so I needed to learn the basics.
- Elasticsearch & Kibana: I became familiar with Elasticsearch & Kibana due to a new project that came up and I was the available developer by then. It proved a lucky strike since I had a lot of fun learning them and they are widely used in the industry.
- I had a double improvement: I improved both my presentational skills and my English as a result of doing small presentations and exposing my work to colleagues.
- I have written quite some blog posts and therefore my technical communication skills feel cleaner.
- I practiced some Dutch for fun before I realized I was able to maintain simple but complete conversations while doing my daily tasks.
- I learned how to sew basic torns.
- I managed to cook some cool dishes when cooking for friends!
I have not done as much sport this year as I would've liked but I've had my fair share of fun.
- Running: on the beach, in the woods, anywhere.
- Trampoline park: they opened one in my hometown and had to test it.
- Gymnastics: this was tough.
- Climbing: a colleague and I have tested multiple boulder and climbing walls around.
- Crossfit: a single day, very physically taxing, I would think twice before repeating.
- Working out at the gym: as always, just to stay as fit as possible.
New Year 2018 Resolutions
- Reading at least 3 technical books.
- Starting to learn a new language: this is very tricky, since I genuinely enjoy languages and choosing a new one is hard. I want a very complicated one that forces my mind to twist, so I was thinking between chinese, arabic, russian or german.
- Giving a talk at a conference/meetup: the worst part of this is going to be deciding about the topic..
- Travel to another continent. I have never left Europe yet!
- Learn a new programming language/paradigm. I am thinking in Rust or Clojure.
- Create a stock market portfolio and perform my first investment.
- Be able to perform three consecutive muscle-up.
That's it. I think I will be able to do all of them.