Four years later.
A rushed, half-assed yearly summary, right to your screen! Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Looking back at the previous year’s entry, last January feels like an eternity ago. 2020 was a turbulent, rough year for most people, and I really count my blessings that it has been kind to me and people around me; I don’t take it for granted. I had to make a conscious effort to avoid hot takes, stay on top of things at work and be there for friends and family. This small corner of the internet still has no intention of hitting it big time, but helped me express myself, develop myself and compose myself once again.
What happened here, during the past 365 days?
- A total of 32 posts were published (four times as many as the year before)
- Here. are. some. highlights.
- One series of posts took the form of a presentation at the GoWay.io conference. You can read or watch my work – that’s if you’re interested in a mediocre presentation about some limitations of Go in a single-machine context
- I got some independent offers to have guest posts or to promote educational material via affiliate links, which I had to decline
- There’s now an /opensource and a Derek-Sivers-inspired /now page
- Some minor CSS properties were changed
- I was contacted from readers, with encouragement, corrections, criticism at least once a month
There were some events that put a smile on my face, and encouraged me to keep on going. One example is seeing posts featured on aggregators and third-party publications like Golang Weekly, Golang News, LibHunt, Lobste.rs, or the Orange Website. Another is seeing other people using my resources and tutorials to build cool things; so I hope I can assist and inspire even more people to hack on kickass projects!
What I was more pumped up though was two occasions. First one, when my younger brother (a DevOps) got to meet his new team, he was asked “Is your brother tpaschalis? I’ve read his blog!”
And the second when I received this message at work one morning
Looking back to last year’s summary…
Here’s the goals I stated in early 2020 :
- I’d love to write a lot more. I initially set of a goal of 52 posts (~one per week), but I already feel slacking off. Now that I’ve written this in public, I hope I can gather the courage to do it.
- I’d love to improve quality.
- Until recently, I was pretty confident about my English skills. Working with english-speaking people on a day-to-day basis, made me understand that there’s room for improvement. So a goal is both to proofread and fix past posts, and improve on new ones.
- I’m thinking about switching to Hugo, and/or switching to another, personal domain. I don’t want to break any links, and if this happens, it will probably need to be early during 2020.
- vol 2 I will either publish a small game, or a small ‘book’-like thingy
Unfortunately I didn’t reach that 52-post goal. Looking back, the number of posts (as well as semi-publishable drafts) is steadily growing. I wish I could say that about quality as well, but I cannot be the judge of that.
Github Pages still work fine – so fine that I’ve opted to use them at
$DAYJOB as well! To be honest, I don’t feel the urge to change something on that front right now.
Unfortunately I did not publish a game or something resembling a book. I took a stab and started developing a couple of videogames, but finally went off yak-shaving things that seemed more interesting at that moment.
Something interesting is that the act of writing is slowly turning from something I dreaded, to a creative, fun outlet. If I’ve had a rough day, or have 30 minutes to kill, I might either try to sneak in some gaming, or sit down and review a draft from the previous week/write down some thoughts on a recent disastrous deploy at work. I wouldn’t believe that writing could be so enjoyable, but here we are!
Also, something I “knew”, but I finally really understood, is that becoming good at writing, communicating and expressing ideas, as with most things, is only attainable through relentless practice. Working in a remote setting, the need for expressiveness, concise communication and clarity of speech is vital. As software engineers, these skills are critical for our craft, so I set out to deliberately practice these skills each and every day.
Finally, this year, I found myself learning ‘deeper’ rather than ‘wider’. This is in contrast to the past few years, and a nice change of pace. On the plus side, is that there’s a whole backlog of new things to explore, so my learning roadmap for 2021 is very optimistic!
Goals for 2021..?
- I’ll keep on aiming for 52 posts (~one per week), and higher-quality original content at the same time
- Present at another conference
- Be able to express ideas with more clarity, conciseness, and confidence
- Become an “expert software engineer”, for some definition of this phrase
- Continue deep-diving into Go and Distributed Systems
- Master a functional language.
- vol 3 I will either publish a small game, or a small ‘book’-like thingy
I hope that 2021 brings peace, prosperity, health and happiness to you and your families. Let’s all try to make the world a better place, one step at a time, one good deed at a time.
I really appreciate you taking the time to be here, on this journey.
See you around,