First of all, I don’t want to get too technical about the start and end of decades. Personally, I would prefer the decade to had ended in 2019; yet I think 2020/12/31 will be the end of the current decade.

Anyway, since I already explained that the title is technically incorrect - what else can we expect from this article?

More or less the article is a personal one, I want to reflect on what happened last year and compare it with what I expected before. Luckily, I wrote a similar article at the beginning of last year Year++ - A Software Engineer’s New Year’s Resolutions.

The second part of the article is about the things I intend to do this year. Let’s see how all of this ends.

2019s resolutions

My last year’s resolutions were:

  • Writing 50 blog posts
  • Learn Android (Kotlin)
  • Improve the Stability of the Backend I was working on
  • Extend my Knowledge of Backend Technologies

Ok, let’s check if I did even achieve anything of these.

Writing 50 blog posts: The resolution I actually remembered and already knew before checking that I would be missing a few posts. I wrote 24 blog posts last year. I knew I would be short - but I am still quite satisfied with the actual count.

Writing those posts was more work than I initially expected. I have to stay at it in order to reach a similar count next year.

Learn Android (Kotlin)

In a conversation, this would be when you try to avoid eye-contact. Obviously, I didn’t put too much pressure on this. In the first quarter of the year, I learned the Android Basics using Java in my spare time. Since then I didn’t use any of that knowledge.

When it comes to Kotlin it looks a bit better. At work, we had a 3-month exploration. The Backend was a Kotlin Spring Boot service. For the current product I am working on, Kotlin is used for several services.

Improve the Stability of the Backend

I would count this a success: Despite leaving my old project earlier than expected, I still could use the time I had to improve the stability together with my colleagues. My latest tasks were the foundation for further improvements.

Extend my Knowledge of Backend Technologies Looking back, this worked pretty well. Joining the new product allowed me to get in contact with technologies that were new to me. To name a few: Keycloak, Postgres, Kubernetes, Azure.

Recap of 2019s resolutions

I didn’t reach all my goals. But what did I do instead?

With the new product, there were new personal challenges.

A big part of the initial effort was to migrate the existing project to a new team. I also was the first developer of that new team.

One of my occupations was to staff the new team. I didn’t have the freedom that I was expecting still, I am more than satisfied with the final outcome. I think we have a really good team that can throw at all problems that come along. Even after the team staffing was completed, I participated in a lot of interviews for future candidates.

Instead of learning Android, I had a good refresh on the basics of React, one of the most popular JavaScript Web Frameworks. I expect that I can further deepen that knowledge during the next year.

So much for 2019 - what will 2020 have in store for me?

New Year Resolutions for 2020

I enjoy writing for Programmerfriend.com, I definitely want to keep it going. I don’t want to commit to a number here, but I realized I need to create a schedule for writing blog posts. Let’s commit to writing at least the same amount of posts as in the previous year.

When giving advice to others, I always stress to get out of the comfort zone. I also want to do this to myself and therefore will try to get into some kind of public speaking. I’m not yet settled on the way I want to tackle this in detail, but we will see.

Still out of my comfort zone: I want to start my own things. Programmerfriend is really awesome, but I think it could be the time to start something on my own, a side-hustle to my daily 9 to 5. I still don’t have any clue but I am pretty sure I will come up with something during the next few months.

Lately, I realized that my typing became a bit bad. I measured it and it seems that I max out at around 70 words per minute. It is not only the speed but I would love to switch back to using more than 4 to 6 fingers for it. If it is not for the speed, I would love to do it for ergonomics and convenience. This year I want to go back to Touch typing with higher accuracy.

When it comes to my current work, I am pretty satisfied with how everything works out right now. Things I would like to improve are:

  • Meeting efficiency: Replace meetings by e-mails when possible.
  • Continue to work on the project/team: Instead of just writing code, I got a lot of tasks that require me to go beyond that. I am a technical person but I am not just someone who writes code. I love to improve the whole Development process where possible. No matter if it is about Testing, CI/CD or talking to product owners or architects when thinking about the next features we want to implement.
  • Network at Work: I still have the feeling that at work I have a limited view over all the aspects. Therefore I would like to reach out to colleagues who are working on other projects in my business unit.
  • Help where Help is needed/wanted: In my opinion, the company as such or at least the business unit is facing a rough time. I would really like to help outside of my current scope where possible. Let’s see if I get the opportunity to do so.

Recap

We talked a lot about the past, today and the near future. This article focused on me, but how about you? What are your new year resolutions for 2020?

I really would love to hear them. Either here as a comment or on Twitter .



About the Author:

Marcus "Mo" Eisele

Marcus is fascinated by technology. He loves learning new things.
He is a Software Engineer at Daimler TSS.