With a fresh start in 2017, I resolved to read more, learn more and love more. I figure that the only honest retrospective is a public one.
Not including a long list of children’s books, I did make the slightest improvement in this area. I read short and medium-form content daily, but I really desire for greater depth in my literary content. I started 2 books last year and almost finished Digital Design Theory (Armstrong) a curation of whitepapers and commentary on the transition of graphic design from an analog to a digital-based thought process.
In my personal opinion, a prepared individual must consistently outperform and redefine themselves to remain competitive. I apply these concerns to both the career and, to some degree, family-focused aspects of my life. I set a goal of learning (and not just performing a “Hello World”, but actually understanding) 3 new technologies:
- React Native: By far, the most fun, I’ve had learning this past year. Applying my knowledge of React helped with the transition. Further, my first app is a collaboration to build a consumer product for the IoT space.
- Docker: I actually started using the ecosystem starting in 2016, but I made a point to better understand the workings, especially usings Compose. By no means am I an expert, but understanding the orchestration required to run microservices is a major blessing.
- Google App Engine (GAE): Before 2017, I had deployed a couple very trivial flask sites by closely following the provided tutorials. One of Fount’s clients is heavily invested in GCP (Google Cloud Platform), so this provided an opportunity to host some microservices using GAE. At the end, I was impressed with the platform’s maturity and would consider hosting applications there in the future.
In the hobby space, I completed a few projects utilizing the CNC machine.
I learned how mill 6061 aluminum.
I learned how to do simple inlays.
I produced my first circuit board.
I will keep the personal bits light, but my wife truly is the planetary gear that keeps the family in sync (maybe I need a better analogy). Our 3rd child was born a year ago and what a blessing it has been. It’s been another reason to pare down my work time to be more present with the family (and relieve some burden) from my beloved partner. This past year also began our trial of homeschooling our (now almost 6 year old) first born. My involvement here is an area that I want to improve for this year, especially when science or engineering is involved.
Mostly a Success
A growing family and a growing business kept my time occupied in 2017. I have zero regrets. Although room for improvement exists in every aspect of my life, I feel fulfilled and content with my accomplishments.
Preview for 2018
I am setting a non-agressive, but achievable goal of reading two books this year. I have already learned some new tech (styled-components, Next.js, anime.js) and want to complete a second React Native app. Brushing up on my Python and pursuing machine learning (on top of my academic work) is a priority as well. I’d like to sell my house and buy another one. I want to drink some Chateâu Margaux (a man can dream). I want to teach my 6 year old how to build a simple robot. I will strive to serve my family and provide to my potential. Lastly, in said new house, I want to become a micro-scaled suburban farmer. Lastly, more than a single blog post should be published here in 2018. For blog posts related to my company, I wrote about a Slack app, Spoiler that I built as well as Vote, an anonymous voting app for Slack that I mostly did not build.