unit and acceptance testing, automation, productivity

2014 resolutions review

At the start of this year I posted a [cheesy retro on 2013]({{ site.baseurl }}/2014-01-02-2013-retrospeectives-and-2014-propositions), that ended up with some resolutions for 2014:

  • 5 tweets sharing tech articles I've read a week.
  • 3 days of exercise, or at least 7 minutes workout, a week.
  • 1 original tech blogpost per month.
  • 1 social event for developers a month.
  • 1 tech book every quarter.
  • 1 PR per quarter
  • 2 decent (> 100 stars on GitHub) open source softwares during the year
  • 1 new programming language learned during the year.

The first quarter of 2014 is gone, and I feel like it's time to review how I've been doing.

I've kept track of all my achievements on a .md file on my Dropbox, but I guessed moving the system on GitHub would be better, and more readable.

My only big failure is with the tweets, I see to be very good at adding articles to my Pocket list, but no so much at archiving them.

The point of a retrospective is to improve the next iteration. So taking inspiration from this post by Remy Sharp that ends saying:

Don’t make it hard to achieve, make it hard to give up.

Plan to fail. Plan to cheat.

I'll tune my weekly articles target from 5 to 3, and celebrate chocolate all the extra ones.

Apart from not being very good at reading blogs I've been able to tick all the other checkboxes in my resolutions lists, and I've learned a lot doing so, specially by contributing to liftoff, a tool to setup new Xcode projects without the usual pain written in Ruby. I've also choose what's my new programming language gonna be, Clojure! But before digging into it I need to clear a backlog of iOS/Ruby projects.

I feel like a mention is needed for the exercises. I'm using yet another 7 minutes workout app, that I found really good because it has other exercises apart from the canonical 7 minutes, and let's you build your own sets. I've also got into the habit of doing a quick moving around almost every hour while at work, part of it because of the reminders in the Nike FuelBand SE. I could be running down and up the stairs (we're at the 4th floor), doing front squats, or something with elastic bands. Those tiny breaks make me feel better and more energetic, and help focus back on work.

Although the biggest gain I had from sticking to my resolutions was the value of community events. I'm very lucky to be living in London, and being surrounded by amazing people in the tech scene. The NSLondon meetup has been my favourite monthly event so far, and I had a chance to meet Mattt Thompson and Fabio Pelosin, two developers that inspire me every day, and get in touch with new ideas or tools every time.

Sometime it's easy to get lost between lines of code and impersonal names such as composition, proxy, mock, but the fact is that software is made by people and the real engine that makes our software better is the interaction with other individuals, exchanging opinions, ideas, and a good dose of nonesense!

Enjoy the next three quarters of 2014

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