Welcome to my new blog.
How many people finish each year with a sense of lack-of-accomplishment? For me it always feels like I did in high school, just before each new semester was about to start. I’ve bought all my books, I’ve gotten all new pencils and sharpeners, I’m ready to tackle the world. However, come the first day at school and the illusion shatters and I’m stuck back in the same grind as before.
So this year is going to be different.
Starting with a year end review (my first!). Because while I feel quite down about the overall outcome of the year, I have done so much that I want to keep some perspective.
My partner Renee and I moved to London in March, 2015 and within a few weeks I found a position at a small managed service provider caretaking a helpdesk role, which after 2 months transitioned to a project management role. At the beginning of August I moved the role moved from 5 days a week to 3 days a week to both learn to code and to attempt to develop a web-app to sell (this one will get it’s own blog post). Renee quickly found a position at a local artist management company as a finance assistant.
No way else to cut it, we’ve done a lot of travel this year!
On the way to London, Renee and I visited Japan, Germany, Sweden, Norway and Scotland. We’ve taken two trips back to Scotland (the second one to the fantastic Edinburgh Comedy Festival), one trip back to Sweden for a massive Kayak trip with our friends Oskar and Kristin, and to top it off we just got back from a massive trip to Switzerland with Renee and her family!
I’ve sprinkled some photos from our travel throughout this blog post.
So what have I learnt/accomplished over the past year?
Job and Career
It never hurts to put your name out there. My current job was found just by emailing various MSPs around London. I got an email back from one and started about a week later!
- The big one is GOLang. I’ve used GOLang to develop an HTTP API back end with JSON Schema support connecting to both a Redis and PostgreSQL data store.
- Ember-Data - the most commonly used Ember JS data store.
- Chef infrastructure management (in Ruby).
- Linux, server, administration.
- Sublime Text.
- More than need to know about OSX nuts and bolts (including bash scripting).
Business wise it feels like a bit of a let-down for 2015. I plan for 2016 to be a massive improvement. Work on my web-app product went ahead without a business plan (even though I knew better), and without researching competition or any of the existing online process management market. Further, the industry this app is built is not one I’m verly excited about.
So while I’ve learnt a significant amount about coding and development, which will help me this year, I am much less confident that my web-app will be a success. There are so many stories of solopreneurs who just don’t make it.
First goal for 2016 is to develop the web-app in to a Minimum Viable Product. Goal for this? End of the January, 2016. This needs to be polished only enough to show to customers without significant regret. As such, features will need to remain light. I’ll develop a research questionaire and get as much feedback as possible regarding the product - and decide where to take it from there.
2015 was a fantastic year for (anerobic) fitness. I signed up to a local el cheapo gym and have been going at least twice (normally 3 or 4) a week since May this year.
I feel and look much larger than at the beginning of the year. However I have also put on a significant amount of weight (which I guess was the goal). My personal bests of 2015 are:
- Deadlift: 110kg (242lbs) x 1
- Benchpress: 70kg (154lbs) x 3
- Squat: 105kg (231lbs) x 5
My weight is up to a solid 91kg as of December 31, 2015. I have my brothers wedding coming up early this year and I aim to have my weight down to a lean 84kg.
- Travelling around Germany and Japan with my fantastic partner Renee.
- The beautiful Swiss Alps during the 2015 christmas period (and learning how to ski!).
- Consistently working out at the gym (to be improved again in 2016)