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A look back at 2019

Like I did in 2016, 2017 and 2018, I am not going to break with this tradition, so I am going to share some personal thoughts about this year as well. The end of a December is a fantastic opportunity to slow down, enjoy Christmas with family, hang out with best friends, summarize achievements and failures of the last year and think about some goals for the upcoming year. Last time I committed myself to a few goals, and even though I didn't manage to tick the box next to every single one of them, this year was great. A lot of accomplishments that I am proud of, some little breakdowns and number of inspirations to keep on working on my fulfilment.

Professional

Looking back, joining Mindera in 2018 was one of the best decisions of my life. I am extremely privileged to work with a bunch of the most talented programmers under the sun. People who I work with, apart from being ridiculously skilled are also funny, helpful and emphatic friends. I would like to thank every single one of you for being you.

Plant at Mindera

Let me share a quick story. It was a cloudy February afternoon when I picked up a phone call from my good friend Tiago Nunes. Simple question…

Hi dude. Would you like to host an international conference in Portugal?

My answer was also simple — yes! So instead of giving a conference talk like I initially planned, on Friday 29th of March, I stood on an Alfândega do Porto stage in front of hundreds of people being an MC of the initial typeof conference. It was an unforgettable experience and you better stay tuned because the continuation of this story is coming shortly next year.

Organizers of typeof conference on the stage

After a few years of working on the web platform as a front end developer, this year threw me into the deep end of server-side. I am currently working on a transition from monolithic, outdated codebase to modern, serverless architecture for a huge UK based client (sorry, cannot reveal a name). I am extremely happy to have an opportunity to embrace the web from the backend perspective but the first few months were not smooth. Being surrounded by engineers familiar with concepts that I have never heard of wasn't fun. My understanding of the new stack quickly improved. I managed to transition anxiety to an opportunity to learn. I am glad and confident to say that I am a much better programmer than I use to be twelve months ago.

For some people, “work” is something that only happens between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM. That's not the case for me. I manage to accomplish some of the best pieces of productive work outside of these boundaries. The website that you are reading now has been created outside of my day-to-day job and has become one of my biggest achievements ever. It exploded this year and it is bigger than ever before, counting around 8 thousands unique visitors every single day. I published around 30 articles this year, received hundreds of comments and some of my articles has been reposted on multiple reputable websites. Overall it was another fantastic year for me being a contributor to the open web platform and I would like to thank you all for reading, your feedback and your support.

Personal

People say that a “change” is a good thing, but I am glad that not a lot changed in my personal life since the last year — I am still a truly happy man. I am always surrounded by a bunch of good friends who I can count on. Despite some relationship ups and downs, Zuzanna keeps tolerating her annoying boyfriend pretty well. One more thing! Our household recently welcomed this little princess — her name is Yoko, she is messy as f**k and loves jumping on my face when I am asleep. Most charming pussycat ever!

My cat Yoko

Even living in the break-neck paced software industry, life would be boring without some non-technical passions. I neglected my passion for cycling for a few years and this year it has been reborn. A bunch of friends, hilly north England and my beloved titanium Planet X Tempest gravel bike is everything that I need after a mind-bending week. Feel free to follow my rides on Strava or Komoot and follow me on Instagram for some muddy cycling pictures.

My titanium Planet X Tempest bike

“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg is full of extremely great tips for improving life. One routine that I managed to stick to very effectively is drinking 2500ml of water every single day. Since the beginning of a year, I haven't hit my target 4 times — no real biggie. I created a simple iOS shortcut that helps me to track my daily intake in the Health app. I noticed a big improvement just by following this trivial habit. My skin looks healthier and my digestion is better. Drink water, please! No, coke doesn't count.

My life is not always the land of milk and honey and there is one thing that makes me truly sad. Living in the UK for the last few years I truly miss my family and Szczecin — my hometown in Poland. There is nothing that I can do about it in my current life situation apart from trying to visit my beautiful country more often.

My hometown Szczecin

In 2020 I will…

I love planning some goals for the new year and put them down on a paper (pixels on the screen in this case). There are quite a few things that would be cool to cross off my bucket list soon.

Professionally I want to grow, become a better developer, finish my side-project that I spent the last few months on and redesign this website. This website deserves some 2020 look and feel.

Personally, I wish to lose some weight and keep this state instead of following this rollercoaster-like graph on Apple Health app. Smashing some 100km bike ride sounds like something that I would love to do. Following up my failure from the last year, half-marathon is still on the list to do. Surprisingly reading non-technical books helps me on professional and personal facets so I am planning to do it more often.

Don't know why but I have this gut feeling that 2020 will bring some big change in my life. I don't know what it is going to be but it is going to be big. Stay safe, healthy and keep on working on yourself. Until next time folks.

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