2022 Year in Review

Some highlights from this year:

  • Very strong year-end review (best ever at my current employer)
    • Substantial pay raise
    • RSUs added to my compensation package for the first time in my career
  • Promoted to senior manager at mid-year
  • Returned to the office
    • Hybrid model of Tuesday-Thursday in-office with Mondays and Fridays still remote
  • 11th wedding anniversary
  • Twins turned 7 years old
  • I lost about 10 pounds
  • Wrote 22 blog posts (including this one)
    • Moved this site to Amazon Lightsail (more on that in a future post)
  • Finally updated my library card so I can borrow books with Libby and in-person
  • Completed some reading for pleasure, including:
    • Defining Moments in Black History: Reading Between the Lies (by Dick Gregory)
      • Borrowed physically from the library
    • The first three books of Mick Herron’s Slough House books
      • Slow Horses
      • Dead Lions
      • Real Tigers (borrowed via Libby)
    • They Called Us Enemy: Expanded Edition (by George Takei)
    • Black Cop’s Kid: An Essay (by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar)
  • Completed Building Microservices (by Sam Newman) in technical book club at work
  • Took an actual solo vacation (Philadelphia)
  • Moved this blog from AWS to Amazon Lightsail

Some lowlights from this year:

  • Ending contractor terms early for performance reasons
  • Navigating a headcount freeze (which will persist into 2023)
  • Not enough exercise

Another Year Gone

It’s annual review time again, which means this year has gone by even more quickly than usual. Filling out my self-assessment was a good reminder of all the work I had a hand in completing.  I’m still deciding on goals for 2012, and I’m posting all of them here so I can look back on them over the course of next year and track my progress.

  1. Learn jQuery.  I got a bit of exposure to it this year through a couple of projects that I worked on, and a .NET user group presentation or two, but haven’t done the sort of deep dive that would help me improve the look-and-feel of the web applications I build and maintain.
  2. Learn a functional programming language.  I’ve been thinking about this more recently since some of our work involves the implementation of valuation models in code.  I also came across this article in the November Communications of the ACM advocating OCaml.  Since I work in a Microsoft shop, picking up something like F# might have a slightly better chance of making it into production code than OCaml or Haskell.  Part of my objective in learning a functional programming language is to help me recognize and make better use of functional techniques in a language like C#, which has added more and more support for the functional programming style of the years.
  3. Give a few technical talks/presentations.  This year, I presented on NuGet at my job, and on Reflector at RockNUG. Having to present on a tool or technology to group has always been a great incentive to do some deep learning of a subject.  It’s also a chance to exercise some speaking skills (which developers need a lot more than they might think in order to be successful) and to handle a Q & A session.  I haven’t developed any new presentations yet, but some prospective topics include: LINQPad, elmah,
  4. Take more online training. We have access to Pluralsight .NET training through work.  I watched quite a few of their videos over the course of the year.  2012 shouldn’t be any different in that respect.  I recently came across free webcasts on a variety of topics from DevelopMentor.  Since they’re downloadable as well as streamable, I’ll definitely use my commute to watch some of them.
  5. Write a compiler. It’s been awhile since I’ve cracked open “the dragon book”, so I’m probably overdue to exercise my brain in that way.  I found that suggestion (and a number of other very useful ones) here.
  6. Practice.  I’d heard of the “code kata” idea before, but hadn’t really explored it.  Dave Thomas of Pragmatic Programmers has nearly a couple dozen here.