2018 Retrospective

2019-01-05T00:00:00.000Z

2018 was a year of many ups and downs, and learning to deal with a whole new set of problems professionally and at home. In 2018 I logged in to my first Linux system, setup my own webserver, data pipelines, database. I learned to use react and d3. Stepped up my python, javascript, and sql.

At home the doctor appointments keep piling in. While I am learning to deal with it all there were several times throughout the year that I was very overwhelmed with everything and broke down.

Here are the goals I had listed out for 2018 and how I faired at completing them.

Positivity

The Good


  • Continue "Favorite Things" with family at dinner time
  • Take 2 10min breaks per day clear the mind

I can say that the kids are fully on board with favorite things and love to tell everyone about how their day went. This is a time that they are very positive and generally give praise to another family member for helping them through their day.

To Be Improved


  • Gratitude journaling every day
  • Snooze Less be productive

I hit 61 gratitude journals in 2018. I would not say that I met my goal, but I would definitely say that it's a great start and is something that I plan on improving next year. I really like how it helps me focus on the positive things that happened throughout the day to find the best gratitude journal subject. I do think the quick five minute deadline helps in that I have to be semi-prepared, which forces me to think about gratitude throughout the day.

Focus

Mediocore performance??


  • 8 pomodoro
  • up to date kanban
  • daily/weekly planning session

In 2018 I wanted to set out some goals to be more focused with the time that I do have at work. I did quite a bit of research for the best techniques throughout December, and found a system that works well for me. I did keep up with the kanban system througout the year with trello. I did not live by the board, but i did put things on there and move them. The big thing that I found with this system is that it really made me feel productive, and gave me motivation to keep going. While tracking my tasks throughout the day I was able to really see progress at the end of the day, and go home knowing I did some good work rather than feeling "Where did this day go?".

I am putting this back in for 2019, and I will learn to concur them.

I completely fell off of the pomodoro system. I really feel like this system works for me and keeps me on task, I really have issues with task jumping. It is really hard to keep on it when there are so many distractions throughout the day. I am putting this back in for 2019, and I will learn to concur them. The biggest challenge is people. I have a lot of people stop by for a quick answer or to chat about a project. I really need to set strong boundaries and tell them in X minutes I can talk, right now I am busy.

Physical Health


  • active 3 days a week... 🤔
  • eat better 👍

I will admit that I was not very measurable with "eat better", but I would say that I have done well. I have really incorporated quite a few more vegetables into my diet, even when everyone else at the table isn't. I throw some frozen brocoli in the microwave. I have even started choosing vegan options at restaurants occasionally.

As different things started taking over my time I was back off the wagon.

I started running in the March timeframe, and really enjoyed it. As different things started taking over my time I was back off the wagon. Overall I would say that I am still active 3 or so days of the week with the kids.

Educational

Continuous Learning is something that I am really passionate for. I truly believe in always learning from experiences, taking classes, watching conferences, listening to podcasts and reading blogs

The Good 👍

4 official courses completed


  • d3 in 5 days
  • flexbox zombies
  • cssgrid.io
  • datacamp sql
  • linux command line (many blogs/youtube... not a course)

I really stepped up my front end web skills this past year. I have started using es6, react, and building interactive web visualizations, laid out with native modern css. These are things that I loosely understood in the past and really relied on libraries like bokeh or dash to get them to work right.

I can also say that I have stopped google searching for every simple sql query that I write, Goal Complete. I would say that I went beyond my sql goal in that I have learned to do far more than I realized was possible in the database, dramatically improving performance of my products. I have also become the go to guy for reading/writing more complex queries.

Before 2018 I had never experienced the glory of the linux command line.

Before 2018 I had never experienced the glory of the linux command line. Around May I was graced with a small on premis red hat virtual machine and my mind was quickly blown. Many things that I have struggled to get up and working on windows simply worked right out of the box. Webserver, task scheduling, 100% availability, and a great command line. By the end of the year I installed Debian (wsl) on my windows machine and have converted all of my command line applications/languages to run from there, as there are far fewer compatability issues..

The flop

planned coursed not completed


  • R
  • Machine Learning

Honestly I am not really hurt by not completing this one. I really feel like I learned a ton of useful skills this year and I feel like neither of these two would have helped me progress. R is too close to python to need both in my toolbelt without a specific project/need for it. I did not have any projects with a dire need for ML. I really hope to start getting some experience with it so I can have a better understanding when I should use it, but it was not a big need in any of my projects this year.

Overall I am really happy with the progress from this year, and can't wait to get started next year. Having the past few weeks off has really given me time for a reset that I didn't realize I needed. Looking at these goals reminds me of the things that had started slipping towards the end during that last hard push to the end.

🎉🎉 Hapy New Year 🎉🎉

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