2017 Retrospective and 2018 Resolutions

2017 was a turbulent year for many and while politically I was
highly upset with what was going on, personally I thrived in 2017. I tend not to
brag about my accomplishments. I think that while important for me they don't
necessarily mean anything to other people beyond people close to me saying
they're happy for me. That being said I wanted to document them for posterity
and letting me look back on them in the years to come as well as set up some
goals for this year and being able to look at them when this year comes to
a close.

2017 Accomplishments

  • Earned my Bachelors of Science in Computer Science
  • Attended my first conference at Rust Fest Kiev
  • Spoke at my first conference at Rustconf 2017
  • Migrating from GitHub Pages to this site and coding it from scratch
  • Did a lot of open source work including:
    • Submitting a better warning for &str + &str to the Rust compiler
    • Documentation for the Rust compiler
    • Helped with the new version of Rustdoc
    • Continued improvements to github-rs which is in use by Core OS
      for their bot tailor as well as a few other companies. I guess I have
      production users which is cool.
    • Wrote a terrible joke of a crate for fun
  • Wrote a few good articles this year on the blog
  • Passed my PT Test for the National Guard so I finally got pinned as
    a Specialist (though I was already promoted technically)
  • Started working full time at Elsen, the company I had been working at part
    time during school
  • Seriously started learning Japanese as a second language
  • Took the N5 Level of the Japanese Language Proficiency Test
  • Really started to learn how code fits into the world politically and socially
  • Began to understand how code is affected by constraints outside of the
    technical aspects and more of the ones associated with a company (i.e.
    marketing, partnerships, sell dates, etc.)
  • Failed a lot at many many many things but ultimately learned a lot from those
    failures
  • Made a lot of new friends both locally and in the open source community
  • Made it through 2017 intact

I probably forgot many things for this list but ultimately these things stood
out to me as big accomplishments this year. I grew a lot as a software engineer
in many ways and I took steps to grow myself outside of my comfort zone with
English. I always regretted not doing well with foreign languages (I took
Italian) in school, more so with my failures learning Latin, a required course at Boston Latin
School. Surprise. Learning Japanese has been a great experience so far and
difficult making it easy to say if I do well here I think I have improved
compared to my high school self.

It's been a really good year and looking at this list now I feel like 2017
wasn't as bad as I thought it was. I'm financially, socially, and work wise
stable and I have nothing pressing to really say my life is going wrong. It's
not been like this for quite some time and it's really nice to say that.

2018 Resolutions

I have some goals I want to hit this year but I wouldn't consider myself
a failure if I don't hit them. They're more like guidelines and areas I want to
improve in my life.

  • Speak at two Rust Conferences
  • Handle my libraries better and maintain them more actively
  • Hit level 60 of Wanikani (a tool to learn Kanji) by the end of the year. At
    the least level 30 the halfway point
  • Travel to Japan just to get a feel for it before moving there in a few years
    (my overarching multi year goal in my life for now)
  • Take and pass the N4 level of the JLPT come next December
  • Get better at understanding spoken Japanese
  • Continue improving my written Japanese
  • Blog more
    • Articles that are technical how tos
    • Discussion of topics that are related to the tech industry but aren't
      technical posts per se
    • Posts about interesting things that intertwine tech, code, and the world
      around us
  • Maintain my physical fitness level
  • Learn more about designing coding libraries
  • Make progress in The Art of Computer Programming books by Donald Knuth
  • Be more empathetic
  • Seek out more experiences I haven't done
  • Learn from other fields outside of tech
  • Learn topics I haven't done a lot of like cryptography or distributed systems
  • Empower more people to write good code and foster communities of inclusiveness

I think this covers a lot of what I want to do in preparation for where and who
I want to be. I'm a little more optimistic about this year and I hope that
a year from now writing next years post I'll have maintained that view point.

Here's to another orbit around the sun and building out a new future!