Chris' Full Stack Blog

Goals For 2020

January 12, 2020

Though it’s only the second year of doing this, I really enjoy this yearly review and will likely be doing it for the forseeable coming years. Since I have my (one) past post, let’s review my progress from 2019 first:

2019: Software Engineering and Career Goals

  • Learn Typescript and incorporate it into my personal stack of choice

✅ Done. I’ve learned TypeScript. However, I admit I ‘cheat’ by continuing to work in node projects that I started in normal JavaScript, which doesn’t help my case. For example this blog isn’t TypeScript yet. (I need to upgrade the gatsby version anyway, I think I’m like one whole major version behind). I say it with a bit of apprehension, but any future projects that I do with node, I pledge to do what would be the JavaScript parts with TypeScript.

  • Find a paying freelance employer or project

✅ Technically acheived through SkillShare. Read on to learn more about my course situation and further goals for courses / tutorials in 2020.

  • Finally build a profitable side hustle!

✅ Also technically done through SkillShare?

  • Earn at least $1000 through my Skillshare course(s)

❌ Total fail! I only earned about $100 or so, but that’s my own fault - I only made one course the whole year! Still, $100 itself is certainly nothing to dismiss.

2019: Miscellaneous Goals

  • Read more.

✅ For 2019, ‘Read more’ was also achieved, but my actual numerical goal to read 30 books was a total fail. I only managed 14. For 2020 I’ve made the same goal of 30 books. I’m trying harder this year to achieve it - though it really is quite a lot - nearly 3 books per month! Whew! 😅

Somehow it took the whole 2019 to get my reading muscles back - but I’m sitting strong here in mid-January already having finished my first book last week and halfway done with two more (that’s right, I’m multitasking with two completely different books!!!)

  • Paint more

❌ This one also was a fail. I made only 2 paintings in 2019, HOWEVER, I really got into digital print making and photography which I continue to work on now. Art is art right? No matter what form?

  • Record and publish at least 2 songs

❌ Total fail. Though even here I’m gonna take out only a share of the blame. My buddy, with whom I was supposed to finish a pop-punk EP with years ago, has decided he wants to get his M.S. degree… while working a full time job. I mean, achievement, degrees, psh what the heck are those? Lets finish that EP!

  • Run a marathon

❌ Fail. (Though I did do a 50km / 7000 Hm hike this year, so I’ll write it off as 1/2 fail - I also did two half marathons)

  • More winter hiking/ski touring (this may seem like a random one, but I realized in all of 2018 I used my snowshoes twice for two winter hikes… granted, I went skiing a lot as well last year, but, I mean, I live in Austria, there is really no excuse not to be out and about in the mountains on the weekend, including hiking!)

✅ Definitely got this one in 2019, and hopefully there will be even more winter trips in 2020, since I’ve planned some more ski tours and even some mountain hut overnighters!

2019 Review

Software engineering and Career Goals: 4/5
Miscellaneous Goals: 2/5
Total: 6/10

Goals for 2020

Not including what I mentioned above (many are extensions from 2019) there are some new goals I think are manageable for 2020.

As I did for 2019, I will separate my goals for 2020 first listing my ‘Software Engineering and Career Goals’ and then my ‘Miscellaneous Goals’.

2020: Software Engineering and Career Goals

  • Work ‘for the man’ less - maybe even ‘work’ less

What I mean by this one is not working all the time for projects I get payed for directly on a contract or hourly basis. In 2019, due to a monster project, I experienced far too many 10-12 hour days which left me with no brain capacity left to work on producing other things I care about - such as opensource projects, my education and tutorial software courses, and just plain hacking for fun.

I’m in a point in my career where I know enough to share my skills and work on more diverse projects. I just have to finally say enough is enough and take charge of what I want to produce out of my career. I understand there is a high demand for software developers who can get the job done, but there comes a point where I have to fix the balance of projects I work on. I have to take some time for myself and produce what I think is valuable. 2020 is that year.

  • Make more software engineering tutorial videos and blog posts

Really just an extension of the above goal, but I want to name it explicitly for 2020, because I neglected both in 2019. As a corollary to this goal, I want to expand my courses outside of SkillShare. Too often I see a head scratcher solution on stack overflow, checked as the ‘correct’ solution, just because yes, it answers the problem itself and works, but its not a true solution. Or, even worse, its a question that is simply left ignored. What I hope to bring to my courses is much more than just a coding play-by-play, but explaining the steps I am taking and the reasoning behind what I am doing. I think those are the true insights and helpful points that courses provide; much more so than anything that could be rote-memorized from what I code.

2020: Miscellaneous Goals

  • Improve cooking skills

This one shouldn’t be too hard - I have some basic skills in the kitchen and have a decent number of go to recepies based on what is in our pantry / fridge. For 2020, I’m talking about expanding into things like self-created sauces, more dynamic recipes such as using different oven functions and pan techniques, and using more diverse ingredients in whatever I create.

As a very early 2020 update, I can say that already I’ve made some amazing oven-baked chicken and a feta-arugala-almond toasted sandwhich! (A quick and random hint - find recipes that use the broiling function on your oven - it opens a whole new world of recipes that you thought only the pros could do!)

  • Homebrew an amazing beer

My girlfriend and I have brewed 5 batches of beer since 2016. They were all decent beers, and actually the latest one was closer to the great side, but in my opinion none have been totally amazing. In 2020, I want to homebrew a beer where I (and others) can say, “Wow! You actually brewed that?!” In other words, I want our own tasty homebrew beer to be indistinguishable from that of a well respected brewery.

Well that’s it. 2019 was a really hard year with that project I mentioned - it was easily the hardest project I’ve ever did (even more so than my master’s thesis) in terms of length and arduous labor. But out of it came a huge learning experience that was all about the Magento 2 framework, and of course I have the added benefit of being able to add that project to my portfolio. It’s certainly a project I won’t forget.

-Cheers! 🍺

Chris


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