Goodbye 2017, Hello 2018

Jeff Carpenter
Dec 31, 2017 · 5 min read

Hi friends, here’s a quick overview of what I was up to this year.

The most important thing that happened this year

On a sunny day in August 2017, literally the smartest and most beautiful person I know and I embarked on a beautiful trail run on Mt. Tamalpais in Marin that ended on top of a mountain. Once we got to the summit, I asked her to marry me. She said yes!!!

The best books I read in 2017

Last year I measured my reading progress in number of books read. I don’t like that incentive structure, so this year I’ll share my top books with you.

My first year as a Code2040 mentor

Code2040 is an organization dedicated to making tech fair for Black and Latinx workers when white people will no longer make up the majority of citizens in the U.S. by 2040.

I became involved with this program as a mentor this year and had the absolute privilege of being paired with an extremely smart guy by the name of Modou (whose career is already a rocket ship, so I’m still not sure how I can really be of help).

Modou and I in front of the Bay Bridge.

Even though the program was for summer 2017 and formally ended in August, we still meet weekly for interview prep.

Places traveled

Not abnormally, we were flying around to a lot of places this year. We started off the year with a trip to Whistler, Canada, a place with legendary skiing and even more legendary cute mountain dogs.

Next up was a family trip to Oahu, where I undertook the most vertically challenging run I’ve ever attempted.

In the meantime between traveling, work. Lots of work.

The place I spent the most time in 2017, other than my bed.

In May I traveled to New York then Maine for my 5th year college reunion.

A run I took on Venice Beach.
Me and my mom at Google’s take your parents to work day!

Our biggest trip was in September–we traveled for a week in Japan and a week in Vietnam with our good friends David and Todd. We spent the first weekend at a ryokan on the Izu peninsula near Mt. Fuji and the rest of the week in Tokyo for a conference.

My primary goal for Vietnam was to sit on tiny stools and eat delicious noodles. We achieved that goal many times.

We also got to meet up with current and former coworkers of people in our group, and were treated to the most amazing home cooked Vietnamese meal.

Adventures in Vietnam
Twisting through the streets of Ho Chi Minh City in search of Banh Mi


This was a great year for running. I PR’d my half marathon time at the Monterey Half (to 01:45:31).

I ran more miles this year than any other year in my life.

I trained hard during the months of October and November 2017 to chase down and try to defeat the 10K personal record time set by 2012 Jeff at the Dana Point Turkey Trot. As hard as I tried, I couldn’t do it. One of my 2018 goals is to slay that time.

One year at Google

In August my Noogler friends and I celebrated our 1 year Googleversary.

At work this year I designed and shipped my first machine learning system to production, and wrote a continuous integration pipeline for the web platform.

Setting goals for 2018

Goals should be ambitious and measurable. In the spirit of Google OKRs, my 2018 goals will be very ambitious with a score of 0.7 being an acceptable outcome.

  1. Running: Run a sub 19:30 minute 5K (shave 1:13 off of current PR of 20:43).

Thank you

Thank you for reading about my 2017. I hope you have a happy holidays and wish you all the best in 2018!

    Jeff Carpenter

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