New adventures

So, we have a new year. Usually, during those first days of every year, people make different kinds of past year summaries, retrospections and new year plans. I’ve already done traditional end of the year technical blog post and now it’s time to write something more personal (but also connected to my developer life).

2018 — good parts

If you follow me on social media, you probably know that I have a tendency to complain a bit… And that there have been a lot of complaints during the year. But if I have to be honest the past year was not so bad, at least in my professional life. My F# consulting business is going pretty well, travelling and talking at conferences was rather successful, and I’ve reached some important milestones in the OSS work. Some of my favourite moments of the past year include:

  • Doing the closing keynote at the FableConf & Remmidemmi 2018
  • Speaking again at the same conference (NCrafts) — first time there must have been not so bad ;-)
  • Doing a couple of F# workshops and training
  • Meeting awesome people from US part of F# community in New York and San Francisco (thanks Jet and OpenF#!)
  • Releasing Saturn — F# web framework I always wanted to create
  • Passing 1 million downloads with Ionide
  • And last but not least, growing up my company and hiring a new developer.

There were also lots of great small moments, meeting amazing people, having a lot of fun with friends from the community, and smaller and bigger success.

2018 — bad parts

But, of course, it was not only good things — there have been quite a few disappointments, failures and wasted opportunities.

  • First of all, let’s start with speaking engagements — due to multiple different reasons I couldn’t speak at some really interesting events I’ve been invited to (OSCON Portland, Scale by the Bay, and Caribbean Developers Conference), but hey, maybe next year?
  • Also, my training/workshops plans were not as successful as I wanted — there have been some places I wanted to do training in the past year but unfortunately haven’t managed to organise it.
  • In terms of OSS work — same old story. On one hand, everything seems fine, on the other — I haven’t managed to create any model that will enable me to do OSS, at least, part-time, and ensure that things I build have bright future.
  • On the business side of things — Neptune, my paid VSCode plug-in is rather unsuccessful. Also, I’ve missed some business opportunities, mostly due to being way too content with what I had at the moment.

Additionally, there has been some stuff that went wrong in my personal/hobby life. I definitely haven’t spent enough time on photography past year. I’ve (again) lost the bet about a number of read books during a year with my friend. I haven’t travelled to Australia and New Zealand, even though it was kind of stretch goal for me last year. What’s the worst, it’s winter, and I again stayed home, in Poland (I don’t recommend doing it).

2019 — new adventures

I don’t really believe in New Year resolutions — one can’t change their life in just one day. But I do have some plans — some of them are just continuations of the things I’ve been doing last year, some are about fixing mistakes and bad things I’ve mentioned before, and some are totally new things I’ve always wanted to try.

  • Getting back to photography more seriously. As I’ve mentioned, I definitely spent not enough time on photography past year, and it’s one of those activities that’s very time-consuming — starting from the time needed to even make a good photo, finishing at post-processing.
  • Putting more actual work into conference talks. While I’ve been fairly happy with my presentations in the past year, I do realise that they still can be way better. And I definitely plan to put some structured work into preparing and practising.
  • Changing my professional life. While my business is going fairly well, I’m happy with it, and I plan to maybe grow it also this year and hopefully hire one more F# developer, F# consulting is not something that I personally want to focus on. In 2019, I’ll try to persuade some of my other interests related to software development such as Developer Advocacy, Developer Experience, Open Source development and methodologies, editor and developer tooling. Hopefully, this will be mixed with F# or other FP languages, but it’s not a hard requirement for me anymore.
  • Producing more content other than just code. Live streaming, writing more blog posts, technical tutorials, complete documentation for OSS projects are all really important things factors in creating a successful technical ecosystem. And I just want to help the community in other ways, not just by coding.
  • Keeping up OSS work. Last few months has been pretty hard for me in terms of OSS work — way too many problems and issues, not enough motivation to work on them. But I still do have some plans for OSS projects I’m involved with for this year — releasing Saturn 1.0 (including channels abstraction for real-time communication), finishing LSP layer for FsAutocomplete, releasing Ionide 3.0 based on LSP version of FSAC.
  • Organising more training and workshops. As I’ve mentioned before, some of my plans connected to this were not really successful in the past year, but I want to continue doing such events. It’s also a way for me to sustain all the travelling for the conferences.

Summing up

2018 was OK, but could be better. But it’s past now — and it’s time for new adventures!