2o18 – overview

2019 is just around the corner – it’s time to look back on this year.

This time I’ve got that rare feeling of partial accomplishment in 2018, although I can’t say I’ve done everything I planned. Amusingly it could mean two very different things: I either lower my goals or actually performed well this year.

So here I am

Travel

Seasoned subscribers might remember that I used to travel relatively often. Even I had a rule I was trying to keep – on average I should leave London at least once a month. I’m quite sure I was able to to that up until now. For some, it might sound that I’m spoiled but I really tired of travels, at least in a way I used to do that.
It sounds weird but at some point I realised that one of the strong motivations to travel was because of… check-ins in ~foursquare~ swarm app, passport stamps and long walks when I don’t need to worry about “wasted” time, when I listen to dozens of podcasts a day and talk to my relatives and friends.
Obviously apart of those silly things I’m enjoying culture, people and whatever surrounds me. To be honest I can’t say much about history or fun facts about the place. It is very interesting but I found it quite mentally draining, feels like I’m in the classroom listening to interesting but too much-complicated history lessons.
And yes, I never call it “trip” rather than “journey”, which sounds more interesting. I believe that helps me to mitigate potential stress people have before “journeys”. In well-planned journies things must be fun while for just a trip some fails are acceptable.

To summarise travels during 2018:

  • Russia: Saint-Petersburg(x4)
  • Spain: Las Palmas, San-Sebastian, Bilbao, Puerto de la Cruz, Madrid
  • France: Toulouse, Biarritz, Nice, Menton, Paris
  • UK: Edinburgh, Brighton, Windermere, St Albans, Rye, Hastings, Guildford
  • Monaco: Monte-Carlo
  • South Korea: Seoul
  • Japan: Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

(new destinations are in bold)

In numbers:
* 3 new countries and 17 new cities
* 23 times borders crossed
* 27 flights taken, 34k miles flown, thanks jetlovers for statistics

Study

I have nothing really to put here. But all means I’m getting dumber every day as a person and an IT guy. There was “no time” to learn something new, even I could not check classes not only in classical universities but on online courses. Obviously, there is no way I can avoid learning in programming – this year I played with kotlin(more than ever), reactjs, python, docker and bunch of new frameworks and libraries surrounding these ecosystems.

Last year I was really in machine learning, although it’s very close to my professional area it’s quite different from what I’m doing every day. Since that, I hadn’t a chance to play or use it this year.

Health

Still doing gym, mostly for fit and endorphins. After a while, I logged in to my account and was surprised that I spend just 30 mins per workout in there.

Generally, health could be better. I’m focusing on weight loss, this year I lost 8kg with no stress or a special type of diets. Actually, this figure was 12kg before I went to Japanese gastro heaven in October :) To achieve that I didn’t eat after 9.30pm and learnt about calories, thanks to MyFitnessPal where I set a goal and meticulously added every single meal information I had.

Social

I’ve got married to wonderful Yuki! Looking forward to enjoying life together and challenge each other for non-stop grow :) So far nothing has changed and I still prefer to call her “girlfriend”, it makes me feel like a boy in relationships. I believe it implies specific behaviour which is beneficial for both.

Didn’t make many long-living social connections this year, but improved old ones. Unfortunately, I communicate with fewer people from my home country, that makes me a sad. I hope one day I pause my rat race and meet mates from one of my past lives.

I used to be a very frequent visitor to make startup and tech meetups but recently I completely stopped doing that.

Quote/thought of the year

I’m I tired or just playing hero?

Whenever you pushing yourself to the imaginary limits things get difficult for sure. But are they difficult because it expected to be hard or it’s actually exhausting? This year I was trying to listen to myself if I’m really tired or just being lazy? If I’m sick or my brain makes up something to avoid work? I’m I utilize my day efficiently or trying to find an excuse to sleep one more hour? I’m I doing a lot or just talking about it?

I used to measure my progress/efficiency/busyness looking on my peers, people I know, I hate or adore. But recently something has changed – either I’ve obtained speed significantly different from them or they have slowed down. It’s like a race when you see you’re running faster but you’re actually slowing down just because all things are relative and somebody stops running.

On another hand, I see some peers/mates skyrocket their careers and I feel I’m not able to catch up with them yet.

Nevertheless, I do understand people who prefer to spend lives doing uninteresting work and watching Netflix, discussing politics, sports and other things. I actually envy them, it must be very comfy living, no sarcasm. But I would never accept them complaining of lack of time, money, etc.

So, am I really busy and tired or just imagining that? IDK.

Projects

I could put quite a few projects but none of them took of, at least yet.

I became very very lean(someone may call it ‘cautious’) – before starting to work on “next unicorn” I always do basic but thoughtful analysis showing how far is my imagination from the real world. If after colliding with real word I still found it feasible to work on I prepare some basic spreadsheet with financial models and create some campaigns to get traffic to the landing page. It gives at least some understanding of figures to makeup unit economics.

I found it funny that even after all these projects I still have this annoying engineering “let’s build it asap”. It’s still challenging to change the hats

This year I gave up on cryptocurrencies as many of you, I suppose. My theoretical model supposed to work regardless of the current rates and even used to work some time ago didn’t prove viability in the real world.

I have tried a few content-based projects but don’t seem they got some initial traction as I’d rather expect. Not a big deal, projects don’t take off in magical ways and statistics rules things out. Just before I archive those projects I have to spend a bit more time and resources to prove that those hypothesis can be viable.

Languages

I’m still learning Spanish, using Duolingo. I feel my ability to speak and write didn’t get much better while vocabulary has been enriched. Duolingo had a few massive changes I’m not happy with. I understand – now it’s a business and they think they know what to do. As I’m writing this post I’ve got 334 days streak.

My English is not improving significantly either. I kind of gave up and started to use Grammarly. I do read books sometimes, very slowly, but still feel there are a lot to learn.

Work

Colleagues are trolling me

That’s was a real journey, this year I have changed three jobs and me proud to say I’m happy to work in those places. I hope employers were happy about it as well and they found my contributions at least decent. It’s just a reminder – my expectations about the companies I work/consult for are very high and I’m trying to do my best to meet that level. That’s why I don’t really understand how and why people work for some companies for ages and complaining about everything from day 1.

I’ve got a number of mates and friends from the most places I worked in.

Since this summer I do provide consulting services as a Metarux company in full cycle software product development starting from prototype till marketing and monetisation. The Tier 1 Exceptional Talent visa unlocked a lot of opportunities in the UK and finally, I’m able to provide solutions to another business as well as working on my own products. While I focusing mostly for full cycle backend/mobile development I really enjoy creating MVP and proof of concepts for some crazy stuff which can involve everything from machine learning to embedded systems and large data processing.

Way to go!

We are not getting younger every second (c) my mom

2019 is going to be a year of testing my limits and many exciting activities!