Andy Crouch - Code, Technology & Obfuscation ...

2019 Retrospective

Photo: Unsplash - Denise Johnson

“So this is Christmas and what have you done?”

This is the last post I will write before Christmas as the end of the year has snuck up on me. As I have tried to in previous years I wanted to write a reflective post as 2019 has been a big year for me.

As far as this blog goes, I have managed to hit my target of writing a post a week. Apart from the week’s I have been travelling with the family I have posted every week. Looking back through the posts, I have not had the chance to share so much technical detail. A lot of posts have been brain dumps of thoughts of issues I had been dealing with. That summarises what I have been dealing with for two-thirds of the year. I plan to move back to writing more technical howtos and articles for 2020. I also need to promote the blog more.

I started the year wanting to work on some side projects I wanted to complete. Overhauling my .dotfiles, learning Elixir & Pheonix in more depth and some small FOSS apps were on the list. Sadly, I didn’t complete any of them in any detail as my time was dominated with my day to day roles. These are still relevant and I will carve some time out in early 2020 to pick these up so expect to see some posts on them. I did make a fulltime move to i3 and Manjaro as a daily driver and I couldn’t be happier. I should probably write more about that.

Leaving Open Energy Market was a big decision but the right one after 5 years. I do miss the awesome technical team I had there but I realise now that I was burntout. I had to walk away from the wider business. It has taken a few months but I am now fired up and thinking and working in a balanced and productive manner. Time and perspective have been great in helping me to see it was the right move.

Starting up my consultancy has been a massive step for me. I have been lucky enough to have had a steady stream of clients from the get-go. In 2020 I need to work on growing the brand and marketing our services. I also need to be harder with clients and ring-fence my time slightly better. I have a lot to learn in this space but it is so energising and inspiring to be working with such talented people in positive environments.

I was also lucky enough to get involved with Zinc this year as a fellow. Zinc is an organisation that aims to find solutions to the most important societal problems faced by the developed world. Their missions bring together researchers, specialists and founders which result in some unique companies that actually could address some of the more interesting and vital issues facing humanity. This is something I will write more about next year and is something I urge more people to get involved with. Again, meeting such passionate and energetic people, driven to really make the work a better place for everyone, has been inspiring on many levels.

On a personal level, the year has been mixed. We started the year learning how hard the impact of social media can be on teenagers. Supporting my son through a rough period was something I do not wish on any parent. It is not something I have written about but it has lead me to think hard about the value of social media and its impact on society. Once through that, we did get to finally travel to two places that we have always wanted to go. February saw us finally hit New York and be lucky enough to wander around Central Park in the snow. August saw us travel to Bali which was a stunning and beautiful experience.

So 2019 has been a mixed year but I feel I have come away from it a better person in a better position. I realise I am incredibly lucky to be able to say that and to have travelled and worked as I have this year. I am also incredibly lucky to be supported by my amazing wife and son. I am excited to head into 2020 and the new decade to see what they will bring. I hope everyone that reads this blog with any regularity has a great Holiday Season and that 2020 brings happiness to you all. I will be back on the 7th of January.

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