Goodbye, 2018

It’s has been a good year. There are some ups and downs, but I think it’s mostly up because I chose not to remember the downs.

This year, I exceeded my expectation on the number of books I read. I read a total of 25 books. It partially thanks to the (re-)discovery of public library. Not only I have access to many books, but I got more motivation to finish a book whenever I could because there was a due date return a book. I also got a new Kindle with backlight so I could read with the lights off when my children needed company in their room when they were going to sleep. (I actually didn’t know if it’s good for my eyes to read on a Kindle with backlight on.)

Each year, there were some books gave me new perspectives. Bored with Brilliant was one of them. It reminded me how screen time affected us and I was more aware of how I used my devices. The Pragmatic Programmer and Clean Coder were the books that every programmer should read once in their career. Start with Why and ReWork gave me inspiration and reflection on my working habit. Michael Lewis is still my favorite author.

Having two kids is not an easy task. They want your full attention all the time. I don’t think it’s wrong to have some “me-time” when you are a parent, but it just needs some work. In 2018, I started to wake up at 5am in the morning, even in the weekends, so I could have some “me-time” before the children woke up. To be honest, I didn’t do productive things all the time during “me-time”. When I was not reading, watching LaraCast and conference videos from YouTube, or doing my side project, I found myself watching Netflix. (No, I don’t feel guilty about it, but I think it’s something that I can improve in 2019.)

As of exercise, I picked up swimming in the summer. It’s basically because my son was learning to swim this year. I wanted to make sure I could swim so I could understand what he was going through. My swimming ability was at the “I can survive if I accidentally fell into the pool” level. I started off with holding a kicking board to today that I can swim in 3 different styles completely on my own. I did look funny at the beginning when swimming with a kicking board while the others were swimming with ease. However The experts in anything was once a beginner is the phase that I hold on to so I could go on without thinking about others. (It also helps to swim at 6AM when there were only few serious swimmers focusing on their own exercise.)

I went to two conferences this year, Laracon US and AWS reInvent. I learned a tons from these two conferences. I also got myself certified as a AWS DevOps Professional. It was a difficult exam, but the time I spent preparing for the exam helped me to understand more about DevOps and the tools to help delivering software more quickly and reliably. Having a certification is a bonus, but I value more about the process from learning the new things.

It’s a wrap of my 2018. I did well.

Thanks you, 2018. Goodbye.

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