2022: Annual Review

Picking it up from were I left of on my previous annual review. This year I’m going with a looser format.

Book Reading

I’ve kept and grown my practice of re-reading books.

I had to read The Accounting Game again out of a need to refresh my knowledge in that domain.

A few books I’ve read again because I’ve been recommending them for years and I wanted to know how well they’ve aged:

Both books were revisited in book clubs with my fellow Improvers.

In another book club, we covered Atomic Habits; one of my favorite books since it came out.

A few other books I simply enjoyed a lot and wanted to read again:

Other book clubs we’ve run that were great:

I’ve improved my book reading process by switching it over from Evernote to Obsidian and am very happy with how it’s coming along.

I’ve been having great conversations about the books I’ve read, as well as putting lessons into practice, pondering on them, and getting better.

My “favorite books read in 2023” post will come out soon.

Life at Improving

Most of my team’s scrum meetings (except for the daily scrum) happened in person. We enjoy getting together to have productive conversations, leverage our big whiteboards, and seeing the other Improvers who come into the office.

Yes, we enjoy coming into the office. Fun fact: there are many of us who work from home on certain days, but end up coming into the office at the end of the day to attend to events, classes, user groups, or to simply hang out. One evening, folks came in to join my “how to write a song” class. Another evening, it was a class for those interested in learning how to play ping-pong. Here’s a great place to learn more about out Community and Culture.

Riding

For the first time since 2017, when I first started riding motorcycles at the track, I haven’t ridden a big bike at a big track. I have, however, ridden the mini-bikes a lot!

The Beyond the Track endurance team has raced all season (I joined as many races I could), and we’ve had a lot of fun.

I’ve also decided to do a few sprint races, which I also have enjoyed.

I plan on doing more sprint races in 2023, and our endurance team has already started our pre-season.

Music

I did some work on my music in 2022 and put out one new original song in 2022: From a Distance.

I’ve had some issues with my recording gear that prevented me from making more progress, but that has been addressed and I’ll have another new song coming up pretty soon. I have a nice backlog of music to work on when I decide to make time for it.

Looking at my YouTube channel, I’ve learned that these were the top 2 most viewed videos last year:

  • Reaching Horizons, a cover of one of my favorite Brazilian bands, Angra
  • Running, a metal cover of a dance-pop band from the 80’s (yup, you’ve got to check that out now, I know…)

This Blog

I’ve put out a good number of posts both at the beginning and at the end of the year, and had a 6-month hiatus in between. These are my favorite ones:

I really liked the series on testing that I’ve put out later in the year. Those posts came out of an “Ask me Anything” Lunch and Learn I presented and I thought more people might be interested in those answers. The posts generated some great conversations in different social networks, which triggered the creation of further posts.

Something interesting I found out looking at the analytics:

In the Top 10 most viewed posts, only 3 posts were published in 2022; all other posts have been published many years ago: the 1st and 2nd place in 2017, and the 3rd place in 2010!!

I have a batch of ideas for posts (some already filled with quite a bit of content), so stay tuned.

Speaking

I started the year by putting a request on social network for people to help me get some of my talks booked as a Lunch and Learn for their companies or as a presentation to their communities and user groups. People answered the call and I got pretty busy talking!

I’ve had a lot of fun, learned a lot from the questions people asked me, and am very pleased with how well the content resonated with many.

These are talks I’ve had the most fun and gathered the best reactions:

  • UX for Devs
  • Effective User Stories
  • Context-based Testing

Go here to get the description for those talks or any of my other ones. If you find something you like, plesae send me a request and I can arrange to deliver the talk either virtually or in-person (Houston and surrounding area) for your team and/or company.

Computer

Since mid-2020, I’ve used a Surface Laptop as my main computer to do .NET work, as my old Mac couldn’t handle the load. Later in the year I got me a new Mac M2 and am very pleased with it.

Two highlights:

  • I was up and running, working productively on my main project, within a couple of hours (most of the time was spent migrating data from my old Mac!)
  • The backend code (.NET Core) has close to 1400 tests (both unit and integration). It takes 24 to 28 minutes to run them on my Surface Laptop. It takes a little over 8 minutes on my Mac M2!!

Coolest thing I’ve learned

I’ve learned a ton of things in 2022. Maybe the coolest one was Obsidian. I’ve been gradually either complementing or replacing Evernote with Obsidian. This is huge for me, as I’ve been an Evernote user since 2008 and it has played a huge part on my personal system. I’ll write more blog posts to talk about how this transition is coming along.

Wearables

I haven’t worn wristwatches in a long, long time. Things like the Apple Watch haven’t appealed to me. But in 2022 I decided to try out the Halo View.

After wearing it all year and keeping an eye on the data it provides, these are the things that I like, and which are making me keep it for the time being:

  1. Information about my sleep: I’ve been analyzing my sleeping pattern, the quality of my sleep, how many hours of sleep I’m getting, and then I look for what has either a positive or negative impact on it;
  2. Activity tracking: I’ve both played tennis and ridden at the track almost every week all year long. It’s been interesting seeing how those activities compare against each other, how they affect my sleep and physical condition, etc.

In closing…

2022, that’s a wrap. There are some great things to look up to in 2023, so off we go!

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