Twenty Twenty-Three Review
End of the year 2023, an opportunity to take a look at the highlights.
It was an interesting year, sometimes a mojo rollercoaster, but productive!
As always, work is a big part of my life. Apart from a three week break during the summer I can’t remember a week that wasn’t interesting and challenging at the same time at a technical or managerial level. I still haven’t found a way to stop thinking about work in the evenings!
2023 started with me getting into managing a new team with all the bells and whistles that come with it. Building rapport, trying and tweaking things, until it works out for everyone. There never is an immediate outcome, but when it comes it’s the reason I’m doing this work.
Some more leadership changes happened through the year in the company that affected the usual flow of working, and after the first half I started on a journey of a new big project. As a rule, I try not to undertake big blocks of work so I can never block other team members. This was different. Foundational work, core implementation, managing multiple teams and outcomes. I had my day to day usual work, but my focus was on bringing results on an implementation level. Again regardless of the challenges and the feeling of stretching too thin at times, but when I see the results, it makes me forget the difficult parts.
And of course working in an amazing talented team makes things easier!
On top of that, the AI domain is more approachable than ever to everyone, changing/improving everyday and people from all industries are hyped. It’s everywhere. Exciting and strange times!
2023 Goals Review
Flexible themes I set last year as focus points to motivate myself. Overall, not bad!
Oh my, oh my! It’s been an amazing journey! I spent A LOT of my free time diving into a new book. Usually one after the other. I started slowing down in October/November but overall I read 24 books! Most of it were Stephen King novels, but it was what I needed at that time to make me fully immerse into something different than TV or work! I don’t believe I’ve read so many books in a year in my adult life before.
A special mention to one non fiction book I enjoyed this year and had some “book club” sessions with other engineering managers.
It’s Engineering Management for the Rest of Us by Sarah Drasner. I am a bit biassed because most of the book aligns with my values on how to approach leadership. It was a great refresh and a must read for anyone that would like to take or has already taken the management path in their career.
Ah… This is where the ball was dropped. Back in October 2022 I started a schedule of posts here or on LinkedIn and worked great, but in March I lost my motivation a bit. My mojo wasn’t there and I preferred doing something completely different. I think this had something to do about being tired of listening to my inner voice again and again. Hopefully this will come back this year.
Regardless, I did write seven articles, which for some of them I’m very proud of.
No huge improvements, since priorities changed during the year, but there are continuous small step improvements that are happening daily.
This is a win! After some years I started improving my - non existing - exercise habits. I started with an old indoor bicycle we had here at home. It wasn’t bad and I almost exercised everyday without an issue, but I needed something different.
Back in August, we did invest in a treadmill, since I love jogging. Like most people, I overdid it and hurt a bit my knee, which needed some physiotherapy, but the doctor mentioned it wasn’t my fault since I must have had some kind of an issue since my teens and the treadmill just made it resurface. All is good on that front now. I’m having a healthy pace and by the way, my favourite music to run is at 165 BPMs.
I also got an activity tracker and it seems that most of the days I’m keeping up with my step goals. Regardless of the hiccups along the way, the addition of exercise and small changes in my eating habits helped me lose some weight. That weight loss is not that important, but the fact that my metabolism is still working fine is a good sign.
I hope this year is going to be focused on Health. Physical or mental. It’s similar to this year’s theme, but I’ve been stretching myself too thin for some years and I’m close to 40. I’m feeling fine, but if I want to keep up for the following years, I need to be taking care of myself more.
- Take up writing again.
- Keep the same pace of reading and exercising.