Looking Back on 2013

The time has come to look back on another year.  2013 was exciting for me as I started my new job as a web developer at a local web consulting company Pixo, and boy was I ready for it.  There were a lot of exciting new things to learn, but one thing I know I didn’t do was to stop and re-evaluate my goals I set at the start of the year.  That said, there is no time like the new year to look back for a little self-review…

Professional:

Write at least 2 blog posts a month.  24+ for the year.

  • Total posts written: 6
  • I need to get better about quick turn around times.  Once I have an idea, don’t let it languish in ‘draft’ purgatory.  I’ve noticed I like to start a post when I have an idea, but then abandon it because I don’t give myself a publish deadline.

Attend at least 1 tech conference or a meetup in Chicago-land.

  • I did make it to Py-Ohio for a second year which was awesome, but nothing in Chicago land… I’m still going to count that in the win column since I actually left C-U

Submit 1 iOS app to the app store.

  • Once I started at Pixo, all my learning went toward PHP, WordPress, and Symfony.  On the plus side, I’ve built 2 wordpress sites and am into my first Symfony project.  They aren’t iOS apps, but they are projects on a new platform.

Expand on existing web apps, possibly launch 1 or more of them.

  • Like with the last post, I was working on a Django app when that took a back seat to the new job.

Start a hacker/coffee coder’s meetup in Champaign-Urbana.  This city needs more venues for programmers to meet programmers, for the love of craft.

  • Enter the CU Coffeeshop Coders and @CU_Coders.  In the last year, the group has acquired 86 members! We’ve had regular coding sessions and socials.

Learn Postgress & MongoDB; integrate one or both into my web apps.

  • Postgress & MongoDB, no.  MySQL, yes (for wordpress).

3 of 6 met.

Personal:

Run a half marathon in under 2:00.

  • Once I started at Pixo, I began biking to work, which was awesome and I loved it!  However, I ended up cutting way back on my running.

Better manage my productivity and (mental) energy levels when would otherwise fall into the burnout pit of despair.

  • I’ve made some good progress here, especially now that I have a job I love with a company I enjoy

Better manage my personal relationships, especially during aforementioned times of burnout.

  • Check!

Read (& finish) at least 8 books this year.

  • I finished reading 4, and have several others in progress.
  • But in progress is not the same as complete.

Get back into Genealogy.

  • Sadly, nope.

2 of 5 met.

Conclusions

My biggest take away this year is the reminder that it is important to periodically re-evaluate your position, especially in the face of large life changes.  Taking a new job is one such inflection point.  Even though I only met 5 out of 11 of my goals, I still feel like 2013 was a great success.  Many of them were an attempt to compensate for being in a professional rut, but because a new professional door had opened, that would prove to meet many of the same needs.  These are things I’ll be thinking about as I set goals for the upcoming year.

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