2023 Year in Review
Welcome to the new year; I hope you had a good end-of-year holiday and some time off.
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The year flew by from my perspective, and with that, a lot of lessons were learned and mistakes made.
Every year, I think about what happened, what I did, and how I failed. This year, I kept thinking of how much of life is about to keep showing up and doing your best!
Things I learned
As last year, here are some things I learned this year without any order.
- The value of coaching and mentoring others
- Taking ownership, even if "not my job"
- Connecting with peers
- Doing "management things" while not managing people.
- Cultivate relationships across the organization
Coaching and Mentoring
Last year, I took an intentional approach and signed up to mentor more junior engineers at my organization.
It was an interesting exercise because I generally suggest people reach out to people they want to get as mentors. But after a certain organization size, you can only know the work of people you work closely with, and these initiatives help people find available mentors.
It is not my job.
As the year went by, I saw some projects with gaps that slowed them down or stopped.
I decided to cover missing roles to help projects move forward. In most cases, these missing roles were not about coding but more about writing documents, giving presentations, or mitigating risks.
It was interesting to internalize that sometimes, the highest leverage doesn't come from coding.
As part of covering gaps, I noticed that we needed better communication with teams outside development teams.
I started having weekly or monthly syncs, which allowed me to not only sync on ongoing projects but also gave perspective to teams trying to achieve some goal and felt that development teams wouldn't cooperate.
We all had out-of-sync perspectives, and there were no bad intentions on either side.
Things I used
Last year, I didn't have this section, but this year, I found some random set of things that improved my quality of life.
- HOTO COMPRESSED AIR CAPSULE / ELECTRIC AIR DUSTER AND VACUUM
- This has been an enormous time saver for cleaning my keyboards!
- It helps me clean my desk and small spaces in my office.
- Remarkable 2
- I didn't buy this. My wife gifted it to me last Christmas.
- This has been amazing for replacing my random sticky notes and reading PDFs.
- I use this every day!
- Sonos Move 2
- Also, my wife gave this to me for my birthday!
- This has been such a great speaker. I move it around the house with me.
- I set a playlist via the Sonos App and can just let it run for the whole day without me connecting my phone or anything else.
Let me know how your year went by replying to this email! I hope your 2024 is filled with whatever you desire.
Things I discovered in the past week
- Deep Focus: Why Your Brain Needs Understimulation is a fantastic video about our current culture of "over-stimulation."
- How Writing Online Will Make You A Millionaire - Nathan Barry is a good podcast episode with the founder of ConvertKit.
- I took a lot of notes from this episode about constant iteration and improvements over time.