SW engineering, engineering management and the business of software

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2019 Year in Review

Inspired by: http://blog.fogus.me/2019/12/30/the-best-things-and-stuff-of-2019/


  • 3 months full time
  • 8 months contracting


  • Two companies

Programming Languages

  • Used Go. Many many many thousands of lines
  • sh, bash. High hundreds or low thousands of lines
  • Exposed to and interested in Elixir. Hoping to learn, write more of this


  • Number of blog posts: 8
  • Personal Journal Entries: 21

Popular Content by me:

  • https://twitter.com/amattn/status/1184529267692097536
    • “Managing early career engineers is not the same as managing Sr. engineers. Early career engs need so much more & much tighter direction, mentorship, feedback and Q&A. Much of it at a very low level. Sr. Eng need prioritization, alignment and setting expectations at a high level.”
  • https://twitter.com/amattn/status/1164252538335399941
    • patio11’s response gets most of the credit here:
      • “Autonomous execution ability, anticipating issues not in spec, understanding that the human system is part and parcel of the system instantiated in code, increasing impact outside of core delivery of obviously engineering work, etc.””

Content I’m proud of:


  • Mental health much better
  • Kept up exercising 1-2/week


  • State of my personal wiki:

    • Character: 503,309
    • Words: 85,456
    • Pages 133
  • Biggest Doh!

    • bought an expensive copywriting course, never even finished one session.

Best Blog posts read

Best Books Read

Overall number of books read went way up in 2019: Over 120 if my math is correct across paper, kindle, iBooks. Most were light fiction (bedtime reading).

The best non-fiction I read:

  • The Happiness Hypothesis
  • The Phoenix Project

Favorite Media:

My overall media consumption in 2019 went down I think. Nothing felt really satisfying to me like Infinity War did in 2018.

  • 2019 NFL, 49ers regular season
  • Witcher (may be recency bias, but the series does make me want to pick up the books.)
  • The Mandalorian (Jon Favreau is good at his job.)
  • BBC’s Sherlock
  • BBC’s The Great British Baking Show


  • Hawaii
  • Calistoga, CA


  • None

Todo in 2020

  • Principles by Ray Diallo
  • How to Be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
  • More Elixir
  • Ask for help more. Especially from strangers.
  • Learn more awk
  • 24 or more blog posts
  • Average a tweet a day
  • Write more about recruiting
  • Write more about engineering management
  • Automate some of the stats in this post (tweets, blog posts, maybe books read?)
  • Play around with Raspberry Pi more
  • Get back into meditation habit at some point in the year

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