Quote of the year
“Focus on things you can control, ignore the rest” – The dichotomy of control – Stoics
2023, in my early 30s, it is the first year that I felt the effects of stability. I didn’t have to worry about stuff that I have been dealing on and off since I graduated (like moving houses, shaky finances, etc). There were minor hiccups, but nothing to loose sleep over. I couldn’t travel to new places as much I would have liked, but it’s alright. Can’t have it all.
- An unfiltered chat with Lou about the role of Architects. A few snippets of my chat were featured in this video
- 3x meetups hosted at the local AWS user group
- 2x speaking at meetups (Stockholm and Oslo)
- Got US B1 visa! (4 years, 2 failed attempts and COVID delays later)
- Made it to the US twice – 1x for AWS hosted Riot games hospitality experience and 1x to AWS Reinvent
- 1x Speaking at Reinvent. The biggest thing of the year!
- 1x Speaking at AWS Community Day DACH in Munich
- 1x Speaking at AWS Summit Stockholm
- 3x speaking at Non-AWS related events ( Data Saturday Oslo, Stockholm Tech Summit and North Europe Data, AI and Analytics summit)
- 3x presentations at work to the developer and product management communities.
- Complied a use case at work and took it all the way to the CTO for approval.
Areas that I explored
- Domain Driven Design – this ended up being the main theme of my Reinvent talk. This is a very dense and important topic I will keep working on.
- Data Mesh – Decentralized Analytics as future. This became the anchor for the data strategy I am writing at work. More work to do in this area.
- Wardley Maps – using maps as a tool for strategic thinking and getting a true sense of the landscape. Used it for a couple of initiatives. This will be a go to tool for strategic thinking. The climatic patterns from the Simon’s book stuck with me.
- Enrolled in MBA program on the side. Its proving to be very challenging working and studying at the same time.
- Bought my parents to Sweden this summer. Explored the Swedish west coast and all Scandinavian capitals with them.
- Grew my fountain pen hobby considerably. Highlight was buying a used Mont Blanc 146 meisterstuck. I always wanted this pen! Handwriting has improved a bit, but far from ideal.
Things that didn’t go well
- Focus on health. Went to the gym irregularly for 3 months and then dropped off.
- Didn’t read much – both non-fiction or fiction – as I would have liked to.
- Didn’t write much either. This lead to shallow content in some of my presentations.
2024 – what I want it to be
Over the years I have learned that the key to planning at the beginning of year is to be not too overtly detailed. Things change and we feel bad if we don’t hit the goals at the end. Instead, I have seen that focusing on themes and areas to work on works better. These are some of the areas I will focus on –
- Sharpen writing skills. Second order effects of this would be better presentations and overall better thinking. I have revived this blog for that one reason.
- Find the balance with work, exercise and leisure.
- Read for pleasure and expanding professional horizon.
- Solidify software engineering principles aka System design from 1st principles. Motivation here
- Focus on reducing the gap between data engineering and software engineering practices using Data mesh as guiding framework.
- Move from Software architecture elevator from penthouse to the engine room more frequently and spend significant time of the year in the engine room. Link
- Find ways to express myself better via public speaking / blogs / micro blogging. Share crystal clear ideas and thoughts. I found that I can talk about these ideas easily in a work context but struggle to put it in words or presentations.
- Learn to take (sell) technical ideas to business personas better. Focus more mental models, operational structures, service designs.
- More AWS Meetups in Göteborg.
- Speak at more local meetups in Scandinavia
- Mentor people if the time and energy allows.
Thanks for reading! See you on the other side, slick (reference to Interstellar) !