I am not going to surprise anyone with this statement - 2016 was a special year. 360+ days is a plenty of time for something special to happen. There were plenty of changes. Some smaller, some of them bigger. This review is mostly about the ones that were important.
I am 30+ years old now. Surprise, surprise, I am still young! Or maybe, I should feel old now? This number is not really special, but there is still some significance behind it. I am a huge ‘Football Manager fan’, been playing that game ( if you can call it playing ) since I was 16th. Back then, whenever I had a player in the team that was reaching his 30s, I always thought ‘hey buddy it is time for your retirement, make space for some youngsters’. Here I am, I reached the magic age of ‘make space for the younger generation’. And This year, for the first time, I felt like I am falling behind, a bit. I don’t fully get younger generations, their behaviors, and mentality. Even from a tech point of view, it seems like I am slowly not catching up. Snapchat, Youtube creators, Twitch communities, Pokemon.
I like the fact that, I am more mature now. My EQ has improved a lot. Same with wisdom. As a younger person, I ignored those things completely. Emotional stability is a huge plus, I no longer have the explosive temperament. With all those positives sides, there are also negatives. Sometimes, I am worried that my neural connections have lost a bit of flexibility. Current experience and knowledge take space and energy to maintain, there is less room left to fully grasp new point of views and novel ideas. This is a con of experience I guess, limiting your creativity for increased awareness of potential problems and ‘Nope it can’t be done’.
Getting out of comfort zone is really important to me. That is why I started using vim and other technologies not related to Microsoft ecosystem. That is also why I do spend a lot of time talking to the young generation. It is critical if I want to stay in touch with new technology and the economy of tomorrow. In order to do that, I had to embrace new communities and tools. So far, I am able to keep up. Ideally, it would be great to start teaching at some University. It is a perfect place to meet many interesting people with fresh ideas. This might seem like some ‘old man’ talk, but I do really feel like this problem will get bigger with age and it is important to identify it now before it is too late.
Apart from that, being 30 feels Great! You know 30 is new 20 now. So I am barely 20.
I changed my role in the company to Lead Developer and acquired new responsibilities. This means that coding is no longer a priority for me. All the blogs and books mentioning the transition from a developer to lead dev mentioned it, still it feels weird. I had moments of doubt, but that is normal when you embrace something new. There are times when I hate the new role and responsibilities and want to go back to the old world of coding and beautiful, easily quantified productivity. As a Lead, I am doing a ton of things around coding. It is difficult to measure my impact when a lot of the stuff I do influences future, not ‘now’.
Last year was quite a ride, I have learned a ton about Business / Product Management / Team Management / Company-wide Management / Motivation etc. My learning was amplified, it is always great to learn new stuff. Being Lead was my goal since I read Roy Osherove book about leadership. My first serious Lead was Mariusz Rokita, my best Lead so far Pete Dobbs. Both of them were like a template to build my own Leading Style.
International Speaker - finally, after 2.5 years in the UK, I got up and started speaking. Huge thanks to Pawel Sawicz and Jakub Jedryszek for supporting me in the moments of doubt. In the past, I was speaking quite a lot on University, move to the UK changed it as I wasn’t confident enough to speak in English. Last year, thanks to NDC Oslo and a lot of work ( a lot, lot, lot ) and training ( thanks to Zopa for listening to my dreadful talk a month before Oslo, that was a huge wake up call ) I finally got the confidence back. Thanks to a multitude of people for being the inspiration ( Basia, Michal, Maciek, Krzysiek, Jakub and more ). Next year will be interesting as I am already preparing for NDC London and CodeMotion Amsterdam. There will be more events like that + in March, I am also doing a workshop in Warsaw. More details soon. 2017 will be very busy. More info on my subpage Speaking.
I embraced the world outside of Windows. .NET was my world, C# was my religion. I lived in this ecosystem since the beginning of my career. This is where I learned the web, with magical view states and hacked jquery scripts. I blame you git and vim for showing me the other side. I opened my eyes to a different world, world without Microsoft. At the beginning of 2016, I started using MAC and programming a lot with JS and REACT. Not sure what will happen in the future, I feel comfortable enough now to work productively with vim, an atom in other ecosystems. Still, a lot to learn, unix Books are waiting.
And the best thing at the end, I got married. She Said Yes!. My wife Aleksandra is awesome and supports me in every possible way. I love her soo much. Big thanks to a developer who created an online dating algorithm that matched us together. It is a bit funny when I think that there is a someone who created a formula that made it possible for us to be together. 5 years ago, I logged into a dating site and got 5 randomly selected matches, and there she was my wife with her awesome smile. It was enough to encourage me to say hi. What are the odds? She is my soulmate, my friend, my lover. I try to avoid personal stuff on this blog but without Aleksandra, I wouldn’t be who I am right now. Thank you, honey, for everything.
2017 here I come.