2021 Looking Ahead
Last night was about Year in Review. Today is about looking forward.
I believe I was doing theme years on twitter and thus have lost them, so I should clearly be doing theme in blog form.
For 2021, well, 2020 felt like a year pent up, for a few reasons. The pandemic and quarantine are the most obvious, and I suspect we’ll see an explosion of travel starting in the later half of the year.
But with respect to work, last year was heads down full speed ahead on the UI redesign and flesh out of Cwtch, and while we ended the year with something I’m proud of, it took a lot of work to get there and I really don’t think it should have been so hard. QT/QML was a painful choice for building UIs in. And given that it’s looking like we may be parting ways with QT/QML (detailed explanation in the short term future), I really want to pick something that is a little less horrifyingly painful to use and that allows us to move faster. I do not want to spend another year mostly doing UI work.
To both those ends, it feels like the Theme for 2021 should be along the lines of: push, rapid, build, go fast, expand, explode.
As you can see I’m still looking for the right one (or few) word to sum it up, but that’s the feeling I have, I want to go faster.
Also as I noted in my year in review, I was a bit cautious on exploring new things, very heads down and spending my energy on work and surviving in quarantine. I want to open up a bit more this year, try to get back into reading a bit more for one thing. Last year was probably my worst in a decade for reading. So a few decisions. I increasingly know what I like, so I need to jettison some of my old “classics” lists. They aren’t fun and haven’t aged well, and if I haven’t gotten to them now, they probably were not that important. I think I need to be looking to stick with newer works because they will have a much better chance of incorporating more of the contemporary sensibilities I increasingly find myself looking for.
Tech and Work
As for personal tech, every year it’s a little the same, I put of some personal project ideas because I will identify a precursor element that’s not quite there. I really need to stop that this year and start building some things I’ve wanted for a bit. Continuing with my philosophy of Cult of Done, nothing will ever be perfect, but actually trying to write some of this might help better define what’s missing and maybe I can help fill it in. As tying back with work, I also need to looking to try and make smart choices that will enable me to go fast. I don’t want to get caught up spending more time fighting my tools than working with them. But I’m one person, I can’t reinvent everything as I’d like it. A good “hacker” would make due and the most of the available tools, so I need to take a more mercenary approach to work. And with that mindset, and if you are moving fast, and Cult of Doneing it (nothing is perfect) than you can always shift when something else comes along. Being agile like that may be an alternative strategy for avoiding lock in, unlike just picking sub optimal tech from potentially more aesthetically appearing origins.
So try and pick the tech that will enable me to get the most done the fastest, and move quicker with it.
This ties back to last night’s notes about struggling with Rust, contemplating Dart, and medium satisfaction with Go, but it’s clearly got some parts missing I’d like to see (like iter map code of Rust or even Stream of Java or Linq code of C#). I always struggling even with languages, because the more niche, or newer I go, the more green and under developed the support library system is which can lead to aforementioned either fighting with tooling or library bugs that shouldn’t be there (plenty of that last year) or straight up needing to implement things. It’s a difficult balance I want to find.
I do like the structure of the brain dump of blogging, especially the year review/year theme projection around new years. New years is really nothing special but it is also an excuses to perform a useful exercise and for that I like it.
Relatedly, I just saw another person talking about Morning Pages today in my rss feeds, and am pondering a digital exercise like that. I do often find the idea of writing ideas down, even in just lists, helps get them out of my head, and frees up space, keeps them better recorded for future reference, and allows the fleshing out process to start, so I’m a little temped to look at exploring a daily writing exercise.
It was pointed out I had initially missed any health goals for 2021 entirely which… show’s even with this exercise how narrow my focus can be. I don’t have any terribly concrete goal but I started with a trainer at the end of 2020 and I’d like to keep that going and general get up my muscle tone to start fighting off what otherwise might appear bodily aches from “getting older”. As a side effect of that I’ve started watching my food intake a bit which is my big weakness, the very bad candy snacking. So I’m hoping to keep that well down across 2021. And just generally end the year in “better health” than I entered it, which would be nice.
Well, still off work for a little bit more. The among of energy we expend tensing our mental focus muscles around work all year I do find really take time to relax. Even a few weeks off is barely enough sadly. So time to go poke at a bit more at new languages, and games and take advantage of the relaxing my brain is doing by looking for nice things and dumping them on my brain.
2021 is starting very undifferent from how most of 2020 was, but in the middle year distance there is some light with regards to the pandemic easing off. I’m tempted to say we won’t be as caught off guard this year as we were last year by a pandemic level event but that seems both tempting fate and an increasingly risky proposition as global climate change continue to tighten tension on systems past breaking. It’s going to keep being a rocky ride so take the lessons we’ve learned in the last year and keep putting them to use. Welcome to the third decade of the 2000s. It’s going to be a ride.
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