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2021 Year In Review

Updated: Jan 5

What a year!

  • More Covid, cautions/restrictions

  • Wednesday quizes w/ old friends

  • Motorcycle trip to John O' Groats with good friend (ending in break-down!)

  • Got to see family in Wisconsin/Michigan, though family got Covid (and my mom pretty badly)

  • Missed out on trip to Colmar to see old friends

  • Promotion from JVM Practice Lead to Head of Engineering and then Head of Technology at Nimble

  • Great year for reading/learning

  • Ended year w/ some great new opportunities

  • Completed "Business Analytics: From Data to Decision" course

  • Contributed (ever so slightly) to the Eyam Half Marathon as treasurer

  • Great memories with my family - walks, games, reading

  • Contributed to several open-source projects

On the whole, figuring out my place at the (still relatively start-up) Nimble Approach consultancy is in the foreground. Made a lot of new friends, great/interesting conversations, and just given me a new perspective on a lot of things


Main Thoughts/Quotes


A few main quotes have been on my whiteboard for most of the year:


"I have not yet met a man who wasn't my superior in some way" - Emerson

and

"If you don't have a plan, someone will have a plan for you - and it won't be much" - Jim Rohn

I also should say, remaining my favourite quote:

"Between stimulus and response there is space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom." - Viktor Frankl

I often quote that in some form with talking with my daughters. :-)


It's really been great, talking w/ clients, colleagues, families and friends - just on what they enjoy, or frustrations they've had.


One theme which came out seemed to be the concept of "zero-sum thinking". That somebody-else's gain in some way detracted from their own goals/achievements.

People are very rarely pathological - I've not yet (I don't think) met a truly evil person.

It's great when people can really feel trusted/vulnerable enough to open-up. The world often isn't nearly as bad as it seems!


Films


Not a lot of these really spring out, though we did just watch "Don't Look Up". Spoiler alert:


I really liked the ending - I got a bit emotional when Leonardo's character said "we really did have it all, didn't we?"


Podcasts


As ever, my favourite podcasts included:


  • The Daily (NY Times)

  • A Bit of Optimism

  • Cautionary Tales w/ Tim Harford

  • The Knowledge Project w/ Shane Parrish

  • Making Sense w/ Sam Harris

  • Planet Money (NPR)

  • Revisionist History

  • Today, Explained

  • This American Life

  • What Trump can Teach us about Con Law (now What Roman Mars Can Learn About Con Law)


Books Read


Moving to audible has really helped - allowed me to "read" during runs.


Tips from fs.blog/reading have helped too.


I've read (or partially read)

  • Measure What Matters

  • Sapiens

  • Accelerate

  • Beautiful Visualisations

  • Storytelling with Data

  • How to Measure Anything

  • Designing Data-Intensive Applications

  • Designing Distributed Systems

  • Foundations for Architecting Data Solutions

  • The 4-Hour Work Week

  • The Compound Effect

  • How to Make the world add Up

  • How to Win Friends & Influence People

  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad

  • The Art of Saying No

  • The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People

  • Thinking, Fast and Slow

  • Good to Great

  • Why E=MC2 (Brian Cox & Jeff Foreshaw)



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