2018: A Year In Review

A look back over 2018, and a look forward to 2019.

Last year when I put out content around the new year about my plans I got a spike in traffic. I guess something about the personal nature of the post was attractive. Based on how much people seemed to like those posts, I thought I’d do another.

A round up of 2018 — and a goal set for 2019.

 

The one and only thing I’ll be focusing on in 2018

Sometimes it's what we don't-do, rather than what we do-do that can be infinitely more important.

“You seem Zen. Do you meditate?”. We were in a bar having a catch up drink before Christmas. We hadn’t spoken for a year, but we’ve been friends for a long time. I didn’t think much of the comment at the time. But since I’ve had the chance to think about it some more. It has been a while since I’ve last meditated (even though I should do it more…). But the “zen” part has been a deliberate practice. Well, I wouldn’t call it Zen. I’d call it focus and it’s something that I spent most of 2017 trying to cultivate. There’s a Hemingway quote that’s stuck with throughout this year.

The best reads of 2017

My top picks out of everything I read in 2017

2017 it seems was the year of marketing, business and philosophy reading. A big (reading related) revelation of 2017: Used books on Amazon. This has saved me a huge bunch of cash. I read around 75 books this year and tossed aside a whole load more that didn’t captivate me. I also made a complete move (and loving it!) to physical books so that I can better take notes and reference them later. But without further ado, here are a few of the better books that I read this year…

On being and hiring an apprentice

When it comes to being an apprentice: autonomy trumps skill.

We are often an apprentice. Whether that’s joining a new team with a new business domain. Or joining a new job that requires new skills. This means that we’re at the mercy of needing someone else to guide us. Leaving us in the dark, trying to make sense of everything.
 
As I move between clients often I find myself in the apprentice space a lot. And then wondering what approach is best. Ask lots of questions or hardly any? What amount of interaction makes sense?

Stoicism: A software developers guide.

Many of life's issues are already solved. That means we can learn incredible lessons from the past ... here are my top 5 ideas from the stoic philosophy and how you can leverage them too.

Most problems have happened before. If we search back in history far enough, we’ll find someone overcoming a problem we now have. Stoic philosophy (Stoicism), when studied can give us many of the answers to problems we already face. I am only a beginner when it comes to Stoicism. But I’ve already had benefits leveraging some of the learnings from their teachings.
 
Rather than spending your time reading the works and figuring out how they apply to you. I’ve distilled 5 of the top lessons, from the perspective of a software developer.

An inside look at my favourite apps

A list of my favourite apps from productivity and mindfulness to budgeting and finance.

I’m always getting asked “wait, what is that app?” when someones peering over my shoulder as I work. So I figured it was about time to unleash them all. A list of my favourite apps from productivity and mindfulness to budgeting and finance.
 
Here is a list of my current apps that I use in my day-to-day life. They cover pretty much everything from productivity to finance. You should come away with at least one hidden gem in here I’m sure!

How ancient greek philosophy will make you a better developer

No matter the difficulty you face - it's certain someone has faced it before. Harnessing the power of Ancient philosophers can help us to overcome difficulties and ultimately be better at what we do: software.

“They’re the scariest man at AND Digital” !
Exclaimed a developer to me about a colleague. I burst out laughing. Not at the developer, but at his choice of words. The developer isn’t native English. This made his choice of wording rather amusing. I knew exactly what he meant; scary was not the word he was looking for!