My 2022 in review
Another year, another retrospective; this time using the timeless classic “Mad, Sad, Glad” template.
Things that drove me crazy and stopped me from performing at my best:
I didn’t write as much as I wanted to. No wait, that’s not it. I wrote a lot. I even spent much more time writing and rewriting than I wanted to – it’s just that very little of what I wrote was published. To be fair, much of it was crap.
Although that largely explains why I haven’t even managed to publish 30 articles this year, there are other reasons too: it turns out that having to write one or two articles every week during your time off is extremely tiring, and sometimes I simply want to do other things.
Many of my side projects are hosted on a small Kubernetes cluster in . I manage it myself, so I can keep costs down. It’s also a great excuse to learn more about infrastructure automation tools, operating systems, networking, and of course Kubernetes itself.
I set up my cluster using Terraform, with the assumption that I could later use it to quickly recreate my cluster from scratch, if needed. Of course, I was wrong.
It only took six months for the script to break completely: a few packages were already no longer available, some had to be configured differently now, and several types of Kubernetes resources didn’t support the current version (which had been released a month ago) yet.
It took me days of tinkering to get everything working again. I guess this is why people pay for managed Kubernetes hosting.
Things that disappointed me or that I wish could be improved:
Each year I try to come up with mildly interesting side projects to work on. This year’s projects include an analysis of Chinese restaurant names in the Netherlands, a set of paper craft cube buses, and the Please move aside! project which lets you recreate frustrating situations where someone or something is in your way.
Many of these projects do fairly well in terms of traffic, but some attract even fewer visitors than “normal” articles that only took me a few hours of work to complete (as opposed to days or even weeks). I’m not trying to make money with these side projects, but it still hurts. But only little bit.
What also hurts a bit is that I’ve been using dating apps for several years now and I’ve basically got nothing to show for it. This was kind of expected, because I put zero effort in them. Also, I’m a Chinese guy in the Netherlands.
When I visited Hong Kong this year, I was temporarily a Chinese guy in a Chinese city. I honestly did not expect how much that changes everything. I already racked up more likes on my first day in Hong Kong than I had in the four years before it, and the two weeks that followed didn’t disappoint either.
But then I flew back to the Netherlands and things went back to “normal”.
Maybe I should emigrate. 🙃
Fortunately there were also things that made me happy this year:
I spent the first half of 2022 working tirelessly towards the completion of my second master’s programme. I am happy to report that it’s finally happened and I can now call myself a Master of Science in Software Engineering – or overqualified.
I don’t even recall the grade I earned for my graduation project, I’m just glad that this phase of my life is finally over.
When I transferred to a different department at work this year they gave me a new MacBook Pro and it’s literally the best computer I’ve ever had. I may have better-specced machines in the future, but I strongly doubt that any of them will be this relative to what I would normally be able (and willing) to buy myself.