2016 year end review

This is the beginning of the 2017, and it’s also the customary review season for me. This weekend is a bit interesting as we got freezing rain on Friday (and I had to work from home on that day), also due to the fact about a month ago we had freezing rain on a Friday afternoon , the rush hour traffic just blew up. This time no one was taking the chance, from weatherman, to MODOT, to the city/county officials, to the business. Friday was pretty much closed, or work from home for many. It’s Monday (MLK day) today, looking back Friday is also the only bad weather day we had in this weekend: due to the low temperature the road is frozen in some cases, which made driving or walking a bit dangerous. But the situation was not as bad as in 16-Dec-2016. On that afternoon/evening, I heard two friends got into car accidents, and my neighbor who works for the same employer (normally 30 mins drive) as me, spent 5 hours on road.

Weather forecasting/treating road/on-call pager support
Sometime I felt this weather forecasting/MODOT treating the road is a bit like the on call pager duty I do. Both do not have a scientific or definite answer beforehand, but if one misses it, bad things can happen, system went down or people stuck in traffic. On the other hand, if one cried wolf and in the end the wolf did not come, people would second guess you.

I feel I became much more confident on my day job as this is also my 1st complete year (after 7 months I put in year 2015), mainly because I feel familiar with the things there, both technical and non-technical. At the same time, I feel the faster growth of both girls (now 6.5 and 2.5 years old respectively), and the time I spent with them is both precious and sometimes could be tense. I think ideally an indie like work/life may work out better (maybe a few years down the road).

I do understand this is not easy, and I saw some indies are working hard on this aspect, but just like most small business in the US are not making tons of money, most indie software devs are doing similar. So better have a bank account loaded before going solo :-)

Is there too much emphasis on coding?
Launch code, hour of code, girls who code, girls in tech, etc. Interestingly enough my wife who is not a techie, decided to take the LC101 course from LaunchCode at local community college. Note St. Louis is where the LaunchCode started. She is pretty into git these days. I think from the diversity point of view, getting girls/women into coding/tech world is very exciting and in the long run will benefit the industry and society.

We signed up too many classes for Serenity
Serenity has 5 extra curriculum activities (note we did not count the after-school Chess or computer club class here): they are Children’s choir, ballet, piano, skating, and drawing. This is a bit too much.

Last but not least, I took the review idea initially from theSunsFinancialDiary and Kirby Turner (whitepeak software)