Year in review 2019
Another year is coming to an end. But this year it is different. Its the fall of a decade and the rise of a new one.
Rather than listing the last ten years of my life though, I will only focus on 2019 for review, because as we all people, a lot of things happened in the last decade and it would be enough to write a book.
This blog post will not be like the usual ones and the scope will go beyond coding. Even though much of my time was in front of the computer I am glad I did more things than that!
Rise of Bookis
In April 2019, I finally launched my own side business called Bookis. This has been my first serious project and successful enough to gain the attention of a few customers.
Bookis is a B2B SaaS service aiming to help businesses that work with appointments (mainly). Its a CRM of sorts but it can do so much more and my customers now are in a position to help shape the project which puts them (and me) in an interesting position.
While I don't have many customers right now, I enjoy working on Bookis but I will have to do more in terms of marketing if I want to sustain myself through this business one day.
Health and Fitness
This is one of my toughest categories to contemplate on. In the last few years, I have been trying to lose weight and sitting for 10+ hours per day did not help.
However, this year has been different. I was able to lose 7kg out of my goal of 30kg. I returned to a more healthy weight, I sleep better, I breathe better, I have more energy and I am more happy overall.
The last time I weighed the same as now, was 4 years ago.
One of the reasons I have been able to lose weight was that I took interest in running. I find that running helps me relax, and I feel stronger after every run.
I tracked my running/walking total time, distance, etc and my biggest achievement (maybe ever) was passing 23 minutes continuous running for total of 26 minutes running mostly at 6.40minutes / per km speed, with a total distance of 5.27km for the first time, in 41 minutes again for the first time in the four months I have picked up running.
Compared to my first time running, four months prior I was only able to run for 1 minute. What a difference consistency makes eh.
In 2019 the blog has started to gain some traffic and this has taught me that looking long term, analyzing the big picture can be fruitful.
Below I am presenting some of my statistics compared to 2018.
- 4075 visitors (compared to 1101 in 2018)
- 5209 page views (compared to 1329 in 2018)
Overall there is around a 300% increase in traffic which is very welcome and I intend to increase it even more with quality content coming up in 2020.
Including this blog post, I have written 9 blog posts in 2019 compared to 6 in 2018. That's a 50% increase.
Since around 2017 I have a channel on youtube called CodeBlobsTV where I upload education videos around programming. However, I have been on and off for the last couple of years, with my last attempt to create videos in November 2019.
Sadly, I haven't been able to keep at it constantly. It takes a lot of time to produce a video and having a full-time job, a side business and other hobbies, there is only so much time in a day.
CodeBlobsTV is closing the year with 161 subscribers and 7.6K views with a total of 311 hours of watch time for 2019.
On the 1st of January 2019, I started a new job in an interesting startup and it was pretty nice until the project was stopped 3 months after.
Even so, we were not jobless, we just got transferred to another company and I stayed there for 3 more months before doing a complete 360 degrees turn and moving abroad to the United Arab Emirates at the end of July.
This has been one of the boldest moves I did in recent years and I am glad to say that it has been well worth it so far! I am pretty excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and I will try my best to make the best of it!
I am a voracious reader and I tend to read a LOT per day in different subjects but I can only quantify what I track on goodreads and in 2019 I read 26 books. A feat for me, but a bit short on my goal of 35 books in 2019. Nonetheless, I will keep the same goal for 2020 and try to better manage my time.
To put it into perspective, If I was reading 20 pages per day that would equate to 7300 pages in a year. If a book on average is 300 pages then it translates roughly to 25 books which seems to be what I managed to do this year even though I haven't constantly been reading that much each day.
What I gather from this is that I read a lot more than 20 pages each time I sit down to read but maybe that's also the reason why I haven't been consistent.
I took big reading chunks spread into more days than just reading 20 pages per day. I will try to adjust this so that I can read 35 books in a year by being consistent instead of doing bursts of reading.
Goals for 2020
Yeah I know, many people don't believe in new year resolution goals or that if they expose them in public they might not truly take these goals seriously.
I do agree that every time I put new years resolution goals I haven't really really followed them but I also found that my processes and habits were the fault of this, not the goals themselves.
During 2019 I have developed my own mental systems and processes which seem to work for me and of course, I will continue to work and improve them as I go.
So here are my 2020 goals
- Lose 26kg of weight
- Increase the customer base and the revenue for my self-bootstrapped startup Bookis
- Improve my reading techniques so I retain more of what I learn and reach the target of 35 books in a single year.
- Be able to run continuously at least for 5km and do at least one 5km competitive run.
- Increase the video production for my youtube channel
- Increase the quality, quantity, and user-retainability of this blog
- Profession-wise, learn more about DevOps and specifically about Kubernetes, CI/CD and microservices architecture
The above is just a summary and I will have to break them down into manageable and measurable chunks so that I can be productive and don't feel overwhelmed.
This year has been a tremendous boost to my well being, confidence, happiness and overall sense of achievement and I don't see me stopping any time soon.
See you in 2020!