2016 in review

Working at the MailOnline was a great experience and it was the longest I ever been in a company based in the UK. The time there gave me the opportunity to enhance my skills in Swift, but as well in FRP, FP and MVVM. There was also room to use AsyncDisplayKit, which was something I wanted to work with for some time now, but never really had the opportunity or justification to use it. I can say, without any doubt, that the community around it is unbelievably good and Scott Goodson helped me way more than I deserved. For that I am very grateful. Working with friends, was also one of the reasons I joined MailOnline without too much thinking, for that I thank George Medve, Kristian Angyal and Hermit Dave for putting up with my usual bullshit 😜. I was also lucky to meet other amazing people like VK, Jan and Zeno (being Zeno the best contractor I ever worked with by far).

So my 2016's goal was to steadily move from frontend to backend, as I was starting to feel a slow but real burn down. I am still feeling it, but since my role as moved to more of a tech manager, this has stagnated. Conclusion: I utterly failed my 2016 goal.

Moving to babylon health in October, was, in retrospective the best decision I could ever made: solving a tough problem with real human value surrounded by talented people. Couldn't really ask for more, to be honest. It also sets the point where I am moving away from a 100% focused software engineer to management, which is something that appeals to me at some level (although I don't foresee doing it full time). It also allows me to appreciate how hard the role is (soft skills are way more difficult to improve/gain/enhance than hard ones, in my opinion).

After a big twist in my personal life, I found that running has helped me keeping mentally and emotionally sane. It is a cliché, but honestly I think it saved me. I was able to achieve my yearly goal of 500k, which, looking back, is amazing. In June I was barely able to run 5k and now I am running half marathons. I am also appreciating living my life outside code and development more. This is one of the reasons I have been blogging so little and not really working in OSS at all. Something I stumble upon often is the idea of:

in your deathbed will you remember: "If only I had spent more time at the office."

In my case, not an office, but OSS and developing in general and the conclusion is: I very much doubt I will.

I do love what I do, but I have been gradually reducing the amount of time I have been pouring into it, for my own sake.

For 2017, I am foreseeing spending more time traveling and doing at least two big trips. My yearly running goal will triplicate to 1500k. From a professional point of view, I will be quite busy with what we have in mind for babylon health. I will also focus in other languages. 2016 showed me that statically typed languages are well aligned with my way of thinking and, although we should challenged our own beliefs, I will continue to invest my time there (versus dynamically typed). Within Swift, I will be on the lookout for other architecture/design approaches, being Flux/Redux in my scope right now. It was a good investment when in 2014 I was already doing MVVM with ReactiveCocoa, so I will try to be ahead of the curve again.