2018: A Year in Review

December 22, 2018 · Filed under Personal

It’s the end of the year, and I’ve been reflecting on what I accomplished this year and what I didn’t, as well as what I can do better next year. I’ve decided to write one of these because I really enjoy reading them from other people and it’s nice to catalogue things for posterity.

This is my first blog post in about 6 months, though I’ve had another one that is on a technical subject (part two of the “Behind the Syntax” series) in drafts maybe 75% done for a couple months – I’m pretty far off from my goal of one blog post a month! I knew I would get there eventually, so I’m not that bummed out of it. I wish I hadn’t fallen off quite so hard though.

As a side note, this is my first blog post written entirely using Gutenberg, which is a really nice experience! I’m a fan.

Career

My focus this year really shifted away from writing blog posts and doing freelance work to doing more practical things to focus on my career. This includes a lot of studying and practice, really drilling down on improving the quality of the code I write. Specifically JavaScript, though I think that doing things like practicing algorithmic problems and really digging deep into the foundations of the language has given me a lot more solid footing with computer science concepts that will apply to any additional languages I pick up. I have a lot of thoughts on this subject that I might be putting in a different blog post later on.

All of this work enabled me to make a change in my career that I’ve been wanting for a while – moving away from doing agency work to a more traditional software development environment. My entire career up until this point has been working at agencies – building websites and sometimes web apps for clients. I am now working at a place in a more senior role, with agile processes in place and helping maintain and build a very large codebase. It’s a lot more responsibility, it pays a lot better and it’s rounding out my career experience in a way that I feel was sorely needed for where I want to be in 5 years.

My buddy Chris and I after a long ride through the city.

Health

My health was a really prominent focus this year for me. Specifically eating and exercise. I’ve always been a bigger guy who likes to eat, so keeping my eating under control was a challenge. The results were a mixed bag – I was able to lose some weight and keep it off. As of this writing, I’m about 60 pounds down from my highest ever weight. But I still have about 80 pounds I need to lose. I really hope I am able to continue making progress on this next year. I was a lot more successful with exercise however – I signed up for a gym membership in January and I’m still going 2-3 times a week. It’s super cool to not need to make “getting back into the gym” a new year’s resolution!

Working with a trainer has really helped me be consistent and I really enjoy how it makes me feel. I also bought a bike and went on a lot of bike rides and hikes with people this year. It’s something I’m hoping to continue to do and maybe even expand on in the new year.

One of my favorite pictures I took in Guatemala.

Travel

I didn’t do any traveling in 2017, and I found I really missed it. I made it a goal to travel more in 2018. My friend Greg was doing some graduate work down in Guatemala, so I was able to visit him for a week and he drove me all around the country. This was only my second time visiting another country (my first was Canada – and I’m not even sure if that really counts) and it was amazing. I’m super grateful that I got the chance to go do that. I really felt like I soaked the country in.

I also went to Maine and Austin this year. The header picture for this post is from a beautiful bridge I saw as I was driving through Maine during the fall foliage. I think traveling solo is really nice. I love meeting new people wherever I go and I’ve learned a lot about how to do solo travel successfully this year. Next year, I’m planning on visiting Japan and possibly Iceland.

Looking Forward

I have really ambitious plans for next year, and I think I’m in a better place than ever to accomplish my goals. I’m not sure what my blog post schedule is going to look like next year – but I will probably be more active than I was this year. I’ve found that the kind of blog posts I enjoy writing are more editorial than technical. I have a lot of opinions on the industry that I work in that I think might be worth sharing.

I’m excited for what the next year is going to bring. See you in 2019!

Daniel Immke

I design and build things for the web from Atlanta, Georgia. I write about topics I encounter in my day to day work here.

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