So Long 2015: Year Highlights

I should have published this post still in 2015 but as I was on holidays traveling around Australia I didn’t really have the time to do it. Better late than never, right? (also Linode - the provider hosting this site - has been under a severe DDoS attack so the site just came back up today)

2015 has been a unusually quiet year in this blog. Thankfully that is because I have been extremely busy in many other areas. I’d like to take the opportunity and look back at 2015’s highlights.

Atlassian

I started working with Clojure full-time at Atlassian and it’s been a great experience so far. One of the big things we’re working on is bringing collaborative editing to Confluence. However we had the opportunity to put our service to the test with the launch of Project Enso, an Atlassian Labs beta product. Check out this teaser video to get a quick feature run down.

Book

Back in March my book - Clojure Reactive Programming - was finally published. I have written about it before so I won’t dwell too much.

One last note on this though: you can get a digital copy of my book for only $5 as part of my publisher’s (Packt) Skill Up offer. Hurry, offer ends on the 8th of January!

Learning

I tend to do a mix of reading, courses and deliberate practice when learning new things. In terms of reading, you can have a look at a few things I read in my Good Reads - 2015 in books profile.

As for courses I decided to give MOOCs a try and am really happy with the courses I picked:

Coursera:

  • R Programming - This is a great source for anyone who’d like to get started with data processing. Even though R isn’t one of my favourite languages I cannot deny how easy it is to start making sense of your data.
  • Principles of Reactive Programming - As I have been into Reactive Programming myself for quite a while this gave me a bit of perspective on what Scala people mean by it. In particular the parts about Actor systems have been really valuable. Additionally the exercises are challenging and do drive the point home.
  • Introduction to Guitar - I have been playing the guitar for a long time now but I have never had any proper education on the matter. I decided to give it a go with this MOOC by Berkeley and am pleased with the results. Especially since I can now put names to things I have done for years :)
  • Leading People and Teams Specialisation - Leadership is a broad area and having been under both good and bad leadership I don’t want to make some of the same mistakes I’ve seen in the past. As such, I am seeking advice from multiple different sources - such as some of the books in my GoodReads profile above - as well as this specialisation. It has 5 courses in total. I’m two in and have enjoyed it so far.

Edx:

  • FP101x - Introduction to Functional Programming - I picked this course for two reasons: (1) it’s taught by Erik Meijer and I’m fan and (2) as I don’t get to write Haskell all that often I use these courses as practice so my Haskell doesn’t get too rusty. This is an excellent course though if you’re looking to get into functional programming.

I have also been dabbling more and more with Elm and PureScript. But more on that later. Maybe. :)

Speaking

Another good year in this area. Here’s what I spoke about this year:

Training

In case you don’t know one of my hobbies is weightlifting. Names such as Clean, Clean & Jerk, Snatches and Deadlifts are common in my day to day and 2015 has been a super year for my strength goals. In particular I’ve reached 120kg for my Squats and 140kg for my deadlifts which are my all time goals. For a bit of perspective I currently weigh 69kg.

These numbers are good but they are not elite level. However what makes them impressive - for me anyway - is that four years ago I injured my lower back and was diagnosed with Level 1 spondylolisthesis. My doctor at the time told me I wouldn’t be able to lift anymore and I was extremely down for quite a while. It wasn’t until I switched doctors and dedicated 100% to having proper form that I was able to reach a whole new strength level.

These results make me extremely happy. In case you’re into this sort of thing you can check a short video of my best lifts here.

That’s it

It’s been a great year. Let 2016 be even better!

Happy new year and keep on kicking ass :)

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