1. 23

Share your 2021 experience: work, career change, hobbies, etc.

Share your 2022 goals, if any.

    1. 20

      Well. Ok, here we go:

      • Got deep depression end of 2020/beginning of 2021
      • got fired, while on a work visa in a different continent
      • panicked, but got a new job in less than a month
      • Got a bowel obstruction, hospitalized for a week
      • still depressed, so, fired again
      • decided to move, found new job in a somewhat more sunny and less alien country
      • the week I was supposed to move, got sick, bowel obstruction again
      • hospitalized, meds didn’t work, had to get surgery
      • surgery went well, reschedule moving out date
      • got complication from surgery, had to be hospitalized again
      • finally moved to new country, supposed to start new job 10/01/2022

      So, kind of a shitty year, but it ended in a somewhat good note, personally, at least.

      Goals for 2022? Not dying, not falling into a bottomless pit of depression (again), if I manage that, I’ll be satisfied.

      1. 2

        Thanks for sharing. I feel you.

    2. 10

      This year, we moved. Got 5 kids, the house was getting kinda tight (of course that’s debatable and subjective) so we bought a family-appropriately-sized centennial house about an hour further away from my employer’s office, taking shameless advantage of the pandemic to solidify a perma-remote position. I got lucky and sold my house just as the prices were stopping to pandemic-surge, and hadn’t quite reached yet the place where I bought. It’s been a lot of work so far, moving 7 people ain’t trivial. I also learned to make mead. I like mead.
      Asides from that, work-wise, it’s been pretty quiet. Kind of a weird death-march project where we kept hitting hurdles and pushing back the deadline. A tip: pushing back a deadline several times makes you stress about the deadline several times. Avoid if possible.

      For 2022, we’re hopefully gonna take it a bit easier, I’m gonna finally learn Elixir and Phoenix in earnest because reasons, and I might look for a new gig when my stock options vest in November unless they top me up with a good deal of RSUs. Maybe a smaller company. I’d like a small-medium (50-200 employees) non-hypergrowth-oriented company with decent insurance. Dreaming does not cost much.

      1. 2

        I read that first bit as “in 2021 I got 5 kids” and was very confused for a moment.

        1. 1

          Hahahahaha yeah I can imagine why. My eldest is 10, my youngest is soon to be 2, and there’s no twins in between

    3. 8


      • Managed to pull the business up from a tail spin instigated by the combination of a strategic bet failing just before lockdown put a stop to the backup/recovery plan.
      • All employees secured new gigs.
      • Learned a bunch more on the self-hosting front from holding onto it during the move from central office to distributed operations.
      • Decently interesting client projects helped fund the recovery as well as r&d in internal tech / future projects.
      • Maintained fitness goals.


      • Wrap up infrastructure conversion to Nix, for simpler overview & administration.
      • Execute on exciting new client projects.
      • Continue building internal tech & expanding on future project plans.
      • Keep up interesting personal self-hosting projects.
      • Knock down the kitchen wall and get started remodelling.
      • Rent a cabin or something for actual family vacation.
      • Maintain fitness goals.
    4. 8

      This year, chronologically:

      • Partner moved in with me to work at a nearby school.
      • Got a return offer from my 2020 internship.
      • Hosted my first capture-the-flag.
      • Graduated university.
      • Tried to have a theory paper published (unsuccessfully).
      • Started working full time, rising to the role of lead engineer for one of the programs I’m assigned to.
      • Took home first in a capture-the-flag for the first time.

      Besides going off to grad school, I don’t have a particularly ambitious plan for 2022. I want to (I) continue to put my best foot forward at work, (II) spend more time with family, and (III) give myself time to read, learn, and work on my personal projects.

    5. 7

      2021 was pretty good:

      • I started my own machine learning consulting business. I ended up working on several interesting projects and surprisingly, made almost as much money as I did before, while employed (I expected the first year to come with a big drop).
      • Launched my first side project (not too successful, but it’s a start)
      • Managed to workout at least once every week.
      • Had my first child
      • I got an invite to Lobste.rs :D

      For 2022:

      • I plan to improve my health, especially from a nutrition perspective
      • I need to improve my work/life balance
      • I want to create some sort of (semi) passive ways of making money (courses, ebooks, Patreon, not sure yet)
      • Travel. Somewhere. Anywhere, it really doesn’t matter, but I miss flying so much.
    6. 7

      2021 I got a new job. ♥ Hacking Clojure.
      Also relationships were a complete disaster.
      Also I was sick most of the time.

      2022: just make it through♥ It’s OK.

    7. 6

      2021 had some hard times but was overall one of the best years of my life:

      • Started taking hormones for my transition back in February, vastly improving my mental health :)
      • Finished my second and third semester of college with a good gpa at a relativity tough school
      • General interest in computers and programming declined: I didn’t work on that many side projects, my self-hosted server setup slowly got eaten up by easier, hosted options, etc
      • Had a relationship with a rough breakup :( don’t cheat on your partners, folks!


      • Make it through junior year. I would finish jr year by next fall, my school has a controversial required summer program which actually works out well for me because I can avoid being in my less-than-ideal (understatement) living situation at home.
      • Finalize my legal name and gender change
      • Smoke a little less weed than I have been
      • Continue to work on my lisp interpreter project I started (potentially RIIR?)
    8. 5

      2021 year review:

      • Published three programming ebooks
      • Started and ended the year well in terms of ebook sales, with a poor showing in the middle
      • Wrote fewer than expected programming blog posts until starting a newsletter got me to post at least once a week
      • Read 80+ novels (mostly fantasy & sci-fi and a lot of them were self-published/small-press books via Kindle Unlimited). Wrote a fair number of book reviews.

      Goals for 2022:

      • Foremost goal is to continue taking care of physical/mental health
      • I’m currently working on Vim Reference Guide ebook. Likely to publish in the first quarter
      • Have several more book topics in mind, but not sure if I’ll start working on any of them. And it is possible that I’ll come up with something else I fancy and work on it instead of already planned topics
      • Hope to make interactive apps for programming related exercises, work on games for fun, contribute to open source projects, etc

      Wrote a blog post with more details here: https://learnbyexample.github.io/wild-ride-2021/

    9. 4

      2021 was much better than 2020 overall:

      • Got a new job in March with higher pay and more benefits, so much happier with the new company
      • Wanted to learn one new thing that’s unrelated to my IT work, so I started trading stocks and learning about that stuff in more detail, finishing 2021 with ~12% rate of return
      • Managed to save 50% more money compared to the previous year
      • Started exercising some more, lost some weight and improved my overall health & body figure
      • Had another oral surgery (one more wisdom tooth to go before I don’t have to worry about them ever again)
      • Managed to contract Covid despite taking 2 Pfizer shots

      Plans for 2022:

      • Expand my overall DevOps skills
      • Get a promotion and a raise at my $DAYJOB
      • Go through the post-covid syndrome (and take a booster shot when ready)
      • Save even more money
      • Get back on track with exercising
      • Have one final oral surgery
      • Learn something new, unrelated to everything I do already
    10. 4

      2021 was sleepless chaos: old, sick and sometimes stubborn parents, ONE OF THEM DEAF AS HELL (“don’t shout like this to me…”), extreme uneven load at work, girlfriend in hospital… I want just to forget about it.

      In 2022 I want to build myself two bicycles (I already did in my youth, still got the tools), and I want to be as fit and healthy again to get 200km/d tours done. I have now two years of stress blubber on my ribs and my body does sometimes not feel like me.

    11. 3


      • I finally got a long-sought promotion, but it was a bit of Pyrrhic victory as it came with only a 3% raise–much less than I’d been led to expect.
      • Had to move unexpectedly after our lease wasn’t renewed, and rent went up
      • my wife had a really rough year of job hunting
      • got the freedom to run with a crazy idea at work for a while. I don’t know if we’ll end up shipping it or not, but it’s been a great experience that has developed our team’s capacity and if nothing else it will provide a point of comparison to other potential solutions. This work was a refreshing change from the feature-factory treadmill I’d gotten stuck on for the past year or so.
      • Rode my bike a lot, camped a lot.


      • I need to look for a new job. I’ve been procrastinating here because I enjoy my team and my work, but I’ve been getting jerked around on comp for two years now and it’s clear that this place is never going to value me.
      • Some exposure to the “modern” front-end development world this year at work (I am primarily a backend programmer) has made me want play with alternatives like HTMX, Hyperscript, etc. React/Apollo/GraphQL can’t be the best we can do.
      • Ride my bike more, camp more.
    12. 3

      Went from “leading a project” with no team and no resources in 2020 to being a member of a team full of smart people in 2021 (theoretically a title downgrade but I care more about actually doing something useful than stuff like that). Contributed something algorithmically interesting to an open-source project. Also my daughter was born in January. Both of those big changes are fulfilling but the combination of having to actually work again with parenting has me struggling to keep my head above water mentally. Hobby-wise I’ve gotten a few things done (installing a new entry panel to bring coax into the house, with lightning protection and all, was a great achievement) but I’ve also had a lot of ideas I’ve had to sideline for lack of time and energy.

      2022: probably gonna keep on keeping on at work. Hoping to get more settled into a routine at home, and maybe my daughter will be ready for daycare at some point and we can gain a few hours of sanity that way. Plans beyond that are all ???.

    13. 3


      • Spent a lot of quality time with my daughter and spouse
      • Went on a magic medicine for a chronic condition and it has made remarkable difference to my health.
      • Made a job change and am much happier now. Can code full time.
      • Worked more systematically on my novel.
      • Finally got a VR setup


      • Spend more quality time with family
      • Get better at work (the tech stack is huge and I’m still ramping up)
      • Finish draft 2 and 3 of the novel, perhaps start querying
      • Get more exercise (the quest 2 will help)
    14. 2


      I think 2021 treated me fairly well. I got myself put together enough to start losing weight. Managed to get promoted, and finally got my transfer to a different part of the company. Also learned a little bit of everything this year. Improved my skills on a lot of fronts, especially on the people front.


      Hopefully I’ll keep the momentum up on my weight loss. I will definitely be moving around, and I hope to pick up some new hobbies, and meet more people.

    15. 2

      2021 was a great year for me. I:

      • Had my name removed from the records of the church I grew up in.
      • Was inducted as a lay minister in a non-sectarian Buddhist ministry.
      • Took my family to Maui, Hawaii for vacation.
      • Ran my first marathon in 3:50:02.
      • Graduated with my Master of Science in Cybersecurity and Information Assurance.

      For 2022:

      • Study stoicism.
      • Run 4 marathon.
      • Run 2 50K races.
      • Continue my audit of 3rd party password generators.
      • Start an offline browser-based project to compete with random.org.
      1. 1

        Study stoicism

        Are you going to read Ryan Holiday’s books? I had some experience here, I started with Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (fantastic book) and gave the book after reading to my friend to read. I forgot the translator author of that book. Next I went with Seneca, was a bit boring to be honest. Then, I came to Ryan Holiday’s books starting with Daily Stoic – It is very nice after reading the above books and articles on Stoicism on the web, I could relate to his translations.

        Start an offline browser-based project to compete with random.org

        I’m also going to build an offline browser-based application that I have in my mind for a while :)

        All the best to you!

        1. 1

          Are you going to read Ryan Holiday’s books?

          I wasn’t planning on it as I’m not familiar with him, but I’ll look into it.

          I started with Meditations by Marcus Aurelius (fantastic book)…Next I went with Seneca…

          I think I’ll be starting with the classics before getting into the modern interpretations. I had on my list The Enchiridion of Epictetus, Meditations by Marcus Aurelius, The Letters and Essays of Seneca the Younger, the Essays of Cicero, and The Reign of the Stoics by Frederic May Holland.

    16. 2


      • Work was overwhelming and relentless. Pre-covid highest workload was nearly doubled (counted by tickets, I work in operations) and became the new base level of work, and we were fewer to do the actual work.
      • Had another daughter which was amazing (aside from driving 1+ hour to the nearest maternity hospital) but complicated things slightly. I’ve worked many hours with a newborn in a baby sling, an amazing experience!
      • Workload continued over the summer so I had to cut down on my vacation which didn’t help much with recovery. (I could take 2 out of 5 weeks)
      • Went on (paid, yay!) parental leave in late August
      • Not much time to do much else than taking care of our children
      • My girlfriend has a peculiar job which involves being away 3-7 days a week so even less time for personal projects


      • Finding a new job (in progress)
      • Getting back from my parental leave (late August)
      • Moving to a new house
      • Getting back more into photography again
      • Getting back to exercising again (not just walks with the stroller)
      • Doing more cross country skiing (the yearly average temperature here is -0.4 C so lots of time!)

      That sums it up.

    17. 2

      For 2022, my goal is to find a 100% remote job programming in Rust. Where I’m making more money.

    18. 2

      Hmmm, good question.


      • Worked a bunch. Did several mostly-successful product demos for various Important People.
      • Made the Garnet compiler pretty much look like a compiler instead of a program that ran hardwired unit tests
      • Got vaccinated
      • Successfully handed ggez off to new maintainers, who are doing a lovely job so far
      • Got vaccinated more
      • Helped partner move in with me! It’s pretty fantastic.
      • Learned a LOT about living with said partner’s gigantic friendly energetic dog
      • Wrote a portion of a silly operating system.
      • Said goodbye to some of my best friends, who are moving out of town
      • Fixed up a house to be a rental property, and it’s Almost Finished Honest
      • Got brain medication stepped up a bit, which helped a LOT
      • Visited family for holidays. Partner’s gigantic dog did not eat my nephew! Didn’t eat my mom’s cute little terrier either, though that was a bit of a harder sell.
      • Got vaccinated more

      All in all not a bad year.

      Goals for 2022:

      • Travel to various interesting places to do more work demos and training for more Important People
      • Turn the rental property into something that actually produces money for once
      • Make Garnet’s compiler self-host, or at least able to start the process
      • Write more of a silly operating system
      • Try to convince partner’s gigantic dog that my cat is not a self-activating chew toy
      • Do more metalworking
      • Get buff
      • Hug partner more
      • Play with VR
    19. 2

      Here we go

      • Started off if NZ after having been there for 3.5 months helping family as my mum was undergoing radiation treatment
      • Returned to the US in business class because I finally got the miles! Even better: a 777 with a full crew compliment and … 11 passengers!
      • Started ketamine for depression. For me it wasn’t a magic cure, but it substantially reduced self harm
      • Shipped some important features
      • Finally got a promotion I’d been wanting for years
      • Started TMS - alas for me no impact.
      • Fostered many puppies
    20. 2

      Despite everything, 2021 was reasonably good for me.

      • January: Approached by a recruiter at a great company, started interview process.
      • February: Got an offer from said company, glad to finally resign from a company I’d been resenting for too long.
      • March: Finished at old job, took a few weeks off.
      • April: Start at new job, mind very much blown.
      • May-November: Thoroughly enjoying new company and job, but realise towards the end of the period I’ve taken no time off during the year so took 2 weeks off.
      • December: Towards end of my 2 weeks’ leave I finally got myself an e-bike to try and get out more and get more exercise. Immediately have an accident, seriously fractured shoulder joint and had to have surgery.
      • Now: still in a sling :-(

      As for next year, well I’ll still be recovering from the accident for most of January and will need physio for a while. So in my first year of a new job I’ll have had to take 2 months off! However the company and team are great and I look forward to keep growing at this company.

      1. 2

        It is a good year! I am also starting to prep for interviewing as I have stayed too long with my current employer. I failed to get a promo to staff level earlier in the year despite working my ass off. Felt depressed and burnt out after that debacle. But, in rear sight, I learned that I need to look ahead beyond this company as in “I have a business that is providing my skills for whoever could pay me decent”.

        So leetcode and system design I go!

      2. 1

        Sorry to hear about your accident. I’ve been wanting to get an ebike as well.. which one did you get, do you recommend it?

        1. 2

          It’s made by a UK chain called Halfords. It’s a Carrera Impel im-3. From the brief amount of time I was able to use it, it’s nice. Comfortable to ride, the electric assist is great.

          1. 1

            awesome. I’ll check it out