2019 has been the year that’s primed me the most for life changes. I imagine 2020 will the be the one where a lot of these changes materialize.

2019 Recap

Practice Vim for 30 days

Not only did I successfully try it for 30 days, I now use vim as my primary text editor of choice and absolutley love it. It deserves a separate post though.

Blogging + screencasting?

I wrote 12 posts last year so I’m pretty happy with the 1-post-per-month average.I’m definitely looking to ramp up this number in 2020.

I didn’t do any screencasting though. I purchased a screaming hot license for ScreenFlow but left it unopened for the rest of the whole year 👎. 1

Care about your privacy

I definitely have been more acutely aware of privacy and how my data is being collected by different services and platforms out there. The biggest change I’ve made is the iPhone X for all personal use 2. This was an incredibly tough pill to swallow for me. I don’t intend to write about this cause it always feels like a moving target but I do have copious notes on the matter. Let me know if you’re interested and I might just convert those notes into a blog post.

I’ve also switched to Firefox for my browsing. If you’re considering the switch for privacy reasons, make sure you’re also using the Multi-Account Containers add-on. That coupled with the Temporary Containers add-on is what makes it a truly private browsing experience. This definitely warrants a post or screencast so look for that in the future.

Miscellaneous

I try to speak at one international conference every year (always a new talk, in a city/country I’ve never been to before). This year I had the opportunity to give a talk in Poland. This trip was the highlight of the year.

I am terribly disappointed that I didn’t make my annual trip to Disneyland 3 but I shall make amends.

On completing 185 episodes of Fragmented -the podcast I co-created with my buddy Donn- we decided to change things up a little. That was a big decision for us. If you’re curious you can listen to the changes here:

2020 Goals

In past years I’ve kept my resolutions and goals pretty generic (do more X, get more fit, sleep more etc.). I want to try and make them more specific for 2020:

1. Write 24 blog posts

raising it from 1-month-a-post to 2. There’s something about jotting words down that forces a kind of mental clarity. I’m excited about this and already have a bunch of ideas for posts lined up.

2. Make 5 screencasts

and finally whip out that copy of ScreenFlow. I love watching other folks screencast. I especially like seeing how other developers use vim, Terminal shortcuts, keyboard hacks, different setups etc. I’d like to join the party. This one is going to be slightly challenging though given my utter newbness in the area.

3. Give one conference talk

(preferably) in a country I’ve never been to before and on a new topic. I’ve consistently been good at this for the last 5 years so want to keep it going.

4. Hit the gym atleast 3 times a week

starting Week 7 of this year 👯‍♂️. I think my body is starting to feel like it’s catching up with my age. I’ve been decently fit for the last 2 years but I want to improve on the consistency, so putting this down here as a commitment.

5. Watch 52 movies

and put out some recommendations 4. Watching movies is how I decompress. If I don’t prioritize taking care of my mental health and appropriately decompress, I burn out pretty fast. So this is almost a counter-goal to make sure I’m making the time for things that give me happiness.

Random learnings from 2019

This section is just a random assortment of quotes, links, articles and other things I picked up along the year that I think is worth sharing:

Martin Fowler quote:

Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.

  • Martin Fowler, 2008

Markdown comments:

Apparently Markdown has comments.

Anonymous quote:

“Beware the quiet man. For while others speak, he watched. And while others act, he plans. And when they finally rest… he strikes.”

  • from the movie Vice

Ending conference talks:

Asking “What questions do you have for me?” can be dramatically more effective than “Any questions?” at the end of a talk. 5

Optimize for trust:

Don’t optimize for likability, optimize for trust!

🏁 🏁 🏁 Bring it on 2020! 🏁 🏁 🏁


  1. In all fairness I did add a wavering question mark indicating this was a stretch goal. 

  2. iOS is far from perfect but I think they fair much better than Android as it stands now. I’ve been keeping an eye out on the various breaches and instances of privacy violations and it’s become evident that iOS is the better choice when it comes to privacy today. Also, the Pixel 4 didn’t exactly leave me pining for a new Android phone, so that decision became very easy. 

  3. especially since Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is now finally open. 

  4. Have you furiously searched Netflix on a Friday night as your significant other patiently waits? I have a lot of friends who do that would like to benefit from my special movie recommending powers. My contribution to this universe, if you will. I even have a specific rating system that’s not snooty or artsy-fartsy and is geared towards picking a movie to watch quickly. Coming soon in 2020. 

  5. From a Planey Money episode #959