Thursday, January 2, 2014

2013 summary - books, presentations, trainings, etc.

At this part of the year, many people summarize their last twelve months. So I will.

This year was really busy for me. Especially the second part (hence the lack of my activity on blog).
Not to extend, here are the most important things that I achieved this year, which changed my life, and will be affecting the next one for sure.


1. Books

I read a lot of books this year, but there are three, that affected me the most
  • "Implementing Domain-Driven Design" by Vaughn Vernon - a must-read for any Developer/Analyst/Architect/Whoever-builds-software - just after Eric's "the Blue Book" (or maybe in the meantime). It clearly describes what Domain-Driven Design is and how to implement it (duh, the title). It also gives a little different view at Eric's definitions - 10 years after his publication - and introduces new concepts, that community added to DDD, like Domain Events.
  • "4 Hour Body" by Tim Ferriss - this is not technical book at all, but for me it was a game-changer. It is full of concrete ideas how to master your body - loose weight, gain strength, sleep better and so on. But the biggest thing was the idea to properly set goals, measurements and persist in the way to achieve them. A lot of technical or management people write about the same concepts, but I was able to grasp them finally, thanks to Tim and this totally different domain - human body.
  • "4 Hour Workweek" by Tim Ferriss - after finishing "4 Hour Body" and achieving my goals inspired by it, I decided to dig more into Tim's work - I bought his first book, and took it on my vacation (I love reading on a beach). Tim also writes how to settle goals and achieve them, but a little different kind of goals. The idea of living your life right now and not waiting for retirement is very tempting... and maybe even possible. I will experiment and try some more tricks from this book in the upcoming year.

2. Presentations

If you know me, then you probably are aware, that I am consuming a lot of presentations from different conferences all around the world. This is a very quick way to learn something new or to decide if I want to dig into the topic more. I can watch presentation while I am preparing something to eat and not loose time. We also watch some presentations once a week in my team at work.

This year, I watched A LOT of presentations, but there are two that will have a big impact on my work in the future:
  • "The Future of Programming" by Bret Victor. Great idea, great performance, and what is the most important - great message. There is nothing new in IT... Everything was invented more than 30 years ago. Now, we just rediscover all of those concepts for the second time. Functional Programming, Actor model, Object-Oriented Programming (I mean the real one, not the one that most of us is doing on daily basis) - things like Clojure, Akka, tactical patterns of Domain-Driven Design are all buzzwords right now, but principles behind them are much older. We just need to go back to the roots...
  • "Make Impacts, Not Software" by Gojko Adzic. I am pretty confident, that I can build software right. On the other hand, I am pretty confident, that I find it hard to build the right thing. Impact Mapping by Gojko addresses that. He states that we should aim for measurable goals (did he speak with Tim?) that will change people's behaviors. We should prepare couple of alternative paths to achieve our goals, find the simplest one and prove that it is correct in order to proceed with something more time-consuming to build. Always be focused on people's behavior change.

3. Professional life

This is a blog about IT and I am a Software Engineer, so I also had some success stories on that field.
  • I switched job - now I have more space and can do the software right. My current employer likes to learn as much as me, and the team is eager to do Domain-Driven Design.
  • I started to learn Scala - finished Martin Odersky's course on Coursera and it really messed with my head. I do Scala after hours in my personal project and maybe will release it in the first quarter of 2014.
  • I attended two technical trainings - one of them was IDDD Tour Poland - led by Vaughn Vernon with great help of Alberto Brandolini. The second one was sponsored by my current company and was led by Sławek Sobótka.
  • I contributed to IDDD Tour Poland - 4-day long workshop about Domain-Driven Design. I helped to organize it a little, and spoke about Axon Framework during one of the evenings.
  • I started Domain-Driven Design in Kraków (DDD-KRK) meetup - a community that is gathered around Domain-Driven Design and meets regullary every first Tuesday of a month.
  • I gave lectures at 4 big conferences in Poland - 33rd Degree, GeeCON, 4Developers and Java Developers Day. I was speaking about Domain-Driven Design, Command Query Responsibility Segregation, Event Sourcing, and Axon Framework.
  • And last, but not least - my friend asked me to give some training about DDD in his company and after some reluctance, I finally managed to say "OK, let's do it". So in December I gave the very first, 2-day-long, training on DDD by me. I received very positive feedback, so probably will do something with it, in the next year.

4. Personal life

I won't go much into details of my personal life, but there are two things that I can share and I am happy about them.
  • I've lost 10kg in 2 months - without any workout, while tasting beer at evenings. Probably without those beers, I would loose it in 1 month, as Tim states in his book - "4 Hour Body" (see above). Thanks to that I was able to do some small subset of tricks, that I used to perform, when I was younger (see the picture). I experienced so called "Minimum effective dose" on my own, and I think, that this single achievement will have more influence on my personal and professional life in the future.
  • I traveled more than ever this year. I visited two seas and an ocean. I spent some time on continent and on tropical islands. I experienced 9-hours-long flight and finished one book during that time. I also took some days and went to the mountains, which I haven't done for a while. I also bought a bike and started cycling during the summer.
What's next?

Next is 2014 and, after some mindset changes that I experienced lastly, I think, it will be a really great year.
I wish that for myself and for all of you!
Happy New Year!




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