Lanky Dan Blog

My 2017 Retrospective

December 29, 2017


I’m going to go for something a bit different in this post and have my own little retrospective on my last year both professionally and personally. I feel like I achieved quite a lot this year now that I’m looking back at it and have built the foundations that I need for my future.

I’ll start with my career being that’s mainly what my blog is for. In short there are two main achievements that I made this year in my career; starting my blog and working for Accenture.

Firstly my blog has been really important to me as not only have I found out that I actually like writing but because it forces me to learn new topics as well as dive deeper into how things work so I can write about them properly. Pretty much everything I write about in my blog is something new that I learnt in the past week or however long it takes me to write the post. My thought process is to think of something to write about, do some googling, write the code and then write a post about it. Sometimes this is harder than others depending on the amount of documentation libraries have or if anyone else has ran into the countless problems I seem to run into. I have published 50 posts this year with most of them being tutorials. I think that helps provide a little scope into how much I’ve learnt and I’m honestly surprised I actually wrote that many of them when I think about it.

Now onto starting my still newish position at Accenture. Because of my partner (Laura) finishing university we decided this was the best chance we had to move out of Leicester and either into London or back to Reading (where I am from). This lead to me applying for a position within Accenture and in the end getting the job. Now I’m going to tie this back to my blog. Personally I think that the only reason I got this job was because of my blog. There were a few other factors but the knowledge that I gained from writing tutorials allowed me to answer most questions that were asked during my interviews and I could safely say that without my blog I would of not have known the answers to over half of the questions that they asked me.

The position itself is great. I have much more responsibility than I had at my previous position which is mainly attributed to me being on a smaller team than before. Allowing me to make meaningful changes to our products without needing to jump through too many hoops. The downside is travelling to work as it takes 2 hours most days, so a 4 hour round trip. This is because we’re still living in Reading for the time being and commuting into London each day. Working from home helps though so I can get a few hours more sleep and most importantly listen to my music even louder without annoying anyone.

To actually make this a retrospective I should actually spend sometime thinking about what I can do to improve. My biggest flaw is not being able to disconnect myself from work when I am finished for the day. This is something that I haven’t been able to fix for the last few years and I’m not sure if I will ever manage to get past it. Not being able to disconnect leaves me in a bad mood when I finish work if I have not achieved what I felt like I should have in that day or week. Hopefully I can fix this in the future so I can spend more time being happy even if some things are not going my way.

For more improvement I would also like to take advantage of working in London and start attending local Software Development meetups. I currently have my eyes on a few groups and now I am comfortable at work I should finally start attending some of them.

Now for something more personal. Due to Laura finishing her degree and her originally being from Hong Kong we had some choices to make for our future. This lead to us applying for an Unmarried Partner visa which thankfully was approved, I was so nervous when we went to found out whether we were successful or not. I’m not sure whether I can call this my greatest achievement for this year but it is definitely the most important event to happen to me and I am not sure how everything would of turned out if the application had failed. Since getting Laura’s new visa it feels like everything is going great for us, she started a new job in London a month ago and we are actively looking for a new place to live so we can move out of my parents house!

This brings me onto the present. I’m actually writing this post from Hong Kong where we are visiting her family and friends. Not somewhere that I thought I would ever be a few years ago. I’m looking forward to getting back to work as I can honestly say that I love being a Software Developer and I hope that I can keep improving myself at the pace that I did in this past year.

If anyone did actually read this post, thanks and have a happy new year.

Dan Newton

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