December 2023 Review
A collection of accomplishments, notes, and observations about December 2023.
This month, I started my new job, putting in about three weeks before the holiday, which the company was fully closed for, which was nice.
The first week was a lot of general onboarding activities and some social/cultural events. After getting the code, I started to make some small technical contributions. However, I avoided any fundamental changes to the domain logic of the app (as I still had/have a lot to learn about education accounting).
In week two, we had two all-hands online company events, which served as a way to share progress, goals, and execution plans. I appreciate the transparency and big picture of these shares. Later, I even had an opportunity to have 1:1 time with the CEO and get more details. I always view myself as a well-rounded developer interested in the business as much as technical details, so all of this felt very good.
In week three, I started to bite into more significant tickets, which included a fair amount of time refactoring Live Components into Functional Components and other page layout cleanup (in prep for future work). I gained more experience with planning, organizing, tracking, reviewing, and merging work through all this. I’m still moving more slowly than I’d like, hoping that will pass soon. This week, I also did a lengthy product tour with one of the product managers (the first of a few meetings), which was very helpful.
Week four was, of course, the Christmas break.
StudyHall continues to be very stagnant, spending my spare time this month on Christmas things and resting (new job info consumption can be very draining day-to-day).
Tech Education / Books
Finished listening to The Martian audio book.
Still reading Observability Engineering: Achieving Production Excellence though slower as of late.
Still reading Build a Weather Station with Elixir and Nerves for Elixir Book Club, which also included some limited hardware acquisition and assembly.
Still reading Myst: Book of Atrus.
Jumping around a bit.
Bought and played Mario RPG. Still playing MLB: The Show some. Started Red Dead 1, but not too far in. Reinstalled Civilization 6 on a bit of a whim over the holiday break. Also started a brand new Stardew Valley farm one night (though I’m viewing it as a temp farm and will likely re-roll once the 1.6 update comes out).
Walks and Exercise
Pretty low activity. I am tracking about one good walk a week.
My work schedule is pretty flexible, so I should be able to start getting some regular exercise in before work, BUT like anything – I need to make it happen.
Looking ahead to January, my big goal is to get into a flow with my new job. Secondary is a goal to determine my priorities in my new limited side project time. Do I want to continue to StudyHall or focus on something more contained? I’m not sure.
I also need to continue to hand off some small client work to new folks.
I also have to get a handle on my new income, budget, and benefit changes aligned (alongside the cancellation of my previous health insurance).
Hopefully these notes are interesting to you (or future me). If you have any questions or feedback. Let me know.