22 Dec 2016, 12:56

2016 roundup

So another year draws to a close and I thought I would review the last 12 months in my favourite data struture; lists. Think of this as a far less interesting homage to Fogus yearly reviews.

Books

Technical

Over the last few years I consume less technical books purely because the content to be found online can be of great quality and books can rarely keep track with the rate of change in tech. Usually if I am reading a tech book its of a more abstract or fundamental topic rather than specific to a language and is therefore a longer living.

Non Technical

Most people hate commuting but it allows me to consume audiobooks and podcasts at a rate that would be impossible otherwise. Almost all of these were “read” via audiobook:

Not listed are about 10 other books that I abandoned at the 10% mark, I used to stick with a bad book to the bitter end but not anymore.

Next up is The Gene: An Intimate History - Siddhartha Mukherjee as soon as I finish The Passage of Power.

Blog posts

Technical

Non Technical

Music

I discovered almost no new music this year apart from a handful of albums.

  • The Black Keys - Their discography has been my background music for at least 2 years. Its on shuffle as I work almost constantly.
  • Radiohead - See above
  • Andrew Bird
  • Beck
  • Ben Howard
  • Chris Stapleton - I’m not a country fan at all but this dude has a great voice.
  • Daft Punk
  • Gary Clark Jr - Awesome
  • Kaleo
  • LCD Soundsystem
  • Raising Sand - Robert Plant and Alison Krauss - This one has been out a few years and I never got to it before now.
  • The White Stripes

Podcasts

Only two worth mentioning this year:

  • Hardcore History - Dan Carlin - Been listening to Dan for a few years now. He drops 3-4 audiobook length podcasts each year which are interesting both from a historical context but also in Dans perspective on how events happened.
  • Robert B. Peterson Podcast - This is pretty new, only started listening a week ago and only 2 episodes are up but the content is great. It seems to be a slight reworking of his Maps of Meanings lecture series into podcast form. Well worth checking out if you are interested in Psychology, Mythological Archtypes, Parenting and the realities of being a limited being.

TV Shows

Too many to list but here are the best ones:

  • Olive Kitteridge (HBO) - Set in Maine with Frances McDormand and Bill Murray. Interesting look at life, depression, repression.
  • Mr. Robot - Loved season 1, not so much Season 2.
  • Jessica Jones
  • The Walking Dead - I think this is like season 6 of a show centered around a simple core concept: “We have to survive”. But whatever, Zombies!
  • Westworld - Awesome, need to rewatch, best show I have seen for a long time.
  • Veep - Really enjoyed this.
  • The Night Of - Excellent
  • Peaky Blinders - “Tommy FOCKIN Shelby”
  • Always Sunny in Philadelphia - Excellent
  • Narcos - Excellent
  • Planet Earth 2 - David Attenborough and HD nature shots

On my list to watch:

  • Stranger Things - Seen 1 episode and enjoyed it.
  • Black Mirror - Ditto

Films enjoyed

Too many to list but here are the best ones:

  • Nocturnal Animals - Sparked a lot of conversation this one.
  • The Martian - Loved the book and the Movie.
  • The secret Life of Pets - Greate family Movie.
  • Finding Dory - Where the hell is she.

Youtube stuff

  • Primitive Technology - Dude in the outback recreating primitive tools and objects. I watch this with my son and he loves it.
  • Jordan B Peterson - Professor of Psychology at the university or Toronto, highly articulate and engaging speaker with well thought out arguments. I might not agree with everything he says but he covers several fundamental ideas.
  • Marques Brownlee - Dope tech reviews, possibly the only reviewer I gave seen who can edit and compose a shot worth looking at.
  • The Great War
  • Alt Shift X - Game of Thrones fans already know about this guy, great analysis videos.

Technical stuff encountered

Work related

Playtime related

  • .NET Core, .NET standard
  • F#
  • Javascript
  • Rust
  • Node

Stuff I wanted to do or learn but have not spent enough time on yet

  • More Arduino - I have tons of components waiting to be used in a crappy project that will kinda half work.
  • Teaching the kids programming - Starting to feel guilty about this one as it would be a great skill for them to learn. It is the modern equivalent of literacy to some degree.
  • Drones
  • Photography
  • Procedural generation
  • Running

Opensource code read

Reading code wrtten by other developers is a great way to learn new techniques and patterns.

Things I bought that had an impact.

  • Bose QC35 - I work in an Agile space, which basically means I sit in a big room with lots of other people and no partitions. People can be noisy, to help fix this most companies use a whitenoise generator which helps reduce noise by creating more noise. So yea I bought some noise cancelling headphones, silence is my drug of choice.
  • Nikon DSLR - I bought an entry level DSLR and some lenses with the goal of taking some better pictures of the kids as they grow up but also to try my hand at Astrophotography.

Countries visited

USA - Maine

We were very fortunate to get to spend an extended period of time in Portland Maine this summer! Beautiful spot and great people.

Plans for 2017

  • Read 50 books
  • Learn a programming language
  • Build a meaningful product
  • Have fun!
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