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2010 in review

Another year down the drain. A good year, in the end.

2010 Geek Achievements

  1. Wrote some code...
    • cow-blog - The engine running this blog.
    • oyako - Clojure ORM library.
    • gaka - CSS compiler for Clojure
  2. Finished a huge project for work, my first AJAX-y web app (in Rails). That was fun, albeit stressful.
  3. Learned a lot of git.
  4. Learned a lot of Clojure.
  5. Learned a lot of Emacs.
  6. Learned a lot of Javascript.
  7. Learned a lot of PostgreSQL. It's good to be free of MySQL.
  8. Switched to ZSH. This was a good switch.
  9. Tried to learn a lot of Japanese, but kind of fizzled out at the end of the year.
  10. Alllllllmost got a Clojure gold badge on Stack Overflow. I'll get it soon though. Not losing any sleep over it either way.
  11. Read a lot of books. The best: probably Feynman's books of anecdotes.
  12. Blogged a bit. Got an article in Hacker Monthly. Was flamed repeatedly. Learned a lot in the process.

2010 Non-Geek Achievements

  1. Immigrated to Canada. A good move, without a doubt.
  2. Lost 25ish lbs. :)
  3. Learned how to cook better.
  4. My most important achievement from 2010 is actually non-geek: I finally obtained a bit of an offline social life. This is not an easy task for one such as myself.
  5. Continued to learn to appreciate good beer. Longwood Dunkelweizen, mmm.

2010 Failures

  1. Did not blog enough.1
  2. Did not write enough code.1
  3. Missed the first Clojure Conj. Maybe next year.
  4. Re-gained 10ish lbs. :( 2

Plans for 2011

  1. Re-lose 25ish pounds. I'd like to reach the weight I had in college.
  2. Finish my rewrite of oyako. I have ambitious plans for it, if I can just find the time.
  3. Finish my rewrite of cow-blog to match oyako.
  4. Keep working on the RPG my wife and I are creating (in Clojure).
  5. Attend the next Clojure Conj, I hope.
  6. Learn more Clojure.
  7. Learn Haskell? Trying and failing to learn Haskell has become somewhat of a tradition, no sense stopping now.
  8. Learn all 2000+ jouyou kanji by the end of the year.
  9. Supar sekrit projekt. But I haven't signed the contract for it yet so I won't talk about it until I do.
  10. Maintain social life at acceptable levels.
  11. Buy a house.

I feel like I have solid plans for completing each of these things. Blogging more often and finishing oyako are high on my list of priorities. I expect 2011 to be my most productive year to date.

  1. See also, non-geek achievement #4, "Obtained social life".

  2. See also non-geek achievement #3, "Learned how to cook better".

January 05, 2011 @ 2:10 AM PST
Cateogory: Rants
Tags: 2010, Clojure


Quoth alex on January 05, 2011 @ 2:51 AM PST

Hi! Nice to see some news from you. Congrats for your 2010 achievements, they read like it was really a pretty good year for you.

This blog is actually the only "private" one I tend to check regularly. I stumbled upon it a few months ago while learning Clojure, but I also enjoyed your non-programming posts (like those rants about ads). :-)

Good luck with your 2011 plans!

Quoth fogus on January 05, 2011 @ 3:51 AM PST

"Feynman's books of anecdotes"

Do you mean "Surely you jest Mr. Feynman"?

I read that in 2010 and look forward to reading more about him.

Srdjan Pejic
Quoth Srdjan Pejic on January 05, 2011 @ 4:08 AM PST

Since you're rewriting oyako, do you see any way or reason to support non-relational data stores with it, as well as relational ones?

I kinda feel that Clojure is a bit more suited to the former than latter.

Quoth Brian on January 05, 2011 @ 4:20 AM PST

alex: Thanks.

fogus: That one, and What Do You Care What Other People Think? Highly recommend both.

Srdjan Pejic: I don't have any plans to support non-relational stores. What I'm trying to do with the rewrite is pretty specific to SQL.

You may be right that Clojure is more suited to non-relational stores however. There are some good libraries out there already, e.g. clutch for CouchDB.

Quoth anki_fanboi on January 05, 2011 @ 4:59 AM PST

Learn all 2000+ jouyou kanji by the end of the year.

If you're not already using a combination of Remembering the Kanji and Anki for this, be sure to check it out. It's hands-down the best/easiest way to learn the kanji.

Tried to learn a lot of Japanese, but kind of fizzled out at the end of the year.

The information/communities at Koohii and AJATT are great for learning Japanese in general.

Quoth Brian on January 05, 2011 @ 5:18 AM PST

anki_fanboi: RTK + Anki + Koohii are exactly what I'm using. :) I agree that they are excellent tools. I got through 700 kanji in a few months. Now I have to go back and review them all, we'll see how well they stuck.

Rick Hanson
Quoth Rick Hanson on January 13, 2011 @ 12:02 AM PST

Brian, you mentioned you moved to Canada. Where did you live before? Sorry if I missed it somewhere. Thanks! --Rick

Quoth Brian on January 13, 2011 @ 2:29 AM PST

Oregon, but originally from Pennsylvania.

Joshua Ayson
Quoth Joshua Ayson on December 01, 2011 @ 1:07 PM PST

Brian, I read your "Emacs isn't for Everyone" article in Hacker Monthly after seeing it mentioned in this post and enjoyed it very much. It rang true for me in many ways. I've still not managed to have the patience to learn to use emacs as an IDE. As a former sysadmin using Vi as my primary editor, I now try to bend Eclipse to do all my bidding as a developer. So far I've had good fortune with Java, Perl, Scala and Clojure in this IDE and have been able to avoid learn emacs, although I had some close calls. I'm thankful that your article acknowledges that learning to use emacs as an IDE can be frustrating. It isn't something one often hears.