A year in review: 2023

Looking at the most impactful topics for me this year.

It feels stranger than usual to review things at the moment, as I’m starting to feel more “continuous” about the flow of time rather than discrete with jumps (as the new years and holidays and so on are happening). Thus it doesn’t feel like there’s a particular closure as the calendar year comes to the end. So it’s more of a work-in-progress, rather than anything else. Let’s see what stands out in this, and where are we going, in this year in review


Readingwise this is a year with maybe the slimmest picking since I’ve started to record stuff. It’s really not fully about quantity but quality, just also I cannot recall too many of the things read. Also the balance is shifting from almost totally literature to partially non-fiction, as the effect of learning-at-work kicks in. So in this sense, maybe the most memorable read was Crucial Conversations that probably saved my bacon multiple times, so would totally recommend for reading and re-reading.


Interestingly a sort-of mid-life-crisis seems to have kicked in for me recently, and it’s not about getting a motorcycle or whatnot, rather than digging into physics as I’ve learned but forgotten, or never fully learned at all. So here it goes, can we learn some quantum field theory, just for the fun of it? Starting all the way back at maths, classical, then quantum physics further than I’ve been back in uni and grad school.

This whole thing was kicked off by PBS Spacetime, a Youtube channel that I can only recommend. Enough questions raised from there to dig deeper into books, course material online, etc… It’s a bit tougher since I won’t be using it day to day, but why not? Interdisciplinary stuff are really my cup of tea, so there it goes.

Working with leverage

This year at work, the theme really was for me to work through others rather than just an individual contributor. This software engineering leadership, engineering management, software architect needs were definitely quite tough, and there’s no end to the learning either. Building the right kind of technical knowledge to help other people grow, rather than just do what I’m myself are interested continues to be quite a frontier to explore, and makes me uncomfortable probably in a way that’s needed.


This year we took in a little cat, which was quite a change, not in least as I’m allergic to cats. But so far it seems to be working excellently, and he’s really a charmer. It does feel like too much responsibility quite often, but one has to just deal with it.

Me and our cat sitting on a sofa, the cat looking at the camera, and I'm working on my laptop.
Hanging out one of these days

He’s still very tiny (4 months and counting, and been with us for 2), so it’s very interesting to see how the personality and skills are developing. And no need to hurry it, let kids be kids.


Been to the gym much more than any time before, that’s the advantage of having one right nearby, and enough peer pressure to actually show up. The first half of the year was better, though. After catching Covid in the autumn, I feel like I slacked a bit. It was interesting see how much change exercise can effect in the mid-term, or even on the short term, when one has the habit. This is something to definitely explore more with more curiosity.

Mental health

The whole pandemic brought out the topic of mental health quite a bit for a lot of people who might not have thought about it much or enough. And I was one of those people, just going with the flow. It’s now 3 years in, and definitely feels like it’s hard to overstate the the importance of taking care of the one thing that people actually have (while they have it), their mind. So far it’s a lot of hit and miss, and it feels like a puzzle when one has all the pieces “just” need to be able to fit them together. Taking one’s own advice, or doing the things that one knows one should be doing is 99% of the work and effort. So just keep beginning again, when inevitable fail, and continue making progress.

There’s a lot of little things, of course, that happened this year, and this above seems to be both summarising the important themes to a very large extent, as well as filtering things through the lens of availability bias, either happening more recently or more top of mind at this year end. Still, a bite at a time, a step at a time.

Happy New Year, everyone!

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