02 January 2018

Third year in a row writing my proposals for the new year, yeah!. Again I’m not going to spend time reviewing the previous year, I let that for “internal use”.

There is something I’ve discovered in 2017 which wasn’t planned (or correctly estimated): my family require more time from me now than ever. “Family first” is a motto very respected by me (and my employer) so I had to restrict a lot of things of my life to focus on that. Now I’m more aware of it, so I will continue with the “family first” approach but I will try to do it in a more maintainable way: I have to focus more, be more realistic and have more help.

My first proposal for 2018 is recover my healthy style of life. I never in my life did so less sport as the past year. From 4-5 days per week in 2016 to 1 (or even less) in 2017. As a result, I have also to loose weight. I’m even surprised I was able to maintain my positive attitude with that “stress burning” low rate. This proposal isn’t very original but it’s important.

Second goal, my work in Optare Solutions. I will continue for a while (but not forever) as Technical Director. It’s a challenging role which I’ve accepted to make things happen even if, ironically, I see it as step back in my career. I’m very happy with some “small victories” in the past year (which are a team effort, not mine) as open new offices in Ourense, sponsor the VigoJUG and the GDGDevFest, provide the facilities to make a k8s workshop organised by VigoLabs, improvements in the workflow of some teams, the Abbilia initiative and, the most important, start to think as group (or even better, a big family) how to improve the company embracing continuous improvement instead of making individual efforts in silos or too big programs.

Yet, big cultural changes take time. Optare is a great place to work, the bar is really high to make a real difference because it’s a company with a long history of successes and well done projects so change the formula, even to improve it, is a complex task. I think we are very lucky to have a company like this in Galicia and I will continue to help it as much as possible.

I also will continue also contributing to NetApps, an Optare’s team where I have been working for years now and where I can share time and experiences with some of the best engineers I’ve ever met. My work as Technical Manager is quite lonely so this part-time role allows me to continue doing some “real world” work and recharge batteries when needed. I’m very thankful for that. This is going to be a great year for this team, I’m really excited and looking forward to the new challenges.

Last, but not least, I want to continue contributing to the local community:

Co-organize the VigoJUG has been a great experience. I will like to continue it with a clear goal: my vision (I’m not the only organizer) for the JUG is a group of friends who share time and knowledge. I personally would like to keep it in that way. Make something bigger is a temptation but I don’t believe it will work in the long term.

Also, I will like to launch the CoruñaJUG. I will be more present in that city in 2018 but don’t be afraid, I will continue cheering the Celta soccer team.

The previous year I’ve spent some time helping to launch VigoTech Alliance. It seems VigoTech as project is ended, most of the proposals to improve it have been rejected or ignored, which it’s fine: it means it’s good as it is. I will continue supporting the Alliance when needed but I don’t expect to spent too much time on it in 2018 (but I will be happy to be wrong it there are new initiatives).

I have also spoken in several local meetups as ForoDeEmprego, VigoLabs, GDGDevFest, Librecon, PythonVigo, and, of course, VigoJUG, and participated in hackathons (Refugal, GPUL). I’m very happy with this. It’s funny I did the opposite of the normal path: started in international conferences speaking in English, and then, move to local ones speaking in my mother tongue. I met great people and I did things I never through I would do it (as a motivational talk). I will try to continue that path as much as possible but I probably will need to slow down a bit.

Finally, last year I tried to contribute to some big open source projects (Kafka, Elastic, Lucene). It makes sense for several reasons but I failed. It requires some constancy and I just could dedicate time very occasionally. Out of the office, I spent most of the time playing with frameworks, testing new tools or reading books. I also did some MOOCs (Scala and Oracle Cloud). Learn for the simple pleasure of learn is my passion. I would like to do some serious PRs in 2018 but it’s going to be impossible :-(

Instead of that, I will try to update more frequently the blog with technical content. I’ve reading a lot about JVM performance in the last months, I have some experience and it’s a interesting subject for the blog. I will also try to attend a couple of international events related to the JVM. And, only if I have time, try to do some open source contributions in that field.

In summary, my proposal for 2018 is to be more focused in some things and let others pass. Happy 2018!