2019 in Review

Culture, Media and Sport

After a bit of a music drought in 2018, 2019 had some great releases from familiar and new-to-me artists. Some highlights:

A couple of albums with stand-out tracks:

I read 30 books, of which I would recommend:

On a more sombre note: towards the start of the year, Dau finally made its way into the world, briefly. I didn't go to the exhibition in Paris, and I expect that very little of my technical work made it into that installation. Towards the end of the year, I was floored to learn that Alexei Blinov had passed away. Alexei was one of the first people I interacted with when I first became involved with the project, and the last person I bid farewell on my last day back in 2016. I imagined that our paths would cross again some day, somewhere at the intersection of art and technology, but in fact that was the last time we spoke. Alexei was a welcoming and fascinating individual, with great imagination; I'm glad I had the opportunity to work with him and count him as a friend.

Work and Pensions

Near the end of the year, I became Director of Platform at Endless, walking further down the engineering-management fork in the road. I've gratefully received advice from developers who've followed this branch in the road (and in some cases turned back). Several people recommended The Engineer/Manager Pendulum by Charity Majors, which I would also recommend.

After a few years with minimal travel, last year I went to Brussels (for FOSDEM and a GNOME Advisory Board meeting), San Francisco (visiting the Endless office to work on the product roadmap), and Thessaloniki (for GUADEC, where I gave a lightning talk). I've not done much public speaking for a while. Maybe I can do more of that this year.

Health and Social Care

After years of trying and failing for various reasons, I donated blood twice. Please do the same if you are able to.

Children, Schools and Families

My daughter turned two. She's the best! I rounded off the year by shaving my beard off for the first time in over 7 years. She asked me whether I “cleaned it off; was your beard dirty?”, which for someone who didn't know beards can be removed is a reasonable and insightful question.