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A recap of 2019 and looking towards 2020

pretzelhands profile image Richard Blechinger Originally published at pretzelhands.com ・4 min read

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash

This post was originally published on my personal blog

Hey. It's been a while since I've written. It's almost been an entire year and what a year it's been. Since it's almost Christmas and things are quieting down for just a few days, let's take a look at what this year has been and where the next one will go.

Freelancing

This year has been the most successful in terms of freelancing that I've ever had. Most of my year was still spent working with my long-term client, although that relationship is now ending due to legal reasons, that I don't want to type up here. The bottom line is that my contract runs out on Dec 31 of this year.

Either way, it's been a fun time full of neat e-commerce projects and I gained a lot of domain knowledge about fintech and online payments that I'm sure will help me in some fashion in the future. If only because it gives me new insights the next time I have to integrate a payment gateway.

After 1.5 years of working with a big enterprise-y client, I do however have to say that I'm looking forward to a more spontaneous/flexible work environment. When a company comes up on a few thousand employees, there will always be some obstacles and decisions naturally take longer. Also I will not miss the meetings.

2020

The new year will be exciting! For all of January I will be taking a month off. Not only to recharge and maybe pick up some things that I've dropped throughout the year, but also because I have to move. More on that below.

Starting with February, I have found a new opportunity. It comes with decent pay and a flexible contigent of hours, while also being remote. Overall it sounds very great and I'm looking forward to it. Being remote also means I can cut out some time for going places every day. At 3h/day those are significant savings!

And of course I'll stay in the whole e-commerce niche, since that seems to be a quite comfy spot from my current point of view!

Side projects

...

Can we talk about something else? No? Fine. This is the part of the year that got absolutely lost. I had grand plans of working on things in January, but between major life changes and above commuting problems I really had neither the time nor the energy to put into my side projects.

They're all still there, lying in my ~/Projects folder, but most of them have been touched no later than February 2. This is quite painful as its the second time in a row that I've failed to achieve a side project goal.

In 2018 I had set a goal of earning $50/mo from side projects. That didn't work out. In 2019 I didn't even set a goal and just got started working on things. Then I dropped the ball.

Ouch.

2020

I have no grand plans for 2020. I want to ship something, I want to make a product that I can be proud of and that I can call my own. Ideally, by the end of 2020 I want to somehow manage to get $1 into my pocket by the way of having a side project.

Given my new contracting job and a non-existent commute, I think it should be possible. But we shall see. I've also been meaning to rewrite my nginx wrapper in Python instead of Bash. Maybe that's where I can start.

Life changes

Ah yes, personal life changes. This is where things kind of exploded in terms of time spent and effort. But it all had an outcome that is very positive. So!

In 2019 I got married to my girlfriend and now-wife of 4 years. She also moved here to be with me. This would've been quite the event on its own if not for the fact that we used to be a short jump of 10,000km (~6,200 miles) apart.

Together with all of the visa restrictions that my country imposes and the fact that we had guests from her country coming by as well it turned out to be quite the adventure. Really, this is where the first half of my year just vanished.

Either way, all things worked out well and we managed to make it happen!

2020

As for the new year, we have a big move right at the start. I've always been a person who has lived in the rural countryside in small towns that were at best about 5,000 people big. This will change as we're moving smack dab into the middle of the second-largest city of Austria.

Packing all of our stuff is not so fun, but the prospect of the move is very exciting! It'll be a totally new experience for me to live in a decently-sized city along with all of the benefits and drawbacks that might bring.

Closing

I'm still a bit blurry about what my 2020 will actually look like with a new place and a new job, but I'm also very excited about the possibilites that will bring.

Here's hoping that your year was a great one and that the next one will bring you lots of good luck!

Posted on Jan 16 '19 by:

pretzelhands profile

Richard Blechinger

@pretzelhands

Software engineer and web developer with a soft spot for shell scripting. I like working on side projects in my spare time.

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