Revision of my activity

What I have done in 2011

January 12, 2012 Revision of my activity, Success, YearPlanReport 1 comment

Looking back at my “Where do you want to be in a year?” blog post for the Jan 9, 2011, I regret that I did not do many things I planned, but I’m also proud about many things I did, because many of them are not small ones, but rather life changing, like marriage and moving to other country.

Overview of 2011

At the beginning of the year I continued passing my MS exams, which seemed somewhat important and very valuable for me at that moment, also I enjoyed end of winter spending many days at skiing hills in mountains. Near that time me with girlfriend decided to let our parents know our decision about future marriage in summer. They started to be in rush, but not me – at the beginning of sprint I had been thinking more about choosing my first car, which I successfully bought for 7000$. It is used Chevrolet Aveo 2005 of fully equipped, except it has manual transmission. At the day I bought car I did not have place to live in Lviv – me with best friend where looking for new apartment to rent, because of crazy and alcoholic owner of apartment, we rented before.
My blog did not go well previous year. There are couple of months without blog posts. One of them is July. It was very hot month – I got married on 16th of July and while still having vacation we went to Europe trip to see Hungary, Austria and Switzerland the most.
Besides of Europe trip we with my wife visited really many places in Western Ukraine. Now we had car, so travelling was more quick and spontaneous. 
By coincidence I was asked if I’m not interested to pass interview and relocate to other country just before my marriage. It went well and I was asked for other interview which by great coincidence was on-site in Austria when I was there with my wife. She was admiring Belvedere in Vienna, while I had my 1,5 hour interview. So in August I got an offer and accepted it. But as it is relocation to other country it involves lot of paper work to get work permit there, and took almost half a year to get approval.
This year also brought more responsibility for me at work, I had much of Technical Leader responsibilities & activities. I think that I worked in the most amazing and truly collaborative team from all of those I had chance to work in. We worked on WP7 project and challenging Silverlight project. I left those guys just before the winter, hoping to have few weeks of rest before final approval and relocation to Austria.
Before the New Year of 2011 I didn’t get approval so my “vacation” took longer, but I spent it reading a lot, sleeping even more, doing some pet coding and getting extremely lazy. To summarize: you won’t enjoy being unemployed for longer than month, not because of the money, but because of lacking social relations and absence of external challenges.

Was 2011 going according to my year plan?

See plan here.
– Release awesome free Design Patterns book in Ukrainian
I failed to do this in 2011, but I composed book, sent it to people willing to review its raw unedited version. As for now I have 5 our 25 responses on book. I’m going to create small web site for book and publish it there.
– Enterprise certification (finishing with 565 exam, very likely till the end of Winter)
I passed exam and got MCPD: Enterprise Application Developer at the beginning of the year.
– Learn to ski & swim well (I can both, but I want to be good at that)
I’m now above intermediate in skiing, but this is subjective view. Fact is that I can handle most difficult hills in Ukraine, like trostian on picture below and “black” trails in bukovel, can do basic ski-jumps and ski backwards.
As of swimming I did complete fail as I’ve been in water only 2 times during the year.
– Show kick-ass performance at work
I did not get official promotion, but I played role of Technical Leader, coded a lot and tried to show best of myself. I think I did great and could have done even better. Leaving this job was not an easy thing to do. I think SS is great Ukrainian company.
– Learn WP7 and Silverlight
Whole year I did coding for WP7 and out of browser application in Silverlight. Also with my friends won at Hackathon event, where we created small game for the WP7.
I also introduced weekly discussions around reading “Silverlight in Action” in my team.
– Start working on some “real” book (just collecting ideas on book)
As of now I don’t have any clear idea on “real” book. But the more I think on this matter the more I’m close to something on the edge of technology and people collaboration.
– Read 24 books (this year I will definitely hit this score)
Let’s count: 5 in reviews on blog, 4 more read, but no posts on blog yet. And also 5 in progress, 4 of which are almost read. (I tried hard to read as much as I can before New Year and that lead to 5 in progress).
In total it looks like not more that 13 books, which is even less than previous year report (15). Seems one book a month is my pace.
“Take quick look behind to analyze, don’t stop, think positively, go forward!” – I said to myself on this subject.
– Marriage (yeah, this really is in the list “OMG” I’m saying to myself…)
It is one of the things I’m proud about. Despite this world’s shifted mind I think that two can get married in their twenties and be happy for many years. I was really surprised by marriage statistics in Western countries. For example this statistics show that less people are getting married and along more are getting divorced. And this shows that my country is also at the top of divorce list. Too much about that crap.
Here we are:
And here are more of those photos at Picasa:
I’m extremely glad that I have so cute and smart wife. Just after marriage we travelled even more than before it. We have been enjoying each moment of being together.
Before I left work, we had been living in separate apartment not far from my friend and team-mate. Each day she prepared awesome breakfast and lunch to take to work. Then I picked up Taras and drove to work. It was routine, but it was great.
– Travel abroad (I’m planning for Europe tourist tour)
I had awesome week travelling though Europe after my wedding. See photos:
– Learn one more programming language (probably everyone heard about learning one language per year, why not?)
I read bits about Haskell and tried F#, but I’m not satisfied with my progress. So will have another try in 2012.
– Frequent dev meetings (this is hard, because preparing takes lot of time for me)
I did probably very few so called “developer’s meetings”, one of which was even paid. Despite this I introduced technical status meeting for my team in addition to scrum standup.
Karpaty alpinism (again health stuff, want to do this with my girlfriend)
We took Hoverla – the highest mountain in Ukraine:
Read complete story and see photos at my wife’s blog here.
We also been on hard Pikyj, read here and more enjoying Lopata (read here).
– Became known presenter (couple of outside the company presentations)
– English (watch films, find guys to talk in English)
For anything of video I watched myself I preferred English. Which of course didn’t work for cinema where I go with wife and friends. Also I had to watch amazing “The Big Bang Theory” translated, but some series watched with pleasure in English.
And what is funny now I’m learning German :).
– Start coffee-and-code in Lviv
Fail. I thought about this many times and always lacked confidence in my social skills to do this. Probably it can be as easy as mentioning on blog and in twitter something like “Hey, guys! Tomorrow I will be in the XYZ coffee shop doing some coding. Come along and join.”
– Write couple of personal-small programming projects / contribute to open-source
Not much here – dozen of try-it-out projects, small open-source orm system CustomORM, wp7 project we wrote at Hackathon and maybe 3 wp7 i-started-it-and-left projects, ah and few competition type projects at TopCoder.
– Visit one of the solid conferences
I visited couple of conferences like Uneta Plus and Mobile Professional Days in Kharkiv, and of course many events here in Lviv like LvivIT and regular Lviv User Group events.
– Get money machine / some ideas / investments / whatever
I haven’t invented anything better than deposit accounts, which now don’t work that good as if they worked in 2009 while crisis. Month interest income is enough for one full tank of my car, which usually runs out in 1-1,5 weeks.
– Start some business even small and crappy – but have it to learn
Fail. And even more – complete fail. I didn’t even think about this much. But from other point of view, there must be something exciting me to start with and I haven’t found anything like this. At least I’m happy that I will be eligible to have wp7 developer account in Austria.
Became better-and-better in planning and achieving, continue growing, etc, etc…
Subjective. Isn’t it? I think I did great with this one, but you decide. I move into embrace of 2012 year which will definitely bring me lot of nice surprises, emotions and great time.

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What has been done during last year?

January 5, 2011 Revision of my activity, Success, YearPlanReport No comments

Looking back at my “Where Do You Want to Be In a Year?” blog post for the Jan 2, 2010 I want to  summarize for myself if I stand where I wanted to stand and what else could be done to improve my position. I would recommend to all of you to execute same reviewing and realize if you are moving in the right direction or not.
For the previous year I wrote 156 blog posts, read many books, performed dozen presentations, became Senior developer, passed few ms exams, decided to start my first book and did many other hopefully right things.
Remember, life is limited in time, so if you don’t move in the right direction you might waste it entirely.

So the list I had in the beginning of 2010:

By the end of 2010 I want:

Get Microsoft Certification:
  * MCTS (Exams: 70-536 and 70-505) SUCCESS
  * MCPD 70-563 and 70-565 (this one is big fish, but I need such!) FAIL
Ok, so I went very good with this item. I successfully passed 536, 505 and 503 exams, they lead me for passing exam 565, passing which credits Enterprise Application Developer 3.5 certification.

2. Read at least 24 books. 62,5% SUCCESS :) 37,5% FAIL
Ok, so counting only programming-related books I have 15 books read. You can see their reviews on my blog just follow this link.
I do not think that I’ve completely failed this item, since I have couple of books in progress and their review will reveal shortly on this blog.

3. Become known employee in my company, sharing knowledge and doing presentations, so will have much more authority among co-workers. SUCCESS
I took few good steps here. I performed company-wide presentation on Domain-Driven Design and of course I performed many so called developers meetings for my guys from my division.
I also performed 4 presentations outside of my company – two at Lviv .Net UG, one at Java UG and one at IT-Jam in Kharkiv.
Visited MS SWIT Conference in Kyiv.

4. Familiarize with Java and contribute research and development work to Kohonen Maps world. SUCCESS
By this link you can find out that I did some research on this matter and I’m almost 100% sure that I was first in the world who wrote parallelized algorithm for Kohonen maps with .net framework version 4.0. I even utilized some of the new concepts introduced regarding multithreading in .net 4.0. Along with this I spent some time writing same project with Java.

5. to be Senior Developer and continue growing… SUCCESS
Done! Read Friday 13th blog post. As of growing I slowed down slightly as per me. Maybe I got tired, but I developed my career plan.

6. Improve my English skills to have at least upper-intermediate strong level (according to my company graduating) SUCCESS
Definitely improved my English skills. My official level as of now is “upper-intermediate”. It might be that shortly will get “+strong” since my English course is not finished yet. But honestly I feel that I lack a lot to speak fluently. But now I can easily watch films without translation, listen podcasts, etc…

7. Gather good capital and looking for investments of money. SUCCESS
Ah! This progresses hardly, but I do a lot here. At least I got higher salary rate because of my promotion, but I started spending more money. I have to work on this more. Btw, my blog earned 4,81$ for the year, but we all know that it pays me differently.

Next thing I will create blog post “Where do you want to be in a Year?” for the 2011.
Till next time.

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Am I still on track?

March 3, 2010 Revision of my activity, Success No comments

I just want to ask my self if I’m still on the track. Accordingly to my 7th point in the list of “Things you need to remember to become successful developer” I need to have revision of what I’m doing.
This is year list:
1. Get MCTS, MCPD.
I’m out. Why? Because I was to lazy to schedule exam and learn something. I do not think that MCTS could be big problem for me. Just need week for learning.
2. Read 24 book.
I’m on. Read 3 books in 2 months… almost as desired.
3. Become known employee in my company.
I’m on and out. I did few presentations, but I think that need more. Will try to get something tomorrow.
4. Familiarize with Java and contribute research and development work to Kohonen Map.
I’m on regarding of Java – wrote few GoF patterns on it.
I’m off the Kohonen Maps – will fix this.
5. Become Senior Developer
I’m on.
6. Improve English.
I’m on. Joining English courses.
7. Gather good capital and look for investments.
I’m still on (before marriage :) ) 1/3 of what I need for month are income like interest, and that is very good.
This is keep doing list:
1. Keep on learning.
I’m on.
2. Establish what your goal is
I’m on.
3. Every challenge is opportunity
I’m on and off.
4. Be positively charged
Getting better with this.
5. Find a mentor.
I have such.
6. Be more public
Search google me, hope will get more than 700 results.
7. Do you gym
I’m completely out. I need fix this 100%, either I’ll be dead before get to the goal.

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