I don't have the habit of doing end-of-year reviews. Actually, I don't do it officially in my blog, but I do it myself on paper. It's a great time to really reflect on my life, what I went through the year, my accomplishments, what were the challenges, and what could be better and improved for the next year.
I did a monthly changelog through the year on my newsletter talking about the whole month and I was excited to do it here too, but now I'm contemplating the whole year.
Here are the topics I will cover in this review:
- Programming Languages & Compilers
- Other projects
- 2024 and future
In terms of health, it was not the best one in my life, especially compared to 2022. But in terms of discipline in the gym and food prepping, it was definitely a great year.
I love running (as you may already know). I do it around 6km-7km per run, 6 times a week. If the year has 52 weeks, I ran 1872km - 2184km this year. It was close to 2022, but I'm pretty happy with this habit.
In terms of food quality, this year was the year. I did cook almost every day. Almost because I really like to go outside and try new food, especially if I'm traveling.
Here are some of the recipes I tried this year.
From buying quality food to prepping, this year was great.
With all this work, I reached 15% body fat and lost 7kg (using the data I measured the last time). At the end of the year, I will do it again to measure the progress.
I need to confess, it's exhausting, but I love cooking and running, so it was all worth it.
At mid-year, I wrote this piece: I read 47 books in the first 6 months of 2023. Now what?. It was a reflection on reading a whole lot of books in so little time, so I decided to reduce the quantity and increase the quality of the books I was reading. Mostly, because a good amount of the books was 3 stars or worse in my own review.
With that in mind, I went from 47 books in 6 months to finishing with 13 in the second semester. Less but better. This was very well influenced by the book 10x Is Easier Than 2x, which talks about focusing on quality work and not just doing more and more. It's important to work on essential things and weed out the 80% that won't impact anything in my life.
There are a bunch of books I still didn't have time to focus on. Especially the technical ones I bought this year.
This is a nice list I added to my collection:
- Principles of Program Analysis
- Intro to Compilers and Language Design
- Intro Discrete Mathematics
- The Art of Doing Science and Engineering
- Engineering A Compiler
- The Elements of Computing Systems
- Essentials of Compilation
- Concrete Mathematics
- Practical Foundations for PLs
- Types and Programming Languages
- Advanced Algorithms and Data Structures
- BPF Performance Tools, Systems Performance
- Crafting Interpreters
My collection is getting bigger and bigger:
Many of these books were “recommendations” from Mixtape, the Cat (comment in its IG post that you came from this post, it will be happy to know that).
Programming Languages & Compilers
As I wrote above, I got a lot of books, but I'm still carving time to read them all. It will require my lifetime to read them all but I'm happy I have them in my collection.
Now I'm reading Crafting Interpreters, and wow, what a book! Lots of fun.
Besides books, I also took some courses, read some papers, and most importantly, built some things. To name a few:
I'm in the phase now to do more work on research and I wrote my very first research proposal draft for a master/PhD application in PL.
I sent it to a Japanese researcher and we are collaborating together in this research. She's reviewing the first draft and I'm looking for the first feedback, I hope I can make it even better.
This year was definitely one of the years that I pushed myself to do something bigger and different. In the years before, I was very focused on frontend and web performance, but this year I decided to go 100% on compilers and learn everything I could about programming languages.
Here is a brief timeline of my career:
Backend → Frontend → Web Performance → Compilers & Programming Languages
Besides learning about compilers, I work with frontend, more specifically, web performance. I'm finishing this year strong as I'm 100% focused on improving the user experience of our app through web performance. It wasn't my focus this year but I definitely learned a lot and there's still room for growth.
Other than frontend and web performance, a habit I have had since college is doing competitive programming challenges. I did several algorithm problems on Leetcode and AlgoExpert this year and everything is “documented” on my repo: Algorithms.
Peaks and valleys. This is how I describe my year in terms of writing. I started strong, writing and publishing every week, mostly about Frontend Architecture. Then I focused on working on building my compiler, started a series about it, got busy, and stopped writing for a while. Did some courses and implemented a new interpreter and did a series of posts about it and my learnings working on the mini TypeScript.
I sent some monthly changelogs through my newsletter but I wasn't that consistent with writing it. Maybe because I didn't take it seriously or I didn't prioritize it.
Just to list and share other things I did this year
- Launched 89 with Kazuuh
- Started scripting my very first podcast with Kazuuh about travel
- 100k in investments
- Returned to my Japanese studies
- Went for my first marathon
2024 && Future
In 2024, the quote is “The same, but better”. Invest in the same things that brought me joy and growth but improve them and diversify.
There are so many things I'm excited to do, to start, but at the same time, I understand how important being focused is.
In terms of my career, I am pretty happy working on web performance and I want to continue working on that. Deepen and expand my knowledge in this field at the same time I have a great impact on the product.
Besides that, my path to becoming a compiler engineer continues. I'm not sure if one day I will work in this area but I know I have so much fun studying and working on this subject. It became a hobby and I feel it's one of the things that stretch me and push my knowledge to the limit. I like doing hard things because I know I'm growing.
Talking about hard things, I'm doing some math classes (at college and by myself) and I have to say it's challenging and super fun. This was my favorite subject when I was a kid and the feeling of solving problems is always fantastic. I hope I'll have time to focus on fundamental work like mathematics and science.
I feel more and more that I have a big purpose in life. I feel someday I will work not only with technology but with science too. I don't know if it's being a scientist, helping scientists with technology, or working in AI to advance science. I don't know. But this feeling is growing inside me year by year. I'll let this idea cook for more time and let's see what the future holds for me.
The other aspects of my life will probably follow the quote I mentioned before. Continue investing, continue working on my health through running and eating healthily, and continue reading books and writing.
In terms of books, I already mentioned in my last piece that I would choose books that
- Improve myself
- Help me understand the world
I don't want to waste time reading books that don't provide any value.
And in terms of writing, the only thing I want for myself is to be more consistent. At least 2 posts a month? And continue working on my newsletter sending the monthly changelog.
There are other things I have in mind but I lack some kind of experience and skills. Things like music, videos, podcasts, research. These are part of the “diversify” I talked about early on.
And finally, a big part of 2024 will be about traveling. I didn't do that much in 2023 but next year I already have some trips planned. Japan 🇯🇵 will be the first place I'll be traveling to. Then The Netherlands 🇳🇱, and Canada 🇨🇦 in the final semester.
This is what I planned for me in 2024. But I know life is crazy and sometimes unexpectedly good, so nothing better than letting serendipity happen.
Have a happy end of 2023 and the start of 2024!
Until next year.