Building & Learning
It has been a year full of discoveries and new experiences. Last year I’ve chose a very particular path and it has paid off multiple times in lots of different ways. My plans have evolved but I’ve mostly sticked to the essential.
This year’s biggest change is unquestionably my departure from HooktStudios.
I had spent a year learning by myself but I wasn’t up to speed when I joined the company back in february. The guys gave me a chance and I’m incredibly thankful for that. With their continuous support I’ve learned how to use Git properly, improved my Ruby and Ruby On Rails knowledge along with a slew of other tools, techniques and best practices.
The excitation and thrill of learning peaked for a few months. Everything was going fast and I really had a great time. Like most things, it slowly started to fade in the end of summer. I felt more and more like doing the same work. I also happen to have a strong personal preference to work for myself rather than for someone else. All this led to my decision to resign.
I’ll miss the guys, the atmosphere and the discussions on our common interests. Jimmy, Leo, Jean-Philippe, Louis-André and Louis-Philippe really can be proud of having built an environment where trust, responsibility and quality are core values.
Every month I still publish in the “sounds” section of my website a curated selection of songs I’ve fallen in love with. This is a hobby that has been around for more than 2 years now.
I also continue to curate a blog called CorporateAwesomeness which collects good moves and forward thinking management techniques from the corporate world. This tiny side-project will hit its second anniversary in april.
On the personal side of things, in june I’ve packed my stuff and moved from my parent’s house to an apartment with my girlfriend. With most of our friends living at a walking distance, we enjoy serendipity and impromptus more than ever.
In the last months I’ve developed a passion for spices in an inexplicable manner, accumulating a reserve of over 30 spices totaling 25 lbs. I’m now creating an ever expanding collection of mixes, already containing blends such as: Ras El Hanout, Phanch Phoran, Garam Masala, Cajun, Za’atar, Mediterranean and Chinese 5 spices.
- Historyable: Track ActiveRecord models attributes changes. Supported by HooktStudios (props for funding OSS).
- Associates: Associate multiple models together and make them behave as one.
Among the books I’ve read this year, I’ve been particularly moved and challenged by these:
Happiness by Mathieu Ricard
Soothing for a mind in need, everyone retains something different and I’d bet it’s true as well for every new reads.
Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts
Captivating story about a man fighting both himself and the outside world, making me fall in love with India even before having seen it.
Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
Kahneman provides crisp explanations on the inner workings of the mind. Helps to understand human nature and yourself at the same time.
In 2014 I’d like to continue reading, exercise more frequently and start volunteering.
Nothing is official yet but I’m planning a trekking trip in the Indian Himalaya around late spring or early autumn. I really miss the outdoors and the introspection level possible to achieve while walking long distances.
It’s kind of a crazy project, but I’d like to make my own beef jerky. And start woodworking, too.
I’m also currently working on a small app to clean and improve song metadata. For people with large libraries and poor or worse, non-existent, metadata, this could be a godsend. Overall I’m aiming for a healthy balance between freelance work and personal projects that might turn into profitable ones.
I feel way more resilient now that I know how to code. Not only programming is no longer a black box, but it has grew into a passion. Harnessing knowledge to solve real problems is now my goal.
If you aren’t building, you aren’t learning.