It looks like I've linked you here myself. Linking people to a blogpost I wrote is often a bit akward, especially at work.
I likely shared this blog in an attempt to further a conversation. Usually the post does a better job at succinctly sharing information than I could by talking.
In any case, I hope me sharing this post doesn't come across as humblebragging, that's really the opposite of what I'm trying to achieve.
Thanks for reading!
After last year’s edition, I thought I’d also write an overview post of my 2021 side projects. It’s been quite a year again!
I can’t start a yearly review without a mention of my son being born mid-August, a big life milestone and “project” on its own.
While we’re still finding a new balance with 2 kids (they can be a lot of work!) and everything else (work, friends/family, hobbies, exercise, etc); the amount of joy and happiness the kids bring on a daily basis compares to nothing else. Can recommend.
After a few years of pondering, I finally decided to build a small infrared sauna from scratch. This was without a doubt the biggest project I did in 2021. I wrote a lengthy blogpost with all the details, and a separate post on how I added home automation to it. I love this thing, it gets used every week.
My toddler daughter loves to help out in the kitchen. To help her see and participate better, I decided to build her a learning tower: a wooden (MDF) stool on locking casters, with the right dimensions for our home (easily stowable). She absolutely adores this thing - it’s used several times a week. This small project was a far bigger success than I could’ve imagined.
In 2020, I welded for the first time. This past year I upgraded my cheap flux-core welding machine to a “real” MIG/MAG welding machine that works with proper shielding gas. The difference is pretty huge: I can now weld thicker metal and the entire process is easier and makes for much better results.
Welding ticks a lot of boxes for me: it’s a very hands-on activity, has the right level of skill challenge, and pushes the edge of what I’m comfortable with when it comes to power tools. Overall, it’s something I thoroughly enjoy (and recommend!) - I’m definitely hoping to do a few more (small) welding projects in 2022.
Ever since buying my first 3D printer, my interest in all types of CNC devices has increased significantly. I think this is in part because CNC devices allow me to cheat and use a computer to offset my pretty poor arts & crafts skills. While it’s not quite within reach yet to purchase a CNC mill (because money, space, skill), this year I did buy a hobby CNC laser cutter/engraver and used it to make a few things.
In late summer 2020, I decided I wanted to build a small go kart for my kids to ride in. I chose this project not so much for the targeted outcome, but mostly for the things I could learn along the way. While I made some progress this year, this has definitely been a slow project. I’m hoping to make a bit more progress in 2022.
Gitlint is an open-source tool I maintain that allows users to enforce style rules on their git commit messages. It has had another successful year with significant growth, recently passing the 500 star milestone on github 🤯. Highlights include 3 releases, finding a co-maintainer and a noticable increase of community participation. I wrote about my experience maintaining gitlint last year.
I tend to work on my home automation setup in waves: I work on it as my main project for a few weeks and then move on to other things for a while before returning a few months later. In the fall of this year, I hit another home automation “high” and ended up changing a lot of things in my setup. My Smart Home 2021 blogpost contains all the details.
2021 marked my second full year of blogging (started late 2019). I’m quite pleased that I was able to keep up my targeted monthly post frequency. This does require a lot of consistent effort - about an hour on every weekend day, with occasional additional effort in between - but I’m convinced that blogging is something that is good for me.
Here’s an overview of my 2021 blogposts:
When it comes to reading books, 2021 was the most productive year I’ve ever had, finishing 14 (audio)books. For someone who used to only read 2-3 books a year, that’s a pretty massive change. For the full list, I’d refer to my Goodreads profile. My Top Media Picks 2021 blogpost has a bunch more media recommendations.
When I looking back, I’m always amazed at how much stuff happens in a year’s time. Between a busy day job, our now larger family and an ongoing pandemic, 2022 looks to be busier than ever. Yet, the prospect of working on more side-projects and hobbies puts a big smile on my face - let’s go 🚀