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’s year of Letting Go (refinding balance after emerging from the pandemic with 2 young kids), this year became a year of Discovery. An overview.
In an effort to escape the daily rat race, spent more time together as a family and deliberately seeking adventure - we decided in late 2022 to spent February 2023 working remotely from Southern Portugal - with 2 small kids in tow.
While it wasn’t all rainbows and unicorns, it was an unforgettable experience overall - so much so that we ended up repeating this experiment in May in Croatia.
I wrote at length about our experience in Portugal in a blogpost and captured some of our day-to-day experiences on X. I definitely hope we can do this again in the future.
While we had initially planned to repeat our remote working experiment again in November, it didn’t end up working out. Rather unexpectedly, we ended up buying a new house instead 😅
While we had planned to slowly start a house hunt in 2024, a house that checked a lot of boxes serendipitously caught our eye in late summer this year. One thing let to another and now we’re moving early February 2024!
While moving house naturally comes with some stress (and a lot of paperwork), the predominant feeling is one of excitement. Excitement to discover a new environment and establish new daily routines but above all: the blank canvas that is our new, more spacious house (and garden). My mind is raging with all the new projects that will be enabled, I can’t wait 🤩
Similar to 2022, blogging on a regular schedule has been a challenge this year. Not for a lack of ideas, but as the cliché goes: time. Which really just means it’s not been as big of priority this year. While I’d like it to be different (because I truly believe writing is good for me), I don’t think 2024 will be much better in this regard.
Nevertheless, I did manage to publish 3 blogposts this year, all of which I felt good about.
I recently switched my personal website from Jekyll to Hugo. It looks the same, but under-the-hood it was quite a bit of work (12+hrs spread over a month).https://t.co/b1pBo75jYy pic.twitter.com/7Q4lCv1phU— Joris Roovers (@jorisroovers) March 28, 2023
In the last few years, my interest in better understanding how to produce and cook food has increased a lot, I think as part of a larger interest in self-sustainability and alternative lifestyles. This expressed itself this year by my first experiments with vegetable gardening, sourdough bread making and different meat preparation techniques.
On the veggie front, I successfully grew radishes, baby carrots, tomatoes, potatoes, lettuce, a variety of herbs and strawberries. Failures included zucchinis, baby spinach and green beans (better luck next year!). This felt very rewarding and it was a great activity to do with the kids. I’m definitely planning to experiment a lot more in 2024!
New experiment this year: small vegetable garden. Radishes, mini carrots, parsley and strawberries 👨🌾— Joris Roovers (@jorisroovers) March 30, 2023
Great activity with the kids as well! pic.twitter.com/Wy3PlTWhKM
Potato harvest day 🥔— Joris Roovers (@jorisroovers) July 23, 2023
Pleasantly surprised how well this worked out!
How To? Google “potatoes in a bucket”. pic.twitter.com/w17wHd27J2
In the bread department, I experimented with quite a few different types of flour and recipes, including creating my own sourdough from scratch (which I still don’t have down quite yet).
Been working on sourdough bread this week (first time!).— Joris Roovers (@jorisroovers) August 4, 2023
First bread was a failure, this second attempt is already looking a lot better but still have a ways to go.
Definitely a challenge to get this right, I can see the appeal! pic.twitter.com/CLmK1KJcLb
When it comes to meat preparation, I experimented quite a bit with different grill and smoking techniques and a large variety of different meat cuts.
I spent quite a bit of time on gitlint - my open source project - in the first half of the year, but did little in the second half. While this resulted in just a single release, the release contained a lot of under-the-hood changes. I completely rewrote the CI/CD pipelines and build tooling - something I had wanted to do for years - and also completely redid gitlint’s documentation website.
2023 was an incremental year for my home automation setup. Outside of a home automation infatuation phase (in August-September), I mostly just made tweaks to my existing setup.
After making a big career decision last year (moving from a engineering management back to a technical engineering role), this year was very different from the years before. While there were times I missed some of dynamics of engineering leadership, the ability to dive deep into technical topics that were new to me more than made up for that.
I read 6 books this year, all of which were good - a few great.
I didn’t watch a lot of TV this year, but I did tremendously enjoy some of Apple’s TV series.
2023 became a year of discovering new places, hobbies and perhaps myself. As I look back, I’m very happy we had the courage to make some of big decisions that we did, culminating in the purchase of a new house. Going into 2024, that house move will undoubtedly influence a lot of the year, bringing both new opportunities as well as new challenges. I’m excited for this big new chapter for our family, and the stories and memories we’ll create there.
If there’s one thing that’s for sure, it’s that 2024 will be another busy year. Let’s get it going!