Planning for the New Year 2020

int main() {
   puts("What next?");

The traditional holiday season didn’t quite give me the time to think that I usually find myself with. In fact I was quite busy with family events which was great as I spent a long period away from tech. This gives perspective and with that focus.

I usually attempt to plan my year and set some goals. I am pretty bad at achieving them but, hey, it is the taking part that counts. Will this year be the year I actually learn to touch type…

Probably not.

I set goals in each of the following areas fitness, artistic and for the first time I am attempting to set some financial goals.

Every year I add some artistic goals and every year I fail. So to kick that one off I am planning on paying for, and working through, a course on udemy. Probably a pixel art one to start off with but I noticed that are some Krita and Blender ones there are well. It will be interesting to see if a structured course make any significant difference.

Also sorry you may be exposed to some very bad pixel art!

Technically I am in the planning stages. I plan to continue to develop a small interpreter using Rust. In fact I would not mind if that turns into the major project of the year. I also made a huge list of things I would like to learn. This will need pairing down somewhat as I would like to take topics a little deeper than usual. Something I have not done for a while.

The article Transformative tools for thought along with a lot of supplementary reading has made me reconsider my learning. It is a long article but one worth reading. I mentioned a bit of it to my children and it looks like some forms of spaced repetition learning has made its way into schools in the UK as, to my surprise, they could identify the technique being used in their Math class. The article is long but well worth reading.

As this change is fairly significant I will probably cover that in a separate post. It is sufficient to say I want to tackle some interesting deep topics with these techniques but am having difficulty actually picking a topic.

At a slightly lighter level I am going to try to keep things constant. So I will continue to use Clion, Emacs and git as my daily drivers. Blogging will continue to be done via an orgmode file exported to a format compatible with Hugo. While emacs is not ideal for everything I find myself gradually becoming more and more proficient in it. It also fits the bill as being lightweight so perfect for sipping the battery of a laptop.

Programming wise I think I am settling on Rust for a while. I am not exactly proficient so there will be productivity drop in picking it up over say C++. Its advantages are

  • A stronger type system then C++, so late night coding should be a little less error prone. The build
  • Cargo is better than CMake in that I waste less time with it.
  • They continue to make the tooling faster whereas C++ just seems to get slower for me. We are talking build times here.

The negatives are the previously mentioned expected initial productivity drop and the crate (library) system is still a little young.

I am not fixated on Rust so should something come along that offers a better trade off then I will shift to it, once I am confident that there is a real win. I would trade a little bit of type safety for a large increase in compilation speed.

If I start a project that is truly not suited to Rust I will also flip languages. I am trying to be a pragmatist at heart.

I always plan to blog and use social media more often but this year I have no plans to attempt to write a certain number or hit a certain cadence. I usually blog more often when I am productive but I will continue to do ad hoc updates. I guess I enjoy doing live coding streams so I may do more of those. YouTube is not ideal for them but I like the permanence of them. I may even do a few update/Vlog recordings. Again no goals here. Just whatever is fun.

So this kind of kick of my year. I had some additional posts planned to fill in the details on the technical side of things. So I have better get writing those.

776 Words

2020-01-06 00:00 +0000