2023 in many words and some photos

It has become a tradition for me to look at the year that's about to end. I did so in 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015 and 2014.

My year in numbers

I attended 3 conferences this year. In April I had some colleagues visit Berlin and together we attended PyCon DE & PyData Berlin. First Python conference for me and overall a nice experience, even if there's no single talk that really stuck with me. In October EuroRust happened in Brussels, where I ended up running the Q&A sessions after every talk. This forced me to watch (most of) the talks, so that I knew what the speakers were talking about and could ask accordingly. In November I accompanied Dominik to RIPE 87.

I gave one talk. It was at Rust & Tell Berlin. First time I spoke at this local event, even though I've been somewhat involved since it started in 2018. I also took over (part of) the organization of that event after Bastian left Berlin in the summer. Once Matthias joined as a co-organizer we managed to host one beer garden edition and 2 regular meetups.

I published 7 blog posts this year (including this one). I have one draft right now, that I hope to publish in the first week of January (I'm still on vacation and have time). For work I wrote 9 proposals, that over the year got accepted & mostly implemented. And probably dozens of documents more with notes, ideas and feedback.

I started the year with 5 books read by early March, but then just stopped. I have 3 fictional books I started, but still haven't finished (and another 2 or 3 non-fictional ones I want to read).

GitHub says I made 2230 contributions in the past year. This includes a bunch of automated commits, as well as work and private stuff. The raw numbers here obviously don't reflect all the other stuff I'm involved in.

I stopped posting on Instagram after my Mozambique trip in March (see below for pictures!), so there's only 15 pictures from this year. I posted a few stories after that still, but otherwise use Instagram only passively now. It's full of ads, leans too heavy on stories and videos and it's overall not an enjoyable experience anymore. My ~/Pictures/2023 directory contains 2937 photos and videos. The majority is from my vacation trips to Norway (in the winter and summer) and Mozambique. My Photos library contains another 4345 and videos from 2023. I take most photos with my phone, but there is some overlap with the photos folder on my laptop.

I stopped using Twitter, deleted all my tweets and made my account private. I started using my Mastodon account (@jer@hachyderm.io) for most social media interaction. There's now a total of 1532 posts according to my own data, 1779 according to Hachyderm. I seem to be missing some data from 2022, so all those 1532 posts in my database are from this year. 975 of those are in reply to some other post, with 814 in reply to others (and 161 replying to my own posts).

I stopped importing my workout data after it broke last year, so no analysis of that. However I switched from jogging on a regular basis to 2-3 Apple Fitness+ workouts a week. The app says I did 85 Fitness+ workouts in different categories (HIIT, Core, Strength, Mindful Cooldown). Too many excuses led to me not sticking to a regular schedule for more than 4 weeks at a time though, that's room for improvement. In the summer I officially became the coach of my handball team, while also being a player ("Spielertrainer"), which changed how I train (gotta keep an eye on the others and do less myself), however the games became more intense for me (less rest because when I'm on the bench I'm coaching). So far I played 6 games out of the 9 we had in the first half of the season and I'm the top scorer of my team somehow.

My year in photos and words

Northern Lights coming out of the mountain across the fjord

The year started the same way it ended: watching the Northern Lights dance on the night sky in northern Norway. We got back to Germany the second week of January.

A dead tree on the left at the beach, the ocean far back; a blue sky and the sun turning it all a bit orange

I didn't stay home for too long. In mid of February I flew with Florian, Sibylle and Marianne to Mozambique. The plan was to have a 3 week diving vacation, aiming for 2 dives per day.

2 blue-yellow fishes swimming from left to right in front of a otherwise bare ocean bottom

So we didn't waste time and got into the water. However that quickly ended when Very Intense Tropical Cyclone Freddy came rushing in.

Rain dripping from the leaves covering the roof, in the back wet palm trees. The sky is gray

Diving was impossible in these conditions. The wind kept us ashore and the constant rain made sure nothing got dry. Still we didn't let this ruin our vacation and made the best of it. Contrary to previous plans we did start the Rescue Diver training, involving a lot of theory and practical training in the pool. By the end of our course the weather cleared up enough to finish the training in the ocean. Florian and I are now certified Rescue Divers, and who can say to have done that in an active cyclone?

The stay in Mozambique lasted well into March. When I got back I finally ordered contact lenses to replace my glasses.

A chocolate Easter bunny on top of a hedge in front of the Reichstagsgebäude in Berlin

For Easter in April my whole family visited and later that month colleagues came to Berlin and we attended PyCon DE.

A very young Lumi looking curiously into the camera

In May Flaki came to visit and brought Lumi with him. Lumi was so small back then!

A disco ball hanging above, mirroring dancing people below. Blue sky behind it.

In June I visited home, before in July I took another vacation. This time ... Norway! By pure coincidence I was in Oslo for Oslo Pride, before heading north to meet my parents for a trip across the Lofoten.

View over a fjord in Norway, on the left red houses, behind them a mountain. The water is completely still, being a nearly perfect mirror of the scene above it

No sunset means pictures as the one above can be taken at midnight. The mix of perfect sunny summer weather and slightly more rainy summer weather, hikes and nature made this another trip to remember.

Mountains in Norway next to the fjord. A big stone in the water in front. The water is still and reflecting the surroundings.

Berlin got another couple of very hot days that I spent in town, with friends, work and Handball keeping me busy.

The skyline of Montreal, from atop Mt Royal

In August I flew over to Montreal, Canada for this year's Mozilla All-Hands. Planned were 5 days of hanging out with colleagues, team building and planning future work. This was cut short for me as I caught Covid. Luckily I was spared any strong symptoms and the days locked in my hotel room went by reasonably fast.

A small lighthouse on a beach in Canada, white with red sides. A sign on it saying "Covehead Lighthouse"

I was back on my feet, healthy and well, to join colleagues for a bit of vacation in Nova Scotia. We got some more hiking done, but due to Covid this was cut short and now I have another item on my travel list to come back to.

The hills of the Sauerland: fields & forests

September was the month of weddings and anniversaries. Started it off with a weekend with my whole family celebrating my parent's wedding anniversary. Followed by two different weddings of different friends the weekend after (and my birthday).

The Oberbaumbridge in Berlin, connecting Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg, lit up during the Festival of Lights

In October I had more time in Berlin, with a brief visit from my nephew.

View towards the EuroRust speaker stage from the left, the screen reading "See you tomorrow - Thank you"

Later that month I headed to Brussels for EuroRust. Initially planned to be accompanied by Flaki and Lumi, that plan fell through due to Covid, of course. So I traveled with Florian instead and met a number of other friends at the conference. Back in Berlin, some of my colleagues flew in for a work week. After my All-Hands was cut short I still got some social interactions with my team mates after all.

A boardwalk reaching out into the beach, the ocean behind it, the sun shining, making the water glitter

In November I accompanied Dominik to Rome, where RIPE87 was happening. I used that time to soak up some more sun, while Berlin was freezing. Really this trip was an excuse to visit Rome and eat a lot of pizza & pasta.

The front of the Kadriorg Art Museum building, lit up by street lights; the walk path in front fully covered in snow

For Christmas, as usual, I drove home to my parents to have dinner and a bit of a celebration with my family. Just after then I headed north-east to Tallinn, Estonia to visit Flaki and Lumi.

Lumi standing next to a small glass hut; inside a Christmas tree and a chair, everything lit up by a small light strip around the bottom of the hut.

We decided to stay out of town over New Year, to avoid fireworks and the rush of the city. Staying at a small apartment directly at the sea, with the temperature dropping below -10ºC in the next days; that's my kind of relaxed winter vacation.

The Future

2023 is over, so time to plan for a good 2024.

Two vacation trips are already booked. Mozambique is under consideration for the year, there's still some diving to do. I'm going to be in London for Rust Nation UK, and EuroRust is back in October. That's two work trips planned already, plus a Mozilla All Hands for sure.

My role at work expanded, but I've also identified a couple of areas in which I want to grow. I hope to be able to pick my projects to do just that.

From late January on I will have the second half of my first season as a Handball coach. This requires a lot of time and energy from me, to learn how to do that in the first place and to plan the training sessions accordingly. All while also getting enough exercise for myself. It's going to be challenging, but exciting.

Maybe I finally get around looking for another flat. I could use something just slightly bigger, and definitely a bigger kitchen!

Thanks to everyone who makes my trips so enjoyable, to everyone I meet with, speak with, work with, and play with.