20 things I’ve done in 2016

Disclaimer: this post is not about personal praise, arrogance and chattery. It’s just a checklist of strikethrough items in my life. Remember, this is my personal blog and I want to write about my life, although having no idea why. There must be some explanations by behavioural psychology I should learn in 2017.

Last days of year could be called summary time. People stop to exhaust themselves at work, drudgery and casualties. They start to count what’s done at the last year. What’s happened with the world, with the planet Earth and beside it (hello, space!). Was this year better or worse than previous years? Are we still evolving? How can we improve the experience at the next year?
Lately I got a lot of thoughts about my goals and self-development mainline. Came to feeling that I degraded personal requirements and started doing some bullshit. And itt’s a fact! But looking back to the whole last year, I counted plenty of crazy things. I hit some challenging goals, turned my mindset to the flat road. So, here they are.

1. Launched personal blog

Yeap, this one. I spent a lot of power to improve the personal blog. Picking some interesting subjects, mastering thoughts in English (and still badly). So, I launched this blog at the end of January and got around 2800 views and 1600 visitors for all the time. Thanks, folks, for reading this!

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2. Enhanced tech stack

Still thinking how stupid I am, but remembering I learned from scratch a streaming with Wowza, Bash, Python, PL/SQL, Git, AWS management and bunch of these services (won’t count them), Terraform, PostgreSQL, Consul, Elastic Stack, Jenkins, Proxmox, a lot of security stuff, Asterisk development and maybe something more I forgot . So, only making processes stable is left 🙂

3. Worked at 4 companies

Unlikely this is the fact I wished. But it’s just breaking the borders of personal world. You’re feeling how life is fast. I’m starting one job, learning and doing some tasks, finishing the goal. After the goal achievement feeling boring, thinking how future is empty and solving to get a new job! It might be unstable, but necessary to grow up. So, that’s the interesting topic I’d like to discuss.

4. Participated at international IT-students competition

The subject is IT-Planet competition. I’ve been in 4 nominations and passed the first round in 2 of them. There were a Linux administration and Oracle database development. The second one was ugly in practice, but challenging and complicated anyway. So, this competition opened the new opportunities for me. Unfortunately, I didn’t win the second round and missed the final. But there is the space to try at 2017, because I’m still student!

5. Made a diploma project at university

Some time in the past I scared the fact I should do this and finish my studying. But it was not so scared in practice. One month of work on project, week of work on paper bureaucracy and it’s done! The project is a IP-telephony module for Asterisk written on Python doing the customer speech recognition and processing the main user queries.

So, only public presentation is left. Waiting for a June to finish it all and become graduated!

6. Read 9 books in fiction

I made up a list of books I should read during my life. So far I go then less time I have for fiction. And it’s OK! Fiction is just a fiction, and we don’t have to overestimate the book influence in the human life.

So, here is the list of books. I tried to deal with native language like reading Carnegie in English. Eventually it was a good point.

Theodore Dreiser «Financier»
Eugene Zamiatin «We»
Vladimir Nabokov «Lolita»
Nikolay Ostrovskiy «How the steel was tempered»
Dale Carnegie «How to stop worrying and start living»
Alexander Radishchev «Journey from Petersburg to Moscow»
Dale Carnegie «How to win friends and influence people»
Alexander Griboedov «Woe from wit»
Yaroslav Gashek «The good soldier Svejk»

7. Read 10 tech books

I’m still fan of tech books. Books which can expand the borders of subject understanding. Books which can explain not “how to do this”, but “why to do this” and “how does the subject actually work”. Don’t tell me that it’s useless. If mindless copy-paste from Stack Overflow is much more useful – sorry, I’m dumb.

So, here is the list of books. Also have a target list for 2017 in backlog.

Andrew Tanenbaum «Modern operating systems»
Mendel Cooper «Advanced Bash-scripting Guide»
Martin Fowler, Pramod J. Sadalage «NoSQL Distilled»
Mark Lutz «Learning Python»
Jeremy M. Jones,Noah Gift «Python for Unix and Linux System Administration»
Arnold Robbins, Linda Lamb «Learning the vi and Vim Editors»
Gene Kim, Kevin Behr,  George Spafford «The Phoenix Project»
Christine Hogan, Strata R. Chalup, Thomas A. Limoncelli «The Practice of Cloud System Administration»
Jesse Robbins, John Allspaw «Web Operations. Keeping the Data with Time»
Thomas A. Limoncelli «Time Management for System Administrators»

8. Visited 3 IT conferences

Also I started to love conferences in IT. That’s unbelievable to listen useful talks, break your biased mindset, meet and talk to industry drivers. To have a meetings in informal situations. So, the next year I’ll pick up much more of this meetings.

Also I started to watch the fresh talks from finished conferences like AWS re:Invent or GOTO. Because the present in their talks and you have to point this if you want to be notable.

9. Published 8 scientific articles

It’s just happened. I cannot say anything about research depth. The quality still leaves much to be desired. But it even one more field to grow up and become notable! Maybe I’ll try a deep research in Computer Science as a student.

10. Planted trees

I started to refine my condo neighborhood, planting new trees at the playground. That’s a new feeling too – make a valuable actions with no commercial point. Just thinking about how to make the world better. So, the main goal is to make my playground green and fresh instead of what I see now.

11. Run a trail marathon on 50 kilometers

Probably the best thing I’ve done. In paper the mainline is simple. Set this goal, worked hard on it and did this! 4 months of training worthed this feeling: you’re breaking the limits. You’re breaking the biases and making your dreams come true.

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12. Learned to ride a bike

It’s strange, but I never did this before 20.Learning to ride a bike took about 3 hours and after that I could easily pick the bike and take a ride. Bike is a one of the simplest and useful human inventions. How fool I was missing this at past!

13. Started daily stretching in the morning

Daily stretching is a great replacement of coffee cup to wake up. When doing physical exercises you’re refreshing your body and brain. You’re setting yourself for a fruitful work. Won’t say anything about health benefits, you know them better.

14. Tried an alpinism

It was not a natural alpinism, only climbing on walls in special alpinism club. But anyway I opened a new entertainment source where you can free your mind and also make myself better. So, hope I’ll still find necessary resources to keep this thing going.

15. Started to practice meditation

Here I’m just starting. The more we’re in mess, the more we need a meditation before doing anything. There are a lot of meditation methodics and practices I have to explore and choose. But value is high. Better to spend 5-10 minutes in meditation, but make your workflow faster.

16. Travelled a lot

A lot means 12 cities in 3 countries. There were some trips to Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vladimir, Suzdal and Saratov. There was a big trip through India visiting Delhi, Agra, Jaipur, Mumbai, Pune and Goa. There was even Bishkek in Kyrgyzstan I never planned before. Travelling is actually the most fascinated hobby in my life. Going that way you’re doing a lot of mistakes, but also learning on them! Also I gained some experience in Couchsurfing and met a myriad of interesting and kind people. So, people are the main treasure of each place.

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17. Stopped watching television

Because it sucks. Even in morning, even at leisure. Stop doing this! Stop scrolling the news feed and you’ll see how clear will your mindset become! How you can concentrate on what matters. Trust me, the news you have to know you’ll get out of news feed.

18. Had a phone stolen and got a new one

Somebody stole my phone in Mumbai train. This moment forced me to think smartly. To stop doing unsecure stuff in insecure places. To recognize that such moments aren’t worth my nerves and time to concern. My school teacher told me that there only 2 things to concern: disease and death of your relatives. The older you become, the more sense in this quote.

So, there was a good opportunity to buy a new one! I picked a OnePlus 2 and became happy after order completion. This order pushed me to 3 or 5 years forth with new features and functional. So, for bad moments, make a lemonade from lemon.

19. Participated in park pavilion building

There was a social project in my hometown. The goal was a building of simple, but beautiful open and useful space. There was no commercial interest, only one idea to make your neighborhood better. I can’t say that I was the main guy there, just tried to help as much as I could. This moment clarified how dumb I am at household stuff. How bad it is? Good question, please, ask me later. P.S.: I’m the first on the left edge at the photo.

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20. Continuing the One Second Every Day project

You can watch more about this idea here. I’m trying to focus the best (or the worst) moment of the day. It’s going to be interesting 10-20 years later to look at the past and remember how each day was by looking at one second. Not fully concentrated to look at the world through your camera.

Right now, looking at the mounted diary, I think my life is mostly boring. So, there is one more challenge to do it better.

Lessons learned


Such a huge strikethrough checklist shows up that I can. I can whatever I wish. I can when I work on goal hard. I can when I brace myself and turn on stubbornness tumbler. So, my next goals list will include even more target actions. So, hope I’ll strikethrough all them during the next year. Thanks a lot for reading my foolish personal ode! 🙂

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