The year 2022 has drawn to a close, and it leaves me with a sense of nostalgia.
The perennial issue of procrastination continues to haunt me, with limited progress in its mitigation. While I comprehend the theoretical underpinnings, I struggle to harmonize knowledge and action. I have delved into this matter extensively in my 2021 year-end review and procrastination countermeasures. In 2023, I intend to employ additional strategies to combat procrastination and cultivate beneficial habits.
The ticking of the clock does not absolve us of our problems. Initiating a plan need not hinge on the turn of the year or other arbitrary time markers. It can commence at any moment, such as December 24th at 14:27. I understand that and so do you. True learning does not necessitate a meticulously arranged workspace; it is merely an excuse for procrastination 🙄.
Similarly, this year-end review need not align precisely with the year’s end. What matters is introspection at the outset of the new year, reflecting on the past and envisioning the future 🤪.
In an internet landscape characterized by austerity, I have started to contemplate my worth through the lens of company operations. The perpetual goal remains “cost reduction and efficiency enhancement.” In many instances, the Research and Development (R&D) centers serve as cost centers.
As a technical professional, understanding the significance of business realization is paramount. It entails comprehending business objectives and actions and subsequently harnessing robust technical capabilities to drive innovation. The aim is to create scalable and stable products that exceed anticipated incremental value for the business, ultimately achieving “cost reduction and efficiency enhancement.”
It is imperative to recognize what matters most to our business partners. Mere translation of requirements or solitary contemplation is insufficient. Often, architectural challenges find resolution through pragmatic adaptation in the business context. Their focus revolves around whether objectives are met, rather than the minutiae of implementation details 🤔.
Thus, aligning business objectives with the direction of technical architecture is essential. Evolutionary design may offer a viable solution. However, the crux lies in confirming the direction of evolution, namely, the top-level planning of technology. In 2023, I aim to fortify my knowledge in this realm.
Starting in 2022, I transitioned from physical books to Kindle, aided by Obsidian’s note synchronization plugin, which facilitated efficient note management. Most of my books are now digital, including reading, note-taking, and knowledge integration.
However, Amazon China announced the cessation of Kindle eBook store operations after June 30, 2023. Gazing at my Kindle Oasis 3, I lamented, “Kindle, you have failed me!” Nevertheless, I persevered with the migration, parting with several physical books. While the experience was favorable, the returns were modest. The proceeds were insufficient even to acquire a copy of “Designing Data-Intensive Applications,” a book of immense value that I retained.
Acquiring books was akin to accumulating achievements in the past. However, as I faced practical applications, I realized the indispensability of books. They are essential resources that should be readily accessible when needed. The convenience factor encompasses both easy procurement and immediate accessibility. Books should be swift to obtain and use when required, lowering the barrier to utilization and capitalizing on fragmented time 📚.
Currently, two issues persist: technical books remain irreplaceable in physical form due to fragmented experiences, and post-Kindle China, alternative e-book platforms need consideration.
In 2022, I began leading a team, venturing into a new domain in my professional journey.
The team management initiative yielded promising results. With guidance from a leader, we smoothly navigated the transition. Over half of the team members, including myself, confronted a novel business direction, necessitating rapid acquisition of domain knowledge and understanding of business dynamics. My role was twofold: adapt to the new domain swiftly and assist team members in their adjustment, sustaining team cohesion. The ultimate aim was to maintain business momentum, ensuring organizational changes did not hinder progress. Thankfully, we succeeded in stabilizing the team, clarifying individual growth trajectories, and achieving strong business support. The team’s overall Employee Net Promoter Score (eNPS) ranked among the top 🥳.
The allocation of energy in team management exceeded expectations. Due to my limited experience and exposure to a plethora of new information in my job role, I had to rapidly assimilate a substantial amount of management knowledge, akin to relearning common knowledge. While I attempted to manage my time meticulously, I still overextended my resources 🤯. The transition from theory to practice revealed the inadequacy of bookish knowledge. Just as writing code requires practical application to improve, my focus now is on learning from practice to enhance efficiency in this domain.
Knowledge consolidation in management remains inadequate. I am ensnared in a “problem-driven” state, perpetually tackling new issues, and struggling to digest past experiences. The accumulation of specific cases and insights has been limited, hindering the potential for cumulative effects.
Summarizing my technical knowledge and experiences was once again deferred 🌚. Nonetheless, continuous learning remains a top priority.
With Obsidian, I organized my knowledge in Kafka, MySQL, and Redis. Dual-link notes suit my outlining habits perfectly. For instance, I associated all three with the “fsync” technology point, despite the underlying mechanisms being similar. However, MySQL’s complex persistence mechanism, due to transactions, introduces additional complexities. Linking other middleware to “fsync” allows for easy cross-comparison of their respective persistence mechanisms, highlighting differences and the associated trade-offs.
Concerning architectural design, I delved into distributed systems, architectural patterns, and Domain-Driven Design (DDD). While I have not yet solidified this knowledge, it serves as a foundation. The distributed systems landscape remains intricate, particularly in the era of microservices and Docker, where many components inherently possess distributed capabilities. This fundamental competency covers a vast expanse, with a dearth of conceptual depth. I have amassed ample resources but need to consolidate further. Architectural patterns and DDD are not novel topics. However, this time, I am revisiting them in light of my practical experience, aiming for a deeper understanding.
In the realm of emerging technologies, I explored Web3, Rust, and eBPF (Cloud-Native Applications) without finding a suitable avenue for hands-on experience. I am in an observational phase.
My 2023 technology roadmap remains straightforward—parallel investment in both established and emerging technologies. I aspire to share insights through five technical articles and foster greater interaction with the community .
What can be said of the financial landscape in 2022 🥶? The stock market witnessed myriad plunges, with the “Battle of 3000” replayed. Hong Kong stocks fared dismally, while Chinese concept stocks fared even worse. Towards the year-end, there was a slight recovery, reminding us of the adage, “Time in the market beats timing the market.” My investments primarily followed a long-term, dollar-cost averaging strategy, and aside from significant declines in bond holdings during market fluctuations, I remained unperturbed. I am inclined towards a “lie down and prosper” philosophy.
My financial strategy largely remained unchanged—four buckets of funds, as detailed in the 2021 year-end review. Due to pandemic-related reasons, cash reserves increased. Currently, liquid funds: stable funds: long-term investments = 2.5:4.5:3.
I have incurred losses for two consecutive years, with an overall negative return on investment. However, the losses in 2022 were less severe than in 2021 😭. Fortunately, there was a year-end resurgence in Chinese concept stocks; otherwise, the situation would have been direr.
Regular investment practices persisted, and it is highly likely that I will recoup my losses after the Chinese New Year. I have come to appreciate the stability and peace of mind that dollar-cost averaging provides. Embracing time as a friend is all that is required.
Accounting practices were sustained throughout the year. I refined expenditure categorization, drawing inspiration from the classification of national residents’ consumption expenditure. This enhanced categorization fosters insight into my consumption patterns and financial cycles, enabling informed financial planning. Predicting consumption cycles and expenditure levels allows for prudent financial allocation, including cash reserves, advance discounts, and flexible fund distribution. However, it cannot augment income, necessitating a focus on increasing revenue streams 💰.
Assuming managerial responsibilities in 2022 raised the bar for interpersonal relationships. While I may not consistently embody a Zen attitude, I endeavor to maintain empathy, cooperation, and win-win approaches.
Whether establishing connections between the team and superiors, facilitating bidirectional information exchange between the team and external entities, or ensuring smooth communication within the team, I continuously learn and experiment. My aim is to enhance communication skills and foster collaboration.
Though the nasal tones of Mandarin may still occasionally impede me, they no longer pose the greatest obstacle. I believe I can overcome this hurdle. Currently, my primary challenge lies in defining the boundaries of comfort in communication, an area I intend to develop in 2023.
Effective communication lacks a silver bullet; sincerity remains the ultimate tool. Coupled with empathy and non-violent communication, it often yields favorable outcomes.
2022 seemed synonymous with stringent pandemic control measures. Remote work persisted for extended periods, far exceeding previous norms. When the restrictions were finally lifted in December, illness struck me for two days, only to recover subsequently 😷.
Many plans, including fitness and medical checkups, were deferred. Overall physical activity in 2022 paled in comparison to the previous year. Running and swimming were virtually non-existent, and even my daily step count declined. In 2023, I intend to regain lost ground 💪!
Travel opportunities remained limited. Beijing implemented stringent pandemic control measures, potentially leading to a quarantine, further hampering exploration 😨. In 2023, I am committed to venturing out more.