AoC recap and Looking towards 2019

So for the first time ever, I have finished Advent Of Code.

 The Highs

  • Man it felt good to complete it AoC for once.  Finishing that last challenge, watching the animations, and reading the final piece of the story gave me such a feeling of accomplishment, that I just had to step back from my computer and grin.
  • There were some really diverse challenges that I had fun working through.  Recursive solutions, mapping 3d space, transpiling custom assembly, I definitely had my work cut out for me.
  • I got to learn way more than I thought I was going to in Python.  I knew itertools was awesome, but I got to learn some new things (accumulate, chain.from_iterable).  I also got to play with Counter for the first time.  And I got to play with mypy, which gives you type annotations.

 The Lows

  • Not everything was hunky dory.  For instance, Day 15. Day 15 took me days to do.  There were some very specific edge cases that I had to work out.
  • Day 17 was tricky too, but I ended up liking that one, but it took a little bit to figure out as well.
  • Day 23.  Oh Day 23.  I almost quit due to day 23.  I had an idea, but I knew it wasn’t mathematically sound.  I didn’t understand any of the things they were saying on reddit for this problem.  Eventually I figured out how to make my solution work with the math, but it was rough.

So what does 2019 have in store for me.  I wasn’t happy with what I learned over 2018, and I think I can do better in 2019.  So here are my 2019 goals:

  • Continue to build the Huntsville Tech Community
    • We want to grow even more this year.  We’ll be experimenting with some new ideas this year, and I have a surprise at the middle of the year
  • Learn Something New?
    • I think this year I’ll finally dive into AWS.  I haven’t played with it much, and I really want to learn more
  • Build Something
    • I had RCFC last year, and I need to improve it, but I also need to build something new.  Maybe something with Elixir or Clojure.  I’m leaning towards a small game, or something D&D related.
  • Read more books
    • I’ve read a lot of books on “Technology X”, but at this point in my career I think I can learn most technologies if needed.  Now I’m interested in some fundamentals (my CS talk rekindled my love for some of the fundamentals).  I might pick up SICP, or the Art of Computer Programming.  For now, I’m reading “Hackers and Painters” by Paul Graham, which is an interesting read to say the least.

I’ll try to keep up to date with the goals, and I’ll post updates as they come in.


Here’s to a new year!

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