My 2010 review

Dec 27, 2010

I have been inspired by various bloggers to spend some time thinking about the past year and review all the things that happened, what went well, what could be improved, and what I want to change in the future. I've already jotted down my goals for 2011, but this is for another post.

2010 was my first full calender year as a freelancer, and even if I've always had more than enough work, the year started with some cash-flow issues. After a reputable company put me in a lot of trouble by paying my work for a medium-sized project 6 months late, I definitely learned my lesson.

2010 was also a year in which I started having more activities as a Drupal trainer, which is an activity I've become very fond of. I've had the chance to do multiple-day workshops with development teams in different companies. This kind of activity is a nice complement to my typical workday as a developer: it's social, it's interactive, and it gives a great insight into what companies are doing and a better overview of the Drupal market. These workshops have also motivated me to improve my public speaking skills and to join a local Toastmaster group.

2010 has also been great for collaboration. I have had the chance to organize the Drupal Dev Days with the local user group. The bonds we made during the organization became the base for our new company Wunderkraut. We've also seen a great boost of collaboration between European Drupal shops, and it is great to be part of this movement as a representative of Switzerland. There are a lot of interesting opportunities coming up in the Drupal world, both for the community and businesses. An older connection with Ben Melançon has given me the opportunity to contribute two chapters to the Definitive Guide to Drupal 7, which should be available by DrupalCon Chicago.

One of the things where improvement is needed is time management. I have already made some good progress using the Getting Things Done method, but I still need more structure in my activities. One particularly sore point is the lack of explicit vacation time. The lack of free time has also affected my biggest hobby: music. Although I've had the chance to participate in some interesting projects I unfortunately haven't been able to get real results out of them.

A more positive point is my personal situation. Katha and I have been living together in our apartment in Munich since September of 2009, and 2010 was the year where things got a little more settled. The apartment now has (almost) everything we need, and it's great to live there. Our relationship must not be doing too bad since I proposed to her in October (she said yes) and we'll be getting married this summer :-)

My two pseudo-new-year-resolutions (I made them around late January) for 2010 were to read books in 5 different languages and to donate blood five times. I managed the first one, but I only managed to donate blood 2 times. Now that the donation center is on the way to Wunderkraut's new office it should be easier, and I can drag my partners with me!