Billy Fung

2018 retrospective

Billy Fung / 2019-01-03

Another year over

Looking back at 2018, I started off the year with a steady blogging output, averaging around 4 posts a month. But that didn’t last long and by the tail end of the year I had months where I didn’t write any blog posts at all. This somewhat reflects my mood over the year, as I became less and less interested in whatever my work was. But it also might reflect burnout of some sort. My last blog post was on morale and motivation, which rightly reflects my year end mood towards work.

But all this was a large learning experience for me. 2018 was a year full of new experiences and challenges, mostly non-technical ones which really let me grow as a person. Most of these challenges involved working with people, and being able to communicate and work well within change environments. With technical work, the result is binary.

Much like the world political mood, 2018 was filled with ups and downs, but we should always strive to find the best in whatever is available. I definitely did not get as much done in 2018 as I would’ve liked, nor do I think that 2018 was a breakthrough year in terms of career growth - except that I feel like I understand myself and my own goals a lot more.

Refocusing on what matters

During the end of year holidays (Chrisymas and NY) I always try to take time to disconnect from what I spend 90% of my time doing, and taking a step back. This year was no different, and I spent 4 days on a caravan adventure avoiding the internet as much as possible. This allows me to really think about what is important when I return back to civilisation. I spent days on the beach with people who were outside my normal life, families who lived out of a bus and homeschooled their kids. The change in perspective of life is important to keep me grounded and to also challenge my beliefs. I wasn’t homeschooled, but I was also not very rigid in my learnings while in school which I think contributes to how critical thinking and learning evolves.

This time on the beach was spent not solving software problems, I wasn’t thinking about smart grids or distributed systems, but rather about how to ride horses and catch crabs. Being really outside my comfort zone challenged my creature comforts. Being around homeschool/unschooled kids was a different experience as well, seeing how they acted socially and also how they knew their passions a lot more.


What will 2019 bring? I’m not really sure but I hope to continue moving forward and putting doing things that scare me. It’ll be 3 years at my current job, so maybe it will be time for a change. Maybe another change to my website as well.