A year has again come to its end and it's time to look back what I've managed to write about and do some planning for the new year of 2017. In 2016 my writing schedule was as leisurely as usual and I managed to put together of 20 articles which nine of them are about weekly notes. On average I managed to keep my pace of at least one post per month. Yay but it should be better. Things have gone quite well, I've learned new things and got things done :)
Keeping up with Weekly/Monthly notes
Last year I started writing Weekly notes series about interesting articles I come across from several software development related newsletters and while reading Twitter, Reddit and Hacker News. I planned to write them weekly but as practice showed it turned out to be monthly.
Learning from others at meetups
One way of learning new things is to hear how others do things and get do ideas how to make things better. I've found that attending meetups and conferences are nice way to both freshen your thinking and get to know people working in the same field.
Some of the meetups I went was about container orchestration with CoreOS which provided introduction, nice lessons learned and Kontena, CoreOS war stories.
— Marko Wallin (@walokra) February 25, 2016
More interesting meetup in DevOps field was DevOps Finland Meetup goes Mobile where we heard how continuous delivery works for mobile applications at Zalando, learned mobile testing with Appium and what's Qvik's efficient mobile development cycle.
— Marko Wallin (@walokra) October 18, 2016
Software development as usual
At work I'm developing web applications mainly with React and Java but looking for better tools is always good. Modern Java is nice but using Kotlin is better although I didn't get the opportunity to push it into production. Kotlin felt nice and somewhat similar to Swift.
Doing microservices has last year gained more momentum and one good way to keep your docker containers small is to build them with Alpine Linux. Using minimal base image for you container is efficient both on size and having smaller footprint thus making the attack surface smaller. Alpine doesn't use glibc but musl libc which may limit it use cases but e.g. Java and Node.js applications are running fine on top of it.
In software field I deployed Piwik web analytics as we couldn't use Google Analytics. Piwik seems to be nice and open source alternative for analytics and has this far worked nicely.
HTTPS has become more affordable and even free with Let's Encrypt SSL certificates. Setting up Lets Encrypt is relatively easy but using them needs also some automation with simple scripts.
As much as I love software development I like mountain biking and last year some interesting technology was presented to protect your tires and rims: Huck Norris and Procore. Whereas Huck Norris is lightweight solution to puncture prevention Procore provides better protection and they both have their use cases.
I've used Irssi for communicating with friends in IRC but I also tried to switch to using Weechat. Didn't quite make the cut and nowadays IRC has almost lost to Telegram and Slack.
New year, interesting things ahead
What the year 2017 brings can't be predicted but at least my personal goals will be learning React Native and doing some development also for Android. Mountain biking will have a big part in the Summer when the Enduro racing season starts and there's couple of trips already planned.