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Learning every year

For the last few years I've made a deliberate attempt to learn something new each year. These are usually technologies that interest me in some way and in most years it's been something above and beyond what I use and learn in professional work (machine learning, data processing systems, etc.).

Here's the list for the last decade:

  • 2011 Arduino
  • 2012 Python
  • 2013 Cryptocurrency
  • 2014 Docker and containers
  • 2015 Jupyter and Pandas
  • 2016 Haskell
  • 2017 ESP8266, MQTT, and Home automation
  • 2018 3D printer and 3D modeling
  • 2019 ReactJS
  • 2020 Kubernetes

For me, learning starts with reading but generally goes beyond that to actually make something. Whether that's been a environmental sensor on a custom printed board, a Bitcoin wallet implementation, or a smart calendar board for the kitchen, I find it's helpful to have an outcome in mind to work towards. The "I wonder how to do..." questions then tend to take over.

Some of the best learning seems to stick with you. While I'm by no means a fluent Haskell programmer, the mindset that functional programming gives you and the use of lambda functions has changed a lot of how I write code in Javascript and Python.

Keep learning!