I'm a developer in Melbourne, Australia, and co-founder of Hello Code.

Published Thu 03 January 2019

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2018 personal review

Here it is, the latest in the series of yearly reviews. Much like 2017, there's not a lot to say.

Things I'm proud of from this year

  • In 2017, we moved to the outer suburbs to save money and make it feasible for Belle to join Hello Code full-time without needing another source of income. This achieved the desired goal, but wasn't great for my mental health. Thankfully, in 2018 we grew our income just enough to move again. We now live in the inner west of Melbourne, in a walkable suburb as opposed to one requiring a car, and short train trip from the city. This came as a huge relief.
  • Thanks to moving, I did a little more socialising and going out than in the previous year. I saw Grand Salvo play their new album live in a small, intimate gig, which was lovely.
  • I completed the first chunk of an Exist redesign, making it easier for users to browse historical data and giving daily insights more prominence. Despite some vocal shit-stirrers, it was well received.
  • I released and open-sourced Braid, a very alpha version of a Reason-like language that compiles to Go. This received some nice feedback on Lobsters and currently has 94 stars on GitHub. (Unfortunately I still don't like Go, so I've basically given up on this project since.)
  • I started learning Rust, using Rocket to build the beginnings of an open-source task management server. The Rust learning curve is quite steep, and the ecosystem a bit immature, but I'm much more productive now than when I started. I have a long way to go, but I feel good about getting this far.

Goals from last year

Make more money so we don't have to live here any more please I've had enough

Mission accomplished.

Continue to argue for the end of capitalism

I wrote a post about why I don't want to be part of startup culture, which fits. That's handy.

Create more, in any medium, I'm not fussy

I wrote the post mentioned above, and writing totally counts as being creative. I don't think programming counts because I do that anyway. I also photoshopped some animals into the background of some photos of Belle, which is about as artistic as I got this year.

Lose more weight and work being marginally more active into my schedule

Hey, I actually did lose weight this year, by sticking to the "time-restricted feeding" diet. It was only about 4kg, which isn't a lot for a whole year, but if I can do that consistently long-term, I might achieve my dream of being one of those gaunt and skeletal old people instead of a tubby one.

Also, now we've moved to a better suburb, I'm walking more too.

Things to do in 2019

  • Find my motivation for programming
  • Do something anti-capitalism or pro-community in some form
  • Lose a bit more fat
  • More socialising, or in lieu of that, more going out to events where other people are also there

I want to expand on the first one a little. I was not very productive this year, and I can attribute a lot of that to my cabin fever before we moved, but I'm still feeling unmotivated now. My current theory is that basically, I've achieved the goal I set for myself when we started Exist, so there's no challenge in it any more. We could earn more, but making more money doesn't really motivate me in itself. Working on other web programming projects isn't doing it for me either. So this year I need to either work out how to find my work motivating, or find something else meaningful to do.

Media of 2018

Another year where I feel more positive about what I consumed than what I made. Oh well!



Gnomon by Nick Harkaway blew my mind. This was my only five-star book from this year.

Honourable mention to The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami, which was strange and compelling in a broadly similar way.


A random assortment I watched and liked:

  • Documentaries: Tim's Vermeer, Cuba and the Cameraman, Faces Places
  • Fiction: The Killing of a Sacred Deer, In Between, The Square, The Handmaiden, Rosemary's Baby, Wings of Desire


Some (mostly indie) games that were moving experiences: Emily is Away Too, Gorogoa, The Red Strings Club, The Fall Part 2, The Pillars of the Earth, Rumu, Four Last Things, Kingdom Come: Deliverance.

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