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Ben Sinclair
Ben Sinclair

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What I learned in 2019

They say that hindsight is 2020. So what can I take from this last year?

I still love Python

I did the first few Advent of Code challenges, right up to the point where... my week off work ended and I had to go back into the office and found I had no spare time anymore and things weren't as easy as all that. Yeah.

But I decided to do it in Python. I haven't used Python professionally for about 5 years, and am so rusty you'd need a tetanus shot to look at the repo I made.

Now I feel like I could maybe look for work in a Python team again, or at least start going to the local meet-ups in the new year. Maybe that'll be one of my resolutions.

I'm not a jaded, never-codes-at-home-anymore programmer.

This comes mostly from the same place as the previous point, but I'd slipped into the routine of going home and switching off as completely as possible. I like that I'm not someone who takes work home with me all the time.

I can batch-cook food in advance like some kind of Adult

I've always been in a little awe of people who prepare their meals in advance. It seems like a very grown-up thing to do, and I'm only in my 40s, so...

I've started making soups and stews and things in a slow cooker and freezing them and feeding myself a proper lunch in the office at least a couple of days a week.

I can work from home and the world won't end

My office has started encouraging us to take a day from home every week or so, and I'm doing that, with more enthusiasm each time. It's taken me a while to get things set up, and I've tried a few approaches like using my work laptop or using my gaming PC and a remote shell or using a mini PC I keep under the sofa as a dev box... some combination of these seems to be working out for me.

I get an even better lunch this way. A lot of my personal happiness centres around lunch.

:vertical ball

There's a command in Vim that opens all buffers (ball) in their own windows. It splits horizontally by default, but you can override that with the prefix vertical. Hence, vertical ball.

I love this. It sounds so sporty. It makes me smile every time I type it, and I type it in full even though I could shorten it or map it. The power of vertical ball cannot be contained.

Cover image by Benjamin Davies on Unsplash

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