The year 2020 was not only about Covid-19 and so it needs to be summed up. How was my 2020? Where was I, what did I do and what new things did I learn? How did I meet my goals? All of this needs to be summarised so that conclusions can be drawn. And then to design realistic visions for the next year. All this you will learn in this article and it can serve as an inspiration for you.
The year 2020 must have been unique for everyone, but I won't get ahead of myself, 2020 started off quietly like most years. My main goals, both personal and professional, for 2020 were as follows
- travel around the Republic and occasionally abroad
- meet new people
- get new customers
- to add new projects to the portfolio new technologies
A recording of the Bitwarden password manager talk from the Installfest conference is available on YouTube:
Covid-19 has arrived
After the conference, Covid19 has officially arrived in the Czech Republic,
here are the current graphs of coronavirus-related illness and death
It was at the time of the InstallFest conference, before the coronavirus policy came out, that I made my worst investment of the year 2020, but at the time, no one could have known that subsequently the corona policy, would cancel all events for that year.
In March 2020 I bought annual tickets for Prague public transport.
I typically go to Prague once every two months for multiple days, so a year's worth of public transport is already worthwhile.
However, the main reason is,
With an annual ticket I don't have to worry about which ticket to buy, whether it's 24-hour or three-day, etc., and when the ticket expires.
I bought an annual ticket at the beginning of the year and then the covid came in, so all the Prague events ended.
I travelled around the country in the summer, so once (in September) I stopped in Prague
and then the autumn came. With autumn came autumn events, but instead politics returned crown-rule.
So all in all I used the ticket twice :-O ;-( .
Travel and Covid-19
The plan was to travel, and in the case of traveling abroad, to practice a foreign language (English).
Dealing with the situation around travelling abroad and alone at the time of the coronation regulation, I didn't want to waste time over it.
So I scratched out fall and winter travel abroad.
So I limited my travel to the Czech Republic, which I traveled a lot, especially in the summer when it was actually cool.
Since the beginning of summer I have been somewhere every weekend. Typically, I've made a weekend extended on a Friday or Monday. Then, in the summer, I did a 4-week stage trip around the country to campgrounds with my bike in the car - places similar to last last year, with the addition of a little something extra each time.
Wherever I cycled in 2020 is shown in this image, which is a visualisation on a map of the cycling I've done
routes in 2020:
Here it is possible to see in detail the cycling routes for the year 2020. You can also see the tours completed in 2020.
I recently spent a few days in Hradec Kralove and Pardubice, where I also cycled in and around the city. Apart from my own towns, I was for example at the Kunětická hora castle again, or I was in the city Lázně Bohdaneč. I was on a bike in Poland in Kudowa Zdrój.
I visited many places, castles, museums etc. Where I went for the first time and they were open, I went inside. As it has
one has time and income, it was a pleasure to support a quality cultural project:
When hiking this year I was able to use hiking poles, which proved to be very useful.
I have used the hiking poles this year especially in the hills and rocky terrain.
When camping, I made use of the folding stool, it made cooking and eating at the campsite or in the woods without any other equipment suddenly much more comfortable.
List of cities I visited:
- Hradec Kralove
- Lázně Bohdaneč
- Česká Skalice
- Červený Kostelec
- Teplice Nad Metují
- Benátky nad Jizerou
- Lázně Bohdaneč
- Veverská Bítýška
- Jindřichův Hradec
- Kamenice nad Lipou
- Kudowa Zdrój
Photo of very interesting historical town Telc:
Memorial of the Battle of Cologne:
Cycling photo from the trails near Trutnov:
Teplice nad Metují and the campsite where I was over the weekend and cycled around with a friend:
On my youtube channel I have been working regularly - posting
At the end of 2020, I have 371 subscribers on YouTube. That's almost double the number of subscribers.
But it would take faster growth. If you're reading this don't forget to check out my YouTube and I'm sure you'll find something
that catches your eye, so please click subscribe - you'll be supporting my work.
I've noticed that a lot of people watch my videos but aren't used to giving likes or subscribing and then when personal contact they praise the videos, it is better to give a like and write a complimentary comment under the video! A small number of negative people and backlashers, who said, for example, "you don't film anything on that YouTube anymore", even admitted that they they were wrong and praised me for trying to pass on my knowledge to other people. Yes, that's how to do profitable work too!
I have been publishing regular monthly articles here on my blog. The articles are brief, but carry a great deal of professional and educational value. I have found that, in addition to the already known benefits, such articles lend themselves to the fact that I can reference the information contained in the articles customers and fellow juniors I mentor. Which saves me and the other party time and makes both parties more efficient in their work, giving juniors an excellent way to grow professionally.
Both the blog and YouTube are good promotion at the same time, and it shows new potential customers straight away what I have experience with. This way I don't have to explain my specialisation and knowledge at length, because it's clear from the start what they can turn to me for as an expert.
Technologies that interest me I note down and then ideally look for such projects, that use the technology in question will be needed for the project. or would be useful to incorporate into the project. If there's a spare moment and it's nasty outside, then I'll look at that technology as part of my, well, unpaid, time. Education is a necessity after all.I also got my hands on the new Raspberry PI - version 4. Again, I had the opportunity to develop for embedded devices and program in the Python programming language.
A list of technologies I'm newly proficient with:
- Docker Hub
- hardware: laser sensor chip
- Kotlin programming language
- NodeJS programming and preparing the server to run
- Proxmox Backup server
- AWS SQS
- I tested different ways of installing the Proxmox visualization tool
- Raspberry PI 4
I've tried Bike packing, which is a way of traveling related to cycling where you move exclusively using a bicycle, and everything you need is strapped to your bike. This way of travelling is becoming more and more popular. It's about minimalism, independence and being able to be on bike.
I've set up a data mailbox with an ID 887kyhs, which promises to end my need to go to the office. And I'll be able to travel more independently in peace. As a result of the covid, I have found reasons to start using it more often.
Sometimes there are motivations to pursue something new that I see needs to be addressed. So often it's a chance to comment on something no one is addressing or even to try something new in a relaxed way. And so various side but interesting projects come in.
The situation surrounding Covid and the media has prompted me to compile my own data on Covid.
Specifically, the statistical numbers of infections and deaths
associated with Covid
and so a web app was created Covid charts, the app is even
Thanks to these charts, I know that the Czech mainstream politicians and media always pull out the data that is convenient for them to scare people or praise themselves, always according to the situation that suits. The most interesting thing was when I added a feature to compare the cases of each state with the per million population of that state. An excellent feature, called for by people knowledgeable in mathematics or Dr. Ondrej Vojtechovsky, was the display of graphs using the logarithm, because visualizing exponential data is not easy for people to understand.
Ultimately, however, it has to be said that it's just statistics, and no one even has a comprehensive view of the accuracy of of the data collection.
Since I am actively involved in health I made a small portal to promote health and promote people,
who help others, whether it's in the areas of food, exercise or rehab/recovery.
fitness-poradce.cz is designed to showcase fitness trainers, massage therapists, nutritionists and physiotherapists.
Good and objective information can be found there by ordinary people (readers) who want to eat healthy, gain muscle or lose fat.
I made this portal at the time of the first corona lock-down, that was the time, but since then there has been no more time.
Because it would be necessary to add content, post-promotion and to reach people who would be well promoted on the Internet by the portal. For now, the project is dormant. But if anyone is interested to learn something, try something and help a good cause , let them get in touch.
I got around to proofreading my cookbook so I could post ebook cookbook, which is now available for download.
As is my habit to stay in one place all the time, I travel with my work. That way one can combine the pleasant with the useful and then suddenly look forward to work and travel a lot more. This year, however, when I was traveling, I gave it my full attention. And I did work on other days. After all, there weren't even that many reasons and opportunities to travel with or for work. After the first lock-down, a lot of companies realized they had to learn to operate remotely, so all meetings were automatically handled online. There were exceptions, but companies that can't adapt to the market, I reject those.
In the beginning, when I embarked on the path of being an independent professional (freelancer), the work was variable and impactful. This year, however, the collaborations have been large and long-term - that is, regular. So I had to plan the work and the bump things so that I could work in peace.
I added a little detail to the information how to start collaboration and how they work. And this list of rules is my mainstay. I send a link to this information directly to people who inquire about my services.
However, it is again necessary to remind you of the guiding principles:
- Requests in an unknown area are resolved by paid analysis.
What will happen the following year (2021) is the question. Mostly depends on what the politicians come up with for the crown.
IT may not be affected by such policies, but that's only indirectly, eventually every industry will be affected, but the freelancer is the one
who can and does respond to change.
When the first lock-down came, I knew that my main customer would be affected and so would address it somehow. And so it happened. During the lock-down, I just finished and tweaked a sub-project and the rest of the work was put on hold.
What a person can't do doesn't want to do or is already trivial for him he should delegate. So I started to delegate partial small work.
I only delegate work that I handle for myself. Unfortunately, as is common with most
people promise and then nothing.
But even that is an experience for me. It's interesting information for me, for example, it makes me all the more aware of my abilities whether
professional, communication or reliability.
I also helped with recruiting people, here I found out that it is not a difficult field just a problem with zero expertise HR ladies.
If you guys need help with recruiting or figuring out how to search and find a good job, get in touch. I've helped employees in this area before by consulting on job changes and how the job market works. And if a capable person goes to a better company, they will make better use of their skills and thus be more beneficial to the company.
If you want to partner with me either on my project or work together on a customer's project, also feel free to contact me. As I mentioned above occasionally I delegate some work to a beginner and he/she can learn a lot by rewarding and get into the right habits.
I've already learned quite a bit about pricing and picking good contracts. Customers are grateful that I work for them and I'm happy to work with them and on their projects.
Change vs. certainty
The Covid crisis has shown that being an employee is not a certainty. And those who weren't fired are living in fear or are in the company
(Countless employees have confided in me how they were fired without a second thought.)
Lucky are those who made a change before the crisis and found a capable employer, those will be the ones who are honest in CR
A customer can basically bid me goodbye at any time. So I don't live in the delusion of certainty. But the important thing is to know how the customer is doing and that there will be a need to continue working on the project. If you are helping to keep the service running, streamlining operations and enabling growth, that's the real job security. So a crisis is actually a test and confirmation of capability for a capable person.
I am fortunate that even as I became a freelancer, I rejected scarcity and bad projects,
because there's nothing good that comes out of those projects
only bad things.
Typically bad projects produce:
- stress and problems
- no references at worst bad references
- are without long-term collaboration
- the project may well be detrimental to the company (betting stuff etc)
Whereas good projects have the bonus of:
- good to work with
- there are always problems, but they are few and there is a will to solve them
- good references
- regular long-term cooperation
- are beneficial to the company
Health comes first, maybe people have figured it out thanks to covid.
Health is important for contentment, being able to pursue hobbies and work. So it is in your interest, as well as that of your employer and customer, to look after your health.
I have always put my health first and taken care of myself, but the environment often works the other way around and puts pressure on me.
Alcohol is a typical example....
So in the end, set a clear boundary and to support my health and work performance, I became a teetotaler. The point of wasting time in the pub swearing no longer made sense to me, I preferred to focus on personal growth and health. And in the end, alcohol abstinence turned out to be common among able-bodied people. After all, everyone knows how it turns out with alcoholics....
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