My 2019 Personal Retrospective

02 Jan 2020 5-minute read

Around this time I always see a lot of people creating new posts about their previous year. In my quest for creating more content, I wanted to create that kind of post as well. But I wanted it to be different. So I’m doing a 2019 personal retrospective.

I have to thank Jason Lengstorf for the idea. He created his own 2019 personal retrospective and has been doing so for a couple of years now. As a format, I’ll use the same three questions he does. Though I needed to dig deep into my calendar and to-do list to remember what I did this year.

Tweet avout 2019 recaps Recap Tweet

Where was I at the end of 2018?

Let’s go back in time even more and start with where I was when 2019 started. Now I have to say that I don’t remember much of this since I did not do a 2018 retrospective. Hopefully, this will be easier in the future.

I do still remember that I did a lot of talks in 2018, including a few workshops at different conferences.
There was also the vlog I started to try and give back to the community. I know the date on the videos say 2019, due to an issue with my previous account I had to re-upload them all.

In my personal life, my girlfriend and I were expecting our first baby. An exciting time to look forward too. With a lot of questions on how it would impact our professional lives.

What went well in 2019?

It was a year that started with a downer, our baby boy was born with a health issue. So we spent a lot of time during 2019 taking care of him and showering him with love. We’re almost past the health issues and looking forward to having a more relaxed and enjoyable 2020.

This meant that a lot of goals I had needed to be re-arranged or canceled. But I did manage to get some things up and running.

Little Baby Boy: Aiden

Of course, I need to start with my baby boy Aiden. Born on the 15th of January, he made our lives a little more magical. Even though we got some bad news we still made the best out of it. All medical related issues are now almost past us and we can thoroughly enjoy our little man.

Team Tech Lead

Even though I’m an independent developer I can still move up to a different position within the same team. That is exactly what happened in the summer of 2019. After spending some time helping out the Product Owner and the Team Manager I was offered to move up to the position of Team Tech Lead.

At this point, I’m no longer Team Tech Lead of 1 team but of 2 teams. Making sure the technical process works the same in both teams and that everyone is happy working at the client.

Building Lot

Following the birth of our baby boy, we also set out to find a suitable home to live in. However, most of the houses we visited seemed to miss something. We couldn’t find anything suitable to call our home.

Just as we were about to give up and wait another year we found a different solution. We found the perfect spot to build our house. It was a nice building lot, in a quiet area. A forest is close by for our long walks and we wouldn’t even need to move that far.

Personal Website

Last, but not least, I build this personal website. A place to share my knowledge and give back to the community.
It is the first step to creating more content, that is hopefully valuable to you all.

What could have gone better in 2019?

There are a few things that I would like to have been better at in 2019.

Vlog 2.0

I started a new vlog series called Vlog 2.0. But after a while, the same issues came up as with version 1. I started doubting the content, the delivery and myself.

I need to review the process, the content and the delivery. That means 2020 might see a continuation of the vlog.


In 2019 I neglected to visit meetups and speak at them. I registered to a few but had to cancel my attendance a few days before the actual event. There were also a lot of meetups of which the invite got deleted straight away.

Physical health

I’m currently at my heaviest, ever. And it’s not muscles that are adding weight to my body. So I took a gym membership at the start of 2019. After a few sessions, the personal trainer made me go past a breaking point. An injured knee was the result. After that, I didn’t trust the trainer anymore and when my knee was healed up I just stopped going.
As a result, I gained more weight, ate even more unhealthy and feel like a sack of potatoes at times.

What will I change going into 2020?

Overall 2019 wasn’t my best year, though it wasn’t my worst either.

High-level 2020 goals

  • Improve my health. By going back to the gym and watching the food I consume.
  • Be more social. Time to get out more and visit those meetups to connect with like-minded people.
  • Produce more content. Blog, vlog, podcast, tweet, gram … I want to create more valuable content.

What are your goals for 2020?

Even though this is the first time I tried this, I already like it. If you want to do it as well there are 3 questions to answer:

  • What went well?
  • What could have gone better?
  • What will I change going forward?

If you do, and you make it public, feel free to tweet Jason and me to let us know. Over on Jason his post, there’s also a link to a supportive community to bounce ideas off.

Happy retrospective!

Posts in this Series