Main Article View

Retrospective 2023

Published: 09 January 2024


What went well

I started 2023 working in a company called The Voleon Group. The company dabbles in venture capital, investment management, and trading. The work there is so far removed from what I am used to doing. It revolved mainly around data engineering and had zero relation to web application development.

At Voleon, I'd like to believe that I successfully stepped out of my comfort zone and thrived. I learned so many new things and got to work with several interesting and capable people.

I met Heidi while I was in Voleon. Not that we were workmates. She works in a totally different industry, doing totally different things. Our world views, they may not be compatible 100% of the time. It's a step out of another comfort zone that, fortunately, the ongoing journey is a pleasure to navigate.

On the second half of the year, I went back to Willis Towers Watson. They brand themselves as WTW now. I didn't really get my old job back, though I am back to working on web applications.

I guess, the job has become somewhat of an intersection between web development and data engineering; at least, to some extent. It's fun. I'm having fun. And I'm grateful that the people I work with have not only the expertise in our product area but also the patience they have for my "wandering around" when I feel the need to explore (sometimes, strange) solutions.

I've learned to appreciate the feeling of being wanted.

What can be improved

Before I exited Voleon, I felt lost.

There were so many opportunities that I couldn't have taken because I needed to have certain skills, which I didn't have. That's hard to admit for a "senior software engineer" but it's true. And the reason for that is my laziness.

The best things happened to me in 2023 as a result of me stepping out of comfort zones. But honestly, I could have stepped out farther. I didn't want to do things where I had zero knowledge in. I also didn't want to learn.

I think, it's the “senior mentality” that held me back a bit: "I already know too much", "I already have so much experience on this thing", "I don't need to know that because I'm not going to use it anyway".

So moving forward, I have to commit to learning new things while expanding my knowledge on the things I already know.

It's a good thing that where I am now, I am encouraged to upskill and cross-skill.

Action items

I have to have some expertise in things other than data engineering and web development. But I don't know what else is there. So, I have to find out what else I can be good at and be good at it.

Experience new places. This is something that Heidi and I can cross out on Q1 as we're going to Singapore and Thailand. And possibly, to Japan later in the year. But I also want to drive. We've been to Rizal, Tagaytay, Batangas, Laguna, La Union, and Baguio; we have to go out farther.

Save. Raquel will be fully paid this coming April and there will be some funds that will be freed up. I need to find a place to put in those extra funds, where they can just grow.

Spend less. I already have everything I need.