2019 - iameven.com

- Even Alander

Covering for my radio silence in 2019.

Start of year

I started strongly and announced I would blog more frequently. Spoiler alert: after a short while I failed that, hence this post. I mention the company merger that happened at the start of the year. That is actually still a bit of an ongoing process, but we're getting there. I boldly announce how easy it is to lose weight. Spoiler alert: I failed at that as well. At least I'm trendy and got dark mode enabled on this site.

Travels

Looking back at a year I'm usually positively surprised by the amount of travel I get to do. We had a hackaton with the company at Hafjell in February. Not that I did see much of the outside world then. The company Kick-off was in April, we held it in Oslo and I got to be a bit of a tourist in my own town. We stayed at Scandic Edderkoppen, which is a nice hotel. After easter I joined a couple of colleagues to Reading outside London to sync up with the UK team. The same day I got back from London I went with the family to Stavanger for my sisters christian confirmation. A couple of days later in May, we took a family trip to Copenhagen with DFDS. We spent a whole day in Tivoli which was a lot of fun.

For summer vacation in July we went on a road trip. This is something we've ended up doing the last couple of years as we get to experience a lot of things in a short span of time. This time we traveled to Farsund to stay at my mothers cabin for several days. On the way there we stopped in in Telemark to visit Sommerland, an outside water park in Norway. After Farsund we went to Kristiansand for a couple of days and got a full day in Dyreparken, a zoo-, theme- and amusement park. We took a ferry to Denmark and Søderomme were we got to stay with one of my wife's friends. A full day was spent in Legoland, and another almost full day in Givskud zoo, a drive through zoo. After that we went to Stavanger for a week. All in all a great summer outing with amazingly good weather.

In August I went to Sørskår in Rogaland for a yearly cabin gathering with friends. It was our eight year doing that. We play a ton of board games, drink our fair share of alcohol, and joke around. The remarkable thing this year was the amount of flies at the cabin.

In September I had another work trip, this time to Malaga in Spain for an engineering summit. We got to discuss what is important for us as an engineering team to solve. And then party in beautiful Malaga at night.

We had two more trips to Stavanger. One in October for a friends birthday party. And as have become tradition, we celebrated Christmas with my mother and siblings.

Learnings

I did not invest a lot of time in new technologies last year, but through work I got more responsibility for the hiring process. Learning to know a person and their abilities in a couple of hours (in a screening, a home work assignment and pair programming session) and judge their capability is hard. During the year I found, tweaked and wrote a bunch of questions to try and find how capable people are. I'm still tweaking that as I go. I have learned a lot about how to take and hold control in the interview, and not let the candidate ramble on about irrelevant stuff. I'm also pretty sure I'm more confident doing that now, compared to what I used to be.

Entertainment

I read The Other Kind of Life in January, which is an entertaining mystery novel set in near future with AI technology comparable to our current level AI, and implications of that. It is written in present tense, which takes some getting used to, but other than that I really enjoyed it. Maybe I just enjoy Shamus' writing, as it is one of few blogs I follow closely these days.

After that I wanted to read through a small collection of dead tree books I had gathering dust. I started on A Scanner Darkly, by Philip K. Dick, but just couldn't get into it. Partly because of the inferior (to me) reading experience of the physical book, but most likely also because it is not a very approachable story. And that killed my reading joy, and that small stack of books is still collecting dust.

I bought a Nintendo Switch in June. I love this console. It being designed around portability means everything works around it being put into suspend at any time. This makes it easy to pick up at any time for a short amount of play. For longer sessions, just hook it up to the TV.

I got Super Smash Bros included on the console. It is sort of why I bought it, since we kept playing small tournaments around lunch time at work. It is stupid fun to play several people in front of a TV. Later I bought Zelda - Breath of the Wild. That is the Zelda game I feel Ocarina of Time promised to be (but couldn't technically deliver). Great game play, pushing you to explore stunning vistas and atmospheric ruins. A somewhat cheesy story, but great lore. Fun enough missions, dungeons and shrines. But the main driver is just exploring the lands.

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