Thursday 2 January 2020

Looking back to 2019

I like writing a year review post, it comes handy when I want to get back in my memory, Maybe I read this post in the future, maybe my kids read this post in the future, I don't know, the future is hard to guess, but the past is worth remember.

We started the year with a new bike! This nice Honda Rebel 500 is our second bike at home, since we do keep the Vespa up and running. Having a second bike means that going out for a Sunday ride my wife and I is only a matter of finding a plan for the kids. At the end of the year we passed the 6K kilometers with it, all of those were joyful.

When this 2019 started, I was busy producing videos for internal use in Flywire, one of those videos flew me to our London Office, and since I was in the City I went for a beer with Antony Marcano. As a long time follower and reader of this man, I really enjoyed his company.

European Testing Conference came to Valencia! Maaret Pyhäjärvi and her crew organized an incredible two day conference in town, bringing speakers from far away. We helped with the logistics, and with our flywire office space to host the speakers dinner and an Exploratory Testing retreat.

Just because we felt like doing so, we had a Formal Friday, a fun event to suit up and have a good time at the office.

The family went to Tenerife, such a nice place on earth. This island is a whole continent by it's own, with mountains, jungles, deserts, forests and valleys. We went up to the Teide top and down to the seaside, and marked this place as somewhere to return in the future.

And we also went to Portugal, this time on a road trip. We like going on road trips to nice places, and the southern coast of Portugal is a nice place to go.

I changed role, I moved from being a video recording product analyst to a bank statements matching and partner integration focused product owner. And I got the chance to join a team with  some of the oldest developers around.
A team where the ego game is low, where people is open to listen to suggestions and crazy ideas, where we take our jobs very seriously, and the serious matters with humor. A team that has helped me grow and learn as a Product Owner and as a storytelling fellow.

Since I moved to the product team, I started going to product related conferences, where I soon noticed that product has it's own folklore, contradicting ways of doing product development ( solutionists vs problemologists ) and a nice and supporting community.

This year, we lost our first tester, (in 8 years, it had to happen someday...), and this big guy left the company to seek fortune in another ship. I wish him the best, we still go for brunch together from time to time, but boy, do I miss this fellow metalhead.

Talking about metal, we went to Madrid to see Amon Amarth perform live. Having a night our with my wife without the kids is a rare happening, but if it is going to be like this, I can't wait for the next time. Turning married life into an adventure!

We went to visit my parents in Bilbao a couple of times, and even that it is easy nowadays to stay close with calls and video-conferences, it is nice to have some time to drink a coffee, talk and hug each other as well.

This summer we went to Scandinavia, in a two week long road trip, keeping with our summer tradition of driving somewhere. We went from Copenhagen to Bergen and then to Stockholm. We saw valleys, fjords, viking towns and overwhelming nature all along the way.

Back from an unforgettable 5 week summer break, I went to Madrid to attend Peopleware conference, where Javier Garzás and his crew are running a nice agile development-centric one day conference.

We also drove to Lisbon to join Productized conference, a two day event with talks and workshops where I learned a lot of things while my wife and kids were exploring the city.


Closing the year, the Valencia Product team went to a team lunch where we shared success and failure stories.
This 2019 has been a great year for us. We have integrated with Banks and Partners from Australia, Indonesia, VietNam, China... we have explored new ideas, automated a lot of manual processes, fixed all kind of problems, we have built a solid foundation for what our company will be in the next years.


And of course, we did a year closing party, welcoming this new twenties in old twenties style.

For this 2020, I have work to do, a family to care about, places I want to visit and people I want to meet.

Good times.

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