2020 Retrospective

Diego Pacheco
5 min readDec 29, 2020


2020 the year that we were not expecting. The world did not end in 2012 as the Mayan calendar ended, but 8 years later, it felt almost like it. Jan, Feb, March was normal: Traveling, Going to Office to Work, Going to Restaurants, Pubs and Bars. Life was good-them after march never-ending lockdown and self-quarantine for +9 months and counting. Only going out for groceries and to take the garbage out(which surprisingly was one was the good real moments of the day). I thank God for being alive and have work and food, and air condition appliances (3 to be precise). 2020 was bad, we lost so many people, and it still looks like 2021 won’t be so easy; my bets are high for 2022, but some scientists say that normal only would be back in 2025. The year was nothing but bad, awful, and I never want to go back to it for lots of people. For me, personally, it was not that bad. I mean, dont get me wrong, I had friends who got COVID, and thanks to God, they are good. I know people had a bad time at home(I myself had good and bad days), mostly good days.

The Best and Worst in 2019 (and early 2020/march)

IMHO it’s clear to me now the best thing in 2019 was traveling. I travel a lot(USA, Brazil: Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, and Curitiba). The worst was stress; I was working 250–270 hours every month. Now I work much, much less, and have zero stress. 2020 at least, was good for me in the sense that I had zero stress. The worst for sure was not able to travel and not do pub crawls with my friends :-).


So what to do them besides work? The obvious things that everybody does watch movies, TV shows that easily I run out of them since I was always up-to-date with movies and TV shows. So what to do? One thing I did a lot in 2020 was to listen to podcasts(Having fewer meetings — worked out very well for me). At the moment, I have subscribed to 76 podcasts. Most of them I listen to every week.

I often saw people doing posts about retrospectives and their numbers. I guess other years, nobody bothers about it. Numbers dont matter much, I would say. I know some people feel underwater and could not learn french during quarantine, and thats fine. I did not learn french either, but I was able to do more of the things I always did like Play Games(not much in the past), read/listen to books, record videos and make blog posts, and also, since 2004, do POCs and code a lot :-). I would do things like I always do all years, and there is nothing special about it. But honestly, I’m glad to survive in 2020 and have to learn a bit more about things.

2020 by Numbers

Blogging, which I’m doing since 2007(13 years in 2020). I had +125 posts this year(126 with this one).

I recorded 58 videos on youtube. All my videos are linked with blog posts. I’m looking forward to continuing that in 2021.

I read many more books; I guess the quarantine made me have less patience for reading, but I managed to get 24 books done. I really looking forward to doing much more in 2021. By far the ones I most liked were Bad Blood followed by Deep Work, Homo Deus, and Life 3.0.

For sure, my record was in gaming. Finished 17 games. Some in PS4 but most of them in Steam on Linux; yes, there are good Linux games. The ones I most like was Alien Isolation and Deus Ex MD. I also enjoy a lot the 3 games of the Tomb Raider reboot.

I did a script some time ago to count how many POCs I had per language. I played with over +20 languages over the last 15 years. I dont know the numbers from 2019 to make a comparison, but I have the numbers for now.

I love Scala and Rust Language. 2019 I did Rust a lot, and this year I learned Kotlin and for sure will do more next year. 2018 I did lots of Go.

I dont know which language I will learn in 2021, so if you have a suggestion, please let me know.

I learned a lot about UniKernels, Monorepos, Security, Kotlin, and Diversity in 2020. Continue to learn and practice around distributed systems, SOA, Microservices(Or the death of them), and Modern Monoliths.

I also, after +10 years, switched off from Eclipse to IntelliJ IDEA. I did not regret it. The idea is alive and much better.

I also recover faith in Java for JDK +16 and beyond. Finally, exciting things are happening on the JVM land.

2020 by Non-Geek Standards

Besides regular geek stuff, I also learned how to cook some stuff. Mostly steaks, Portuguese food, north Brazilian food, burgers, sea-food, and looking forward to learning more in 2021.


I wish everybody a great new year. Hopefully, we will get out and hopefully have a normal life again. Meanwhile, use a mask(not a skin dipper), stay distant and safe. Michelle Obama said(In her book) she learn from Barack that writing is therapeutic. I could not agree more. Being alive after 2020 is a tremendous achievement for everyone.


Diego Pacheco

Originally published at http://diego-pacheco.blogspot.com on December 29, 2020.



Diego Pacheco

Brazilian, Software Architect, SWE(Java, Scala, Rust, Go) SOA & DevOps expert, Author. Working with EKS/K8S. diegopacheco.github.io (Opinions on my own)