Inspired by Alex Clark's meme, here is my own entry into this end-of-year fun.
# What's the Coolest Thing You Discovered This Year?
Alex had his own focused on Python applications, frameworks, and libraries. Me, I'm going for a more general approach. This year I discovered:
That book I co-wrote with Audrey Roy? Written in LaTeX. It wasn't easy to get started, even with Audrey as my instructor, but now that I grok it, I feel extremely empowered. That's because I can do all kinds of awesome, insane hacks when Sphinx generates PDFs. I hope I get the chance to show off some of my new madness to the world in 2014.
# How to Tie A Bow Tie
If you are going to be formal, the bow tie adds an enormous amount of class. However, clip-ons are considered tacky, especially as it's considered stylish to loosen the bow tie later in the evening to demonstrate you aren't wearing that clip.
Of all the stuff I watched on the subject of bow tying, this video was the longest and the best of them all.
Update 1/4/2014: I learned this awesome skill because I wanted to be classy on my wedding day.
# Awesome Foods Around the World
Here's the short-list:
- Oscypek is a Polish smoked, salted cheese that should be exported to the universe. Seriously. If you get some, grill it and serve with jelly.
- In Florence, Italy you can eat Duck Carpaccio and it is heavenly. If there is ever a reason to visit Florence, it is Duck Carpaccio.
- The Croatian King Truffle Bar is an ice cream delicacy you can find in any street market freezer. It's multiple shells of chocolate and ice cream in an ice cream bar that speaks taste bud breaking volumes to at least the American palate.
- In the Philippines, they combine shaved ice, evaporated milk, purple yam ice cream, and tropical fruits into something they call Halo-Halo. It's indescribably yummy and the Los Angeles-based Jollibee version Anthony Bourdain tried on his show is a pale comparison to the fantastic treat I've been lucky enough to devour in Manila.
# What New Programming Technique Did You Learn This Year?
Hard to say, but I'll go with Python's context managers. Trying to find a way to have what I learned see the light of day. Love the clients, but this is a good reason to try and do more open source work.
# Which Open Source Project Did You Contribute to the Most This Year? What Did You Do?
While I contributed nothing directly to the framework itself, between our book and numerous open source projects, I guess the answer is 'Django'.
In 2014 I want to switch that focus to Python.
# What Are the Top Three Things You Want to Learn Next Year?
- The new async framework added in Python 3.4.
- C because I think it will enhance my Python skills.
- How to be a better person. I think I educated and helped a lot of people this year, but I can do better. Malcolm Tredennick quietly led the way, and with all the help he provided to Audrey and I in January for our book, we owe it to his memory to improve the lot of developers everywhere.
# What is the Top Thing You Wish Someone Would Write Next Year?
Something that gets more women into the top 10 of Gittip. That amazing women developers and community leaders in the Python community like Lynn Root, Jessica McKellar, dare I say Audrey Roy, and others aren't up there speaks uncomfortable volumes. Starting today, I'm directing all my Gittip funds in their direction. Well... not Audrey because she won't let me, but you get the idea.
# What Else?
This year, 2013, was a wonderful year. Everything changed. I hope to have a summary out today because some fantastically incredible things occurred. If not, then it will happen next year... err... tomorrow! 😉