What I Learned in 2020
| December 22, 2020 | in
Remote education does work
We did a lot of teaching in 2020. It wasn’t always pretty, but we improved a lot and I feel pretty good about it.
Remote work can work, but not as well as in-person
We made remote work work, but it was at times a struggle. I’m looking forward to being back in the office. Online calls cannot fully replicate standing and chatting at another person’s desk.
More projects are putting machine learning to work
Customers are asking for richer, more full-featured solutions. For example, we had a customer ask about identifying brand logos in images. This led me to look into Azure Vision APIs and learned more about the potential of computer vision.
All cloud platforms are rising
Azure, AWS, Google Firebase are all improving. Each platform saw significant improvements this year. A few years ago, Firebase felt like a no-go to me. But now, with solid local emulators, it feels like a better option. CodeStar made it a lot easier to set up solutions in the AWS landscape. And Azure continues to push their platform options beyond what they were the year before.
Remote conferences aren’t very effective (at least the ones I attended)
I do not feel that virtual conferences are the future. I don’t often use the word “impossible,” but that’s what I think of the likelihood that they will replace in-person conferences. Remote conferences allow more attendees, but they can feel like a waste of time from a vendor’s perspective. Remote conferences can work for very small and focused user groups, but for more prominent conferences the lack of good conversations between people is a real miss.
Software projects must have only one development process
Having two competing processes on the same project creates frustration. We worked on a project this year that kind of had two Agile processes running in parallel, and I think it created more frustration than was necessary for both management and the developers.
Microsoft Teams is less annoying than Zoom
Zoom does some bizarre things with your window focus during meetings. I wish Zoom would leave focus alone.
No one is good at unmuting before speaking
2020 will be the year of “you are on mute.”
No matter how many online meeting platforms you have used, someone will still invite you to use yet another one
2020 is also the year that I installed more one-off applications than ever before. Seriously, how many of these services are there?
You can get a pretty good workout at home
While the gym is nice, home workouts are okay. Plus, more meals and interaction with the family is great.