Wow! This has been a pretty crazy year, and quite calm at the same time when compared to 2017.

2018 ends and it’s time to take a look at the past to see how it went, and to the future to decide my future goals.

As I did last year, I want to do it public because it’s a better impulse for commitment, and also because it may inspire others 🙂

2018: A year of big changes

When I planned 2018, I already know one thing for sure (or almost 😅): we would have a baby!

The parenthood

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There are days that change your life forever

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That’s one of the most life-changing moments for a person, or at least it has been for us. We couldn’t imagine how much love a little person could inspire, to us but also to our whole family. You can spend a night awake (which luckily doesn’t happen to us very often), but a single smile makes us forget everything.

We feel very grateful about our her (she’s called Vera) and very proud of ourselves for doing it quite well even by being our first child!

But obviously our priorities have changed completely, and we had to adapt our lives to have all the time she demands: and she demands a lot 😄.

So that made me take another huge decision.

From employee to self-employed

That has been another big trip. I don’t want to repeat myself, as I explained it here, but I left my position at Plex (thanks guys for such wonderful 4 years!) to devote 100% to my personal project: help Android developers to boost their careers.

During the last 3 months, I’ve been completely focused on Kotlin. As you know I’ve been studying a lot about it for a long time.

My main focus during this quarter was to build up a structure that helps me grow my business, so I started with several marketing strategies and involved another person 100% in the project to help me with some tasks so that the load of the business is not only on me, and I can focus on more important things.

Becoming a Kotlin certified trainer

This took me almost by surprise, but I found out that JetBrains was preparing a partnership program for Kotlin trainers, and I thought it was exactly what I needed at that moment. So I got into the process.

This was announced at KotlinConf 2018, and since then my online course and my live training in companies became Kotlin Certified Training by JetBrains. This means that if you’re looking for training that has been certified by the creators of the language, this is the closest you can get.

I’m really proud and grateful for this, and I’ll keep the hard work around Kotlin to keep deserving it.

I’m usually asked about how to become a Kotlin training partner, there’s actually a public link in the partners’ page if you’re interested.

Did I succeed in my goals for 2018?

So taking back to the goals that I set in my last year article, here are the ones I decided back then:

Keep updating the book and the online course (IN PROGRESS )

This happened, at least for the book, which received a major update in April.

But I’m not completely happy with it, because I couldn’t make it to the 1.3 update, which was an important one.

In my defense, I’ll say that it was planned in 2018, but it’ll be executed in January 😁. The book will be reviewed to meet 1.3 update, and the course will get at least a new module about coroutines, updated to 1.3.

Reach more people (IN PROGRESS )

This hasn’t been as massive as I would’ve liked either, but I did some things:

  • I went to another international conference, I was in MobOS in Cluj (Romania)
  • I wrote some articles. Not many, but about topics that I had been demanded quite a lot, like clean architecture or MVVM
  • I did my first online webinars, with some free content and also to show my online course

But I’ve been working on other things that won’t see the light till next year:

  • My new live videocast, called droidkast.live, where I’ll interview Android Developers that are an inspiration to me in one way or another. I’ll ask more about them, but also will invite them to do a talk about a topic they master
  • A new affiliate program, where people with big audiences can share my products to them and get a percent of the income in exchange. If you may be interested, please contact me!

So I’m pretty happy with it, even if the impact of some of them will start rolling in the next year.

Do less (DONE )

I can say I met that goal in 2018. I managed to balance my time between life and work, at the beginning just by leaving my personal project a little aside, and then leaving my job to become 100% self-employed.

Also, as I mentioned, my team grew and that way I can do more things in less time, which leaves me several hours per day to enjoy with my family, and the flexibility to change things to adapt to the unexpected events.

Be more active and healthy (FAILED )

This one was not so good. I had to leave Kajukenbo after our daughter came to this world, because it was pretty late in the evening.

I’m a little more active now because of Vera, but it’s not enough. And in fact, my back is not in it’s best moment, and it hurts pretty often.

That’s why I started doing Pilates to try to at least minimize those back problems, but I don’t feel that’s enough for an active life.

On the other hand, regarding eating habits, I finally became vegan in August, and didn’t look back since then. I eat pretty well in general, and I am more in balance with my ethics and my way to understand how to share this world with the rest of living beings.

Also, my cooking abilities keep improving! You can follow me on Instagram to find it out 😄

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Colors #vegan

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Leave some space to uncertainty (DONE )

Of course, I made it! At the beginning of the year, I wouldn’t have expected that I would be working for myself by the end of 2018.

That also applies to my day to day, my quarterly plannings. I try to be flexible, because nobody can predict the future.

What do I want to achieve on 2019?

There are only two important things for me this year, but I think they’re more than enough

Spend all the quality time I can with my family

We’ve decided that we don’t want to send Vera to the kindergarten anytime soon, or leave her all the day with her grandparents, and my wife is getting back to work in a few days. So we are going to need to readjust again.

My schedules will change to adapt my work hours to the time of the day that my wife can take care of the baby, and leave the rest of the time to spend with her.

That’s the main reason why I became self-employed, and it’s time to put it into practice.

But we’ll also need to find time to spend the three of us together, so it’s not going to be easy! But I’m sure we’ll find a way.

Keep growing my business

I’m happy about the health of my business right now, which allows me to pay the bills and have a person 100% helping me, but I think there’s a lot of room for improvement.

So for this new year, I have some ideas in mind that I think that will help my readers become better engineers, and I want to focus on that.

droidkast.live

As I mentioned above, this is something I started to plan in 2018, but it will become effective in 2019. A set of interviews (I want to do 1-2 per month) with great Android developers. My goal in the interview is to know more about them, about their values and what moves them to do what they do. But that’s the first part of the cast, the second part will be a talk where we can get more technical.

Join droidkast.live to be notified about all events! First one will be in January. Fernando Cejas will join to tell us about his story.

A new premium program

So far I have a couple of self-study products (my book and my online course), and then a 1:1 mentoring, which is a little too far away from most budgets.

For 2019, I want to release a new program, which will be a hybrid of these two options, and more affordable. I’m still deciding the content, but it won’t be just about Kotlin. The idea is to create a program to transform Android developers into Android engineers. 3-4 months working with me and the rest of the participants to learn about the most important concepts that will help you write quality software.

I’m planning the release of a beta program (which will be around 70-80% off the final price) by March, so keep tuned!

Keep updating the book and the online course

I don’t want to forget about my other products, and the first update is scheduled for January! If you already own any of these, you’ll receive the update for free.

The affiliate program

I already talked about this before, but in January I’ll also start talking to possible partners to help me spread the word of my products with their audience.

I’m sure there are still a lot of Android developers that haven’t started with Kotlin, and I really think I have the best tools to make the transition from Java.

Try to be (again) more active

I’m realistic, and I know it’s going to be difficult to add another task to the list. I will probably even have to leave Pilates to take care of Vera. But if I find the slightest opportunity to do something that can help me have a more active life, I’ll go for it.

I’m sure that when Vera starts walking and running, things will be different 😂

What are you asking for 2019?

And that’s it. I don’t have many goals this year because I think I’m on the right track, so it’s just about implementing all I have in mind.

I’m really grateful for being able to make a living out of my personal project, and I want to thank all my readers, customers, students… and in general, all the people that relied on me to improve their Android careers, because it would’ve been impossible without you. THANKS! I hope to be able to give back all this trust what it deserves with more helpful content.

I’d also love to hear from you. Have you thought about what goals you want to achieve this year? And if not, now it’s the perfect time to do it.

Write a list, and set some actions (with estimated dates) to achieve them. I wrote some general ideas here, but you really need some more concrete measurable goals, especially if it’s the first time you try to do something like this.

Anything you decide, I hope you find the strength to achieve it.

Happy 2019!!

Author: Antonio Leiva

I’m in love with Kotlin. I’ve been learning about it for a couple of years, applying it to Android and digesting all this knowledge so that you can learn it with no effort.

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