(This article was featured into Specials section at Android #499 Weekly)

This is my classic wrap up for the year, exactly for 2021.

This year I’ve really struggled to even start doing this, classic for me, summary of the year. I wasn’t too sure about even doing it this year. Either motivated to writing it.

Perhaps what could work best this time is… simply creating a window of time, about 1 hour maybe. In order to write it as quick as I can. The plan is, I’m gonna make it in less than 2 hours. Typically it usually takes me between 2 to 4 hours at least. Why’s that? You may be wondering. Well, looking for significant tweets, sorting them by topic as well as relevance.

Let’s do it!

This is the proof, 1 hour and 19 minutes (after the full review, 1 hour and 37 minutes).

This is the time it took me to write and review the first part of this article.

My first priority highlighted last year was to:

Keep a healthy lifestyle

Next tweet talks by itself. I made my personal best in a half a marathon! (3rd half marathon ever) and I felt at the time of subscribing myself to the race like really well prepared to do it. I used to run every week a few times, otherwise doing some weights lifting at home or even some low impact aerobic training with my gfriend. It became a good habit during pandemic as well as later on.

Raul personal best half a marathon, 1 hour and 42 minutes and 14 seconds. Half a Marathon of Valencia.
Done symbol

Simple things are sometimes what work the best.

Keep working / participating in interesting projects

Wow, thinking about it more now, it’s like, really? I made so much this year? Giving some context, that was for me a real big deal.

Trying to achieve this sometimes felt like too much.

First of all, let me tell you what happened professionally speaking first of all.

I joined a nice team and project started by my employer called Twitter Blue. I branched out from my previous team, the Search team to be part of the Twitter Blue team.

If you don’t really know what’s that, please, have a quick look at what @TwitterComms said at the time. This was during June’s.

However, that wasn’t the end of it. Later in the year, concretely in November, there were a bunch of interesting things coming up, either for Android, iOS or RWeb clients.

A subscription for Twitter Blue with nice features as main perks such as Undo Tweet, Bookmark Folders, Reader Mode or Top Articles for Android.

Finally, I was able to share publicly what my team was building and my little part of it. I worked really hard with mine and other teams (including folks from Google) to support payments by means of an in-house and simple library used on bottom of our Twitter for Android (TfA) architecture and UI guidelines. Having in mind that it should work for more than our own team. Our own wrapper around the Billing SDK library for Android.

For instance Super Follows. Another kind of subscription for “Super Users”, more in the tweet. Actually, the first to use it were a team called Ticketed Spaces (who used Consumables instead of Subscriptions).

@SuperFollows account when they launched it on Android

But all weren’t good news, looking back in time, also some spoiler alerts happened of course. You could imagine who made it, right?!

Jane discovered that Twitter for Android included Google Play billing service as part of the app permissions.

We worked really hard to avoid this situation as soon as we could.

Thankfully, Android has something called source sets and those helped us a ton to avoid this ASAP. On the other hand, Jane discovered something I was working on, how cool is that?!

Let’s now stop talking about work… well, interesting projects but not work related… well, maybe it’s about work in some sort...

Tweet of @TwitteEng talking about our participation and culture

Another really cool thing this year was the fact of coordinating for us at @TwitterEng our participation in a really popular Spanish speaking podcast called #ChimichurriCode. It was more challenging than you could imagine. Not only because we were 3 brilliant engineers and I from the Twitter for Android team participating. But because we all were at different timezones and that’s tricky to sync for us to: decide topics, brainstorm ideas and finally record it properly. I remember a time when we had it all well structured but still I had to chat with folks from other departments such as comms, marketing/branding, etc to make a proper script before recording our episode. But in all honestly, it was so much fun and was worth it!

Thanks to my colleagues Nacho Lopez, Cesar Puerta and Yoali Sotomayor for being awesome podcasters! Of course to my good friend and host Nico Patarino for making it fun and awesome! Really loved that podcast.

It made indeed two things for the first time: the first podcast mentioned on the handle @TwitterEng for the Android team as well as the first one in the Spanish speaking language.

Spanish language tweet from @TwitterEng

Those were the most remarkable achievements of 2021 in terms of interesting projects for sure. This will be tricky to even be improved next years.

I could mention more things but it’s enough already so I’ll sum up with a snapshot about a talk that I gave this year called “Getting ready for Declarative UIs with Unidirectional Data Flow and Kotlin Coroutines”. Given to a couple of conferences such as FOSDEM or DevDays Europe and a few meetups (as well as our internal Android Contributors meeting at Twitter).

More details about the videos, slides, as well as articles related to this topic can be read in my personal blog’s about section.

Done symbol

All is not about great things but what you love to do.

Keep reading general-purpose books

I could not really make it as much as I’d love to. This year has been really busy. I’ve read about 6 different books. Some WIP.

  • “Mythos” by Stephen Fry.
  • “The Thursday Murder Club” by Richard Osman. (WIP)
  • “Dune” by Frank Herbert.
  • “Dune: The Graphic Novel, Book 1: Dune” by Frank Herbert.
  • “How to win friends and influence people” by Dale Carnegie.
  • “El fin de la ansiedad” by Gio Zararri
  • “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” by Robert Kiyosaki (WIP).
Work in Progress symbol

It could be more, it could be less.

Try to learn something new (anything)

I haven’t learned something really. Or maybe yes, not exactly something like playing guitar though.

I tried learning the ukelele in a team (online) offsite but I failed (it’s not my thing).

Nice picture of the ukelele that I used!

In addition to all of that, I learned about my own limits better and I understood more about myself. This year was a bit too much for me and I felt burnt out.

However, I believe that I achieved 3 interesting things during this year. Things which hopefully will make me happier during 2022:

  • One of them is moving for good to Spain, started this in 2021. I’ll tell more in 2022 maybe.
  • Also booked my first ever hybrid car.
  • Moreover, I booked a brand new home for my family, which will make me a small owner in 2022.
Failed symbol

Less is more, more is less. Failed on learning something new like playing an instrument.

I’m telling all of this today, the last day of the year, with my gfriend isolated for a few days due to COVID. I had no sympthoms and I tested negative. Nothing really serious but it made us stay without celebrating her birthday outside, here we are with her family and distance in between us.

For the next year I just want fewer things, just simple ones.

  • Be happy and healthy.
  • Enjoy what I’m doing.
  • Keep reading more books.

That’s all really. See you next year (2022) folks! Happy new year!

Remember to clap to this article if you enjoyed reading it and encouraging me to write more during those pandemic harsh times, please.

Software Engineer (Android) @ Twitter. Kotlin lover. Continuous learner, sometimes runner, some time speaker & open minded. Opinions my own.