Inaugural retrospective - January 2021 retro

Towards the end of last year, the progress I had been making on my projects slowed pretty dramatically. The main reason was my return to my day job - but there were a few other factors too. After seeing others writing monthly retrospectives (most notably Cory Zue) with goal setting, progress tracking, and reflections, I thought I’d do something similar to keep track of progress.

January’s goals

Most of my goals for January were more personal than project related. This probably stems from the slow progress over recent months, and not really knowing which direction I’m going in.

Start training to lift the Dinnie Stones ✔️

Last year I got a pair of weight-loadable pins with replica rings to train for the Dinnie Stones. After a few months away from training with them, I wanted to make them a focus of my training. Not only because they’re fun and a challenge, but because I want to attempt to lift the actual stones. I started a new training program at the start of the month, and progress has been good.

Build desktop computer ✔️

My 8 year old 2012 MacBook Pro has finally stepped down as my daily driver. It was replaced by a DIY desktop build that’s currently running Ubuntu 18 - though I suspect I might end up playing with different distros.

This just barely made it into January due to delivery delays on some components. It’s still not really complete either - I need to get a decent graphics card (though availability is basically non-existent right now) for some ML projects that I want to work on this year.

MVP of program builder / runner ✔️

Whilst Sterki already has a lot of features, one of the biggest issues was a lack of a training program builder. The idea is that coaches should be able to easily create programs for clients who would then run the program.

My biggest issue with this was fighting with the ‘perfectionist’ side of me who wanted to build a complete and ‘ideal’ version of this tool. Even though I know that just building something that kind of works, and then iterating on that is the best option I had to purposely decide to do that, and then deploy it with a bad UI and bugs just to get over the hurdle. Sometimes it’s just difficult to avoid certain mindsets.

Start using Sterki for my own training ✔️

This one was really important for me. Being able to use my own product means I get to see and feel what it’s like to be a user. On top of that, I get to experience what it’s like to be both the coach and the client - since I create and run my own programs. This could only be done after I completed the last goal.

So far it has been incredibly useful to use it as a real user. I’ve already found bugs and issues, and it’s given me a bunch of ideas for improvement in the future.

Write January retrospective ✔️

That’s this! I’m sure with time the format of these will evolve a little. For a first attempt I think this is fine.

Goals for February

I find it pretty hard to work on side projects with the day job taking a significant chunk of my productive time. But I make sure that I’ve got at least some time each week to dedicate to working on them.

On to the goals:

  • Resume reaching out to people and find at least 1 person that is interested in Sterki.
  • Revise UI - The mobile interface isn’t good for certain tasks.
  • Write February retrospective

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