I’m happy I continue with this yearly habit. I find it interesting to go back and look at the things I chose to highlight in each of the previous years. Those words help transport me into the mindset I had at that time. The simple words written in my reflection on 2017 “the rest is up to me” bring me back to my mental state of being motivated to take on the challenges ahead.
Here are some of the things that happened during 2022 in my life, in no particular order:
- I’ve read 18682 pages across 57 books. That’s a slight downtrend compared to last year when I read almost twenty-two thousand pages. But I also wrote last year that I can’t imagine wanting to read more, as it would likely require a lifestyle change. I continue to read consistently before bedtime and listen to books (and podcasts) when I exercise and walk to and from work. Here are a couple of books I found the most memorable:
- A Promised Land. The first volume of presidential memoirs by Barack Obama is a must-listen. I chose the audio version because the author recorded it and is a wielder of a calm and soothing voice.
- Alexander Hamilton. I’ve enjoyed the Hamilton musical, so I also enjoyed reading the full biography that inspired it. If you haven’t seen the musical, you should first go on and watch the recording of the show on Disney+.
- Chip War. A marvelous history book about the semiconductor industry from the USA’s point of view.
- Fundamentals of Software Architecture. The best technical book I read in 2022 provides a good overview of modern software architecture practices. I had some quibbles with the book, but I also recognize the challenge of writing such a tome - it’s impossible to cater to the content for everyone.
- How to be Perfect. An entertaining summary of modern moral philosophy and ethics.
- Daemon. A great sci-fi thriller that any person familiar with information technology will enjoy. The only negative is that I enjoyed the series’s second and final book much less.
Kendrick Lamar released “Mr. Morale & the Big Steppers”, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Kendrick ended up number one on my Spotify Wrapped. My wife and I went to see him perform live in Stockholm, where he sang all the songs from the newest album, with some older hits in between.
- I’ve watched 88 movies:
- On our trip to Canada, my wife and I visited the Toronto International Film Festival. We watched nine movies at TIFF, with The Banshees of Inisherin being our favorite.
- We watched four movies at the local Scanorama film festival. EO was the best we saw out of the four.
- Everything Everywhere All at Once is my favorite movie of 2022. It’s a magnificent masterpiece. It’s wonderfully written and acted, with a compassionate emotional core at its center.
- Maverick, Joyland, Licorice Pizza, TÁR are some others I’ve enjoyed a lot.
I played chess in 2022 more than in any of the previous couple of years. My love for chess got a boost after the trip in 2021 to see Carlsen face off against Nepomniachtchi for the title of world champion. I ended the year with my blitz rating on chess.com being a solid 1847, after starting the year with 1672. In 2023, I want to find the time to play the slower chess formats (maybe even participate in an over-the-board event). I enjoy solving positional problems, whereas faster time formats end up being more about tactics.
Otherwise, things are pretty good and stable in my personal life. I took a couple of other trips throughout the year: with friends to Bremen, with my brother to Budapest, and with my wife to Dubrovnik. Our two cats are doing well. And I’ve also became a better swimmer and learned how to drive a car.
- I’ve celebrated my tenth anniversary at Vinted. Although I’ve now spent more than a decade working at this single company, it continues to feel like the start of a long journey.
- Vinted launched Vinted Go to provide the most affordable and sustainable shipping. Launching a new business required us to look at the corporate structure at the start of 2022. This restructuring was quite an intense period for me personally, but it ultimately strengthened our ability to continue improving our marketplace and building the shipping business.
- Vinted donated €2M to a range of humanitarian initiatives for the people of Ukraine. Vinted members additionally donated more than €1M to support the people of Ukraine through our donation feature. I’m proud that we were able to support Ukraine in these ways.
- Vinted continued to grow, and we reached new all-time peak loads. Our platform handled more than 140k+ requests per second.
Vilnius Tech Leads continued with four more events: First-time Managers, Equity, Stakeholders, and Office Politics. There is now also an offspring event called Berlin Tech Leads. I’m thrilled with what we have created since the first event in 2017. But I’m also no longer as motivated to steer Vilnius Tech Leads. I plan to transfer the event’s steering into better hands during the first half of 2023.
- I enjoy both learning and sharing what I’ve learned. I’ve participated in a couple of events and podcasts during the year:
- As an attendee, I visited the StaffPlus 2022 and the LeadingEng 2022 conferences in New York. You can find my notes from both events by following the links.
- As the previous winner, I was part of the committee, which selected the Lithuania’s CTO of the Year.
- I was a guest on four podcasts: Disruption Talks, Startup Recruitment Failures, CTO Connection, Happy Developer.
The war in Ukraine is a terrible thing and by far the most prominent thing that looms large over everything that happened in 2022. It affected me personally. At first, I couldn’t process it and responded to the war with denial. It took me a while to come to grips with the horrible reality. It also affected my work life, as I spent significant time discussing how best to respond to the war and prepare for a potential invasion of Lithuania (which seemed possible at the time).
But there are also good things happening in the world. The world is inching closer towards low-carbon energy, US and EU set new ambitious targets to reduce their carbon emissions, the Ethiopian civil war ended, there has been progress tackling cancer, and much more. I remain optimistic about the long-term future of humanity.
Off to a better 2023.