One year ago, I promised myself a less crappy year in review, but alas here I am again writing this with little forethought. However, thanks to my circle of good friends, I started 2023 with explicit goals that we presented to each other over dinner. At the beginning of the year, I was working at Calm on the heels of our CTO departing; I had a measly 3:56 marathon PR and my writing was wobbly.


I knew 2023 was the year I would leave Calm. While leaving a job may sound easy, there was much more wrapped into this decision. I had really liked my job for many reasons and I especially loved my team. I left in March, much earlier than intended. I realized that the new role combined with a new VP, new CTO and new CEO made my job very different than the one I wanted. Each change in isolation might have been okay, but I knew I could not be an effective engineering leader in the resulting environment. It was best for the company and my team that I exit. Nine months later, I’m super happy with the decision, having had time to disentangle my identity from work a little bit, think about what I want in my career and having started at Included Health.


This year I wanted to run a 3:30 marathon. In March at the Napa Valley Marathon, I had a very enjoyable 3:34 race and felt confident that I could run a faster time in the fall. I happily continued training, spending lots of time on trails in the summer. Unfortunately I sustained a nasty ankle injury in July that still has me regularly limping and gingerly running. I’m still being willfully ignorant to the reality of the injury – this is the first year I’ve felt any indication of the physical ailments that come with age. Even so, I managed to run 1300 miles and bike 1200 miles.


At the beginning of the year, I set the goal of publishing 20 new posts. With this post, I’m at 14. I cooled off on writing this year, due to feeling like my thoughts were exceptionally irrelevant. I originally started writing to demystify the engineering manager role. Perhaps as I’ve become more familiar with the industry, I’ve wanted to write about it less for fear of stating the obvious or disillusioning others. For better or for worse, I will either put forth my genuine opinion or say nothing at all.

This year felt a lot slower, in a good way. It feels like I’ve regained my footing from the self-induced chaos of the past several years. I regret not spending a little more time exploring new things, like a new country (although I did just come back from Nicaragua 🤔). I feel myself become more thoughtful and less reactive. I’m quite happy with my personal relationships, mostly pleased with my career, and mildly ambivalent with my physical fitness, but grateful for full mobility.

In 2024 I will definitely have a coding goal, stubbornly set a more aggressive marathon goal and noodle on something that’s just for fun. 😄