2012 – A year of progress for me

With the end of the year came the happy holidays and time to share with the loved ones. These silent days allow to catch some breath and give some thoughts before new year’s eve demands some attention and a new year wants to be lived. During the last days I looked back on the parting year 2012 and what I have experienced in the last ~365 days, with my honey, family, friends, and colleagues. 2012 has been a year of progress and mostly keeping me busy. I made progress in many aspects, be it in my job and professional goals or my life with my sweetheart and family.

Family
Fortunately, 2012 (and even more 2011) allowed me to spend quality time with my family quite frequently, albeit being very productive at my job. I determined family to be an important part for my personal balance. Therefore, I tried to meet my family regularly this year and planned activities to share with them. With my sweetheart Anna I took off 2 weeks and discovered beautiful Italy. One priceless trip and presumably the best I ever had (read more). The golf course was one spot my family used as a reason to join now and then. Plus, classy restaurants is a common love in my family🙂

Professional Work
My Ph.D. is now set to a defined target and the number of lines in my dissertation is growing. Also, I solved some computer science problems, in particular, in the field of Compute Service Selection in Cloud Computing, and showed good results that have been published at reputable conferences (see my publications). One notable conference I visited last year is the WWW’12 conference, one of the biggest in the field of computer science (read more). 2012 was also the year I gave lectures for the first time and I got involved with the Open Data Center Alliance in a joint research project (sure will announce publicly available results on my blog or twitter). Also, this year I had the chance to work closely with researchers from UNSW Sydney (again), NICTA and CSIRO Canberra.
Aside from my research work I started to develop software tools from my research results that are easily usable and publicly available. The goals is, in contrast to research prototypes that serve for an evaluation of approaches, to promote research results to the public, the software developers out there. We, colleagues and me, plan to go officially public with our tools and a Web site Spring 2013. Have a first look at our Website (currently under development): http://myownthemepark.com.

Travelling
2012 has been a year filled with quite some trips and I spent more days travelling than ever before. It was exhausting and interesting to see foreign countries and make new friends. In 2012 my job and personal trips allowed me to experience Budapest, Castellon, Mallorca, Antalya, Lyon, Tokyo, Canberra, Lago di Como, Liguria and Sydney among other places. Besides, I had the chance to visit friends in Berlin, Munich and Stuttgart, and we had two Bay Area intern reunions this year (in Budapest and North Germany). The most important trip to me was a 2 weeks North Italy visit I spent with my sweetheart.
However, travelling means wasting too much time on transportation vehicles and fewer time at home. Still, the statement holds, that I still was able to spent time with my family frequently (but less in terms of duration compared to 2011). A great tool called TripLine tells me I travelled more than 53,000km (32,000 miles) on the biggest trips alone this year (view Tripline stats). For me, that is quite a number and, from my perspective, an immoderate CO2 footprint. One new year resolution can clearly be postulated: travelling is one thing that has to decrease next year.

TripLine Year 2012

2013 – goals & resolutions for next year
The upcoming year 2013 has some clear objectives I will try to pursue. First of all, I decided that 2013 is the year to put my focus on my doctoral degree. For that I am going to invest any open time slot and pause some obligations, e.g., I will have to skip golfing for one year, avoid publishing new research results and reduce travelling time for non-mandatory trips to a minimum. Against the first objective stand family and personal goals that are important to me. I already planned an important trip with my family and friends to Uhuru Peak at the Kilimanjaro, Tansania plus few days to relax on Zanzibar. Additionally, Anna wants me to spend some days off with her on another trip. Looking forward to it🙂
2013 means a tough task with balancing professional goals, meaning, in particular, obtaining a doctoral degree, with personal goals. And the scale must clearly tend towards professional goals.

Life’s not easy at the bottom! And next year’s gonna be a tough. Few time and a lot of work to do. Happy new year 2013 and 2014, I am off working like a dog. See you all in 2014!😉

2013 Happy New Year

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