The 2023 in review

Hi there!

It's been a full calendar year of writing! That's almost two years in total! I've started these writings on the end of January last year. And, as you may already know, it's cool to have a review of the year, so that is my plan with the last post of the year.

Disclaimer, it's not going to be like Spotify Wrapped, or what not, so don't expect much. I will reflect on the things I've written this year. What, how, and why. I'll also mention the things that inspired me, gave me ideas, and were wind at my back, so to say.

So, let's get started!


Throughout the year, I've written about various topics. I was still in my exploratory phase, so I've started with couple of articles about Kubernetes. I've written the guide on how to get started with Kubernetes, ways to deploy it, and Kubernetes Ingress. How did that got in the list? Well, looking back now, I didn't understood how Kubernetes Ingress works, so I wanted to write about it. You might've discovered already, but the things I don't know is usually what I write about here. The one to point out from this list is the guide on where to start with Kubernetes.

Kubernetes - where to start?
You heard about Kubernetes but are not sure what it is? You have dabbled in it but you are still not sure how it works? You tried to find out about it yourself, but found the material overwhelming?

Next in line were articles about learning and growth. These are the topics I go back to quite often. I like learning new stuff, and exploring ways to grow myself. I believe that writing helps me grow, hence the articles on various topics. Two that I would like to point out are about journaling and life-long learning, linked below.

Everyday Epiphanies: The Benefits of Keeping a Daily Journal
Some time ago I read a line in an article that said something like this - instead of opening your phone and social media first thing in the morning, try journaling instead. Try asking yourself some questions like - what are my goals for today, what did I do yesterday,
Learning to Learn
The thing we often forget when thinking of learning is that we are not officially thought how to learn. When we start school, we don’t usually go through different learning processes, how to approach math, biology, history, or any other class. At least this wasn’t a thing that we did.

I also wrote about climbing, so (I) you won't forget my hobby that is more than a hobby. There, I've touched one of the lessons I learned (and still learning) from climbing - patience!

Lessons from climbing I’m applying in life - patience
As I embarked on my journey as a rock climber, little did I know that beyond the physical challenges and adrenaline rushes, there lay a profound lesson in patience. The vertical world became my classroom, and each ascent taught me the art of embracing patience in the face of obstacles.

Now that I look back, middle of the year was my patience-awareness period. I saw how I'm impatient, and wanted to do something about it. It's an everyday battle!

The topic I found the most interesting this year, and the one I will explore further is sustainability. I feel that by writing about this topic, I can do something that will be good for our planet. To learn, teach, and act.

As you may or may not know, the climate change is not just a today's problem, but the problem that will impact our future. The COP28 didn't go well, but that should not stop us from learning about new ways to help, and act. The articles I want to mention here are, well, all of them! If you have any time to spare during the holidays (and we all know we do), check them out!

sustainability - Wondering Chimp


This year, one of my articles was mentioned in the Green Software Foundation newsletter! The article shared is about Carbon Awareness. You can find it linked below.

Exploring Carbon Awareness: No, It’s Not a Trendy Mindfulness Practice
Have you ever heard about carbon awareness? What it is and how can be implemented? In this article, we’ll cover just that, and also bring you an overall understanding of the concept and what it means for the environment.

And here is the screenshot where they mention my article under Latest Resources and Perspectives. I was THRILLED!

The image shows a newsletter section titled “Latest Resources and Perspectives” with five different article summaries listed below it. The articles cover a range of environmental and technological topics, including sci-fi fantasies, a sustainable internet, carbon awareness, cloud computing, and decarbonizing technology supply chains. Each summary includes a title in bold font followed by a brief description. The articles are intended to provide readers with the latest resources and perspectives on these topics.
Source: GSF Newsletter #53

During this year, I started exploring Mastodon. I liked the idea of it, and got active there. I would highly recommend you to check it out, explore, and see for yourself! I think of this network as a social network for people. There are no ads, you follow what you want, see what you follow... Below is the link to my profile there.

Marjan (
391 Posts, 100 Following, 26 Followers · Rock climber and a wannabe writer working in Tech. I also read a lot, like to learn new things, and currently learning to play go. 🌍Born at 354ppm

One of my tut (post on Mastodon) was an inspiration for an article! It was about AI prompts and how we can start using them in a sensible way.

The image shows a social media post by a user named Marjan, who is pondering the environmental impact of AI queries. The post suggests that if AI engines informed users of the environmental impact before executing each query, people might be more environmentally conscious. The hypothetical prompt informs users about the water consumption and CO2 equivalent emissions of their query, and asks if they still wish to proceed. Marjan ends the post by asking for others’ opinions and includes hashtags related to sustainability and responsible AI use. The post is dated Dec 06, 2023, and has been made via Mastodon for Android. It has received 3 re-shares and no comments or likes yet. The user’s profile picture, an illustration of a chimp, is visible on the left.

This tut was mentioned in an article from Friedemann Ebelt about AI and new AI legislation in the EU. I'm sharing below the original article in German.

KI und Klima – was kann der AI Act (vielleicht)? - Campact Blog
Wird der AI Act, wenn er denn kommt, dafür sorgen, dass künstliche Intelligenz in der EU klimagerechter wird?

Again, I was THRILLED!


Here, I want to mention the things that impacted me the most - the books and articles I've read, podcasts I've listened... Sort of like the link dump of the things.


List of podcast episodes I've listened to is quite extensive, so I won't go into too much details. Here are the three podcast episodes that I've listened, re-listened, and re-re-listened.

How to Enhance Performance & Learning by Applying a Growth Mindset - Huberman Lab
In this episode, I discuss how to build and apply a growth mindset — the practice of self-rewarding and focusing on learning and skill development through effort — to improve learning and performance.

A great episode on the science behind the growth mindset, and action points we all can take towards applying it!

We Answer Your Questions!
On this episode of Environment Variables, host Chris Adams is joined by Asim Hussain as they dive into a mailbag session, bringing you the most burning unanswered questions from the recent live virtual event on World Environment Day that was hosted by the Green Software Foundation on June 5 2023. Asim and Chris will tackle your questions on the environmental impact of AI computation, the challenges of location shifting, the importance of low-carbon modes, and how to shift the tech mindset from “more is more” (Jevons Paradox). Chock-full of stories about projects implementing green software practices, and valuable resources, listen now to have your thirst for curiosity quenched!

One of the many episodes of Green Variables podcast. This one is a session where hosts answer questions and doubts about sustainability.

REMIX | EFFORT: How to Try Harder
Climbers Bill Ramsey, Jonathan Siegrist, Jason Kehl, Hazel Findlay, Troy Fauteux, and others weigh in on how we as athletes can refocus our effort.

Last but not the least is the one about applying effort. It is about applying effort in climbing, but, I use it as a firecracker when I feel down about everything. It helps a lot!


Somewhat like the podcast episodes, this year I've read quite a bunch of books. I want to mention only three (two plus a book series) that affected me the most.

Greenlights by Matthew McConaughey
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - From the Academy Award(R)-winning actor, an unconventional memoir…

Full of simple, hard, and honest truths about people, world, and life in general. I recommend it.

Life and Death in Shanghai by Nien Cheng
This is a first-hand account of China’s cultural revolution. Nien Cheng, an anglophile and fluent…

A great book about how to approach life when everything and everyone is aginst you. How to live through and persist!

Mistborn - Wikipedia

This I've read in almost one breath, Era One, at least. Great books full of ups and downs, tragic deaths, and so forth. Even though the ending was a bit abstract for my taste, I find the Era One of the series great! We'll see how I feel about the Era Two in next years.


We live in the information age, thus, content is abundant. Keeping the list as short as possible, below are the three articles that affected me the most.

Overchoice and How to Avoid it
Five Heuristics to Help You Decide

A practical guide on what to do when you have to make some choice. It's full of great advices!

How to Remember What You Read
The benefits of reading are negated if you forget remember what you read. This article discusses a tested system to increase retention. Learn how to use active reading to remember more from books.

How to actually read books and remember the most from them. Spoiler alert - note-taking!

A few words on taking notes
As we are about to start the planning meetings for 2024 at AWS, I’ve been thinking a lot about how I take notes.

This article motivated me to review my note-taking techniques. In the end, got me back to the handwritten notes.

Year in numbers

Now, to wrap up the story with some numbers. These are the following:

  • 22 articles written (23, if we include this one).
  • Somewhat similar number of posts on LinkedIn, where I shared the articles.
  • More than 200 hours spent in exploring, reading, preparing, and writting. Then editing, and re-writting these articles.*
* 1 article x min 5h to write.
  • More than 68000 post impressions just on LinkedIn!

My goals when I started all this were:

  1. Learn ✅
  2. Write ✅
  3. Stay curious ✅
  4. Publish every two weeks ✅❌

Reflecting to the goals, I've learned a lot! And I think the articles I've written so far can be a sort of a measure for that. And for the second goal as well, now that I'm mentioning. The range of topics I've covered this year can easily show me being curious. The fourth one is partially complete. Throughout the year, I wasn't always able to post once in a fortnight. I missed the schedule on couple of ocassions.

Continuing on, I'm keeping the above goals the same. The only thing I want to change is my approach to them. Write and learn in a more active way, and stay curious along the way.

Thank you for staying this long with me and see you next year!