/ year in review

2016 In Review

As I did previously in 2014 and 2015, I'm back again reviewing my year.

As usual I'll be dividing this review in some broad categories so feel free to skip the ones that you're not interested in. I'm writing this mainly for my future reference, so there might be some plain boring stuff ahead. You've been warned.


After the successful entry in the freelancing world in 2014 and more than doubling my hourly rate in 2015, I was starting to think things couldn't get that much better.

In fact, for the better part of the year I was purely reaping the benefits of all the hard work I put in the previous years without actually making much money.

I had several work opportunities but nothing really caught my eye, so I decided to skip them all and focus on my masters course.
Fortunately, around October I got a job offer that was too good to pass.

I've been working for 3 months now for Ad3, and it's been one of the most rewarding experiences I've had. We're building products at scale for millions and millions of users with a fully remote very small team. This makes things very personal, and puts me in a position where I had to take full responsibility for one big project that we should be launching soon. It's a lot of pressure, but it's definitely something I've been enjoying a lot.

Financially, this has been a 33% increase in my monthly salary, which gives me so much freedom it's almost unbelievable. I've proven myself that taking a stab at the US software engineering market was one of the best things I could've done.
To put this into perspective, my salary doing mostly the same for a Portuguese company would be as high as 1/6 (one sixth) of what I'm doing right now.

Aside from that, me and a couple of friends participated in Porto Summer of Code again this year, after winning the 2014 edition, and guess what? We won again! It's amazing to see how a small hackathon we attended in 2014 turned into this huge event just a couple years later, it was a ton of fun.

Education wise, I'm now nearly done with my college degree. In 6 months from now I should be an official engineer, and done with formal education at college.


I've started the year with the same gym routine that I was very happy with in 2015 but truth be told, since I started working I've been slacking a lot. It's harder than it seems to work a full-time job while having classes, projects and presentations at college, but it's definitely not impossible so I need to just do it.

Other than that, it's been a very good year, without any health surprises.

Friends, Family and Relationship

Rollercoaster is definitely the word to describe my love life this year. Breakups, heartbreaks, get togethers, 365 days filled with soap opera worthy material!
My longest relationship to date ended abruptly, which was kind of a let down. Anyway, as Ethan Zobelle puts it, we adjust and adapt.

Some of my friends are now starting their careers, and a childhood friend of mine has even moved to London to be a flight attendant!
Despite seeing each other less often, I still maintain a good friendship with the people closest to me.

I still live with my good old happy family, and I still feel very lucky to have them - they're definitely the backbone that allowed me to achieve everything I did.

Goals for 2017

Recapping my goals for 2016: I didn't technically visit a new country, but I've explored the beautiful Costa Vicentina with my friends, visited Minorca, a small Spanish island, with my family, so I definitely feel like I accomplished the getting to know new places goal!

As for the other goals, I did some progress in all of them, but didn't fully complete them. Let's try again this year!

Keep travelling

Travelling is one of those things I don't do very often, but it always puts a smile on my face when I do. It's a life enriching experience to stay in some new place for a week, getting to know a different reality to the one you live everyday, monuments, museums, even the local culture, it's great!

I have booked my ticket to Laracon US and I'll be traveling over to NYC in July. This is one of my dream destinations, and I'm really excited to be setting foot in the US for the first time!

Get back on track with my fitness routine

I've always had the tendency to not get very out of shape, but I still do feel the need to exercise. Hopefully in 2017 without all the classes and random projects and presentations I had in college it'll be easier to set a fixed gym schedule and stick with it.

Start a savings account

I've been doing well for myself for the past 3 years, and I'm fortunate enough to not have to worry about money. However, I have to start thinking ahead and put money aside for retirement. Maybe this sounds like a weird thing for a 22 year old to worry about, but compound interest is a thing, and I must start sometime, so might as well start now.

That's it for 2016. Not really any groundbreaking stuff, but a solid improvement over last year, which is good enough. If I strive to improve even if just a bit every year, I'll thank myself 40 years down the line. So you're welcome, future me.

Rui Gomes

Rui Gomes

Web Developer, Internet Marketing enthusiast and Student@FEUP. That pretty much sums it up.

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