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2020 Year In Review

Dmitry Shvetsov
December 31st, 2020 · 6 min read


10 January 28 hours travel from Vladivostok to Koh Chang. Taxi, 3 airports, 2 minibusses, 1 ferry.

2 months in Thailand, Koh Chang, and Krabi Town. fulfilled the dream of wintering outside cold Russia.

I learned to swim. Step by step in two weeks. As a result, I decided to start my own business to pursue financial goals.

I become a rubble millionaire.


I met a person who trades goods between countries and he offered me to start an IT consulting business in Tajikistan and Azerbaijan.

Travel to Siem Reap and ride on e-bikes across Angkor Wat and nearby temples.

Published second most popular article How To Be More Productive Than Most Programmers featured on dev.to

Hired the first person for my business, as a freelancer. She is an amazing editor. Together we produced 13 articles (but not this one) and my first book. I think she made me twice as productive and effective at least it feels like this.


Started working on my business part-time, continuing to work for 80 hours a week for Jerry.ai as a lead software engineer.

Firs snorkeling at Bamboo Island. In my first attempt when I was about 100 meters from the shore and water started to fill my mask. I started to panic and swam back. If you do not get through a fail right away it will be harder next time. So I forced myself to get back into the water where my wife continued snorkeling (she is a diver). I’m happy that I did that. Snorkeling remains one of the most memorable experiences this year.

In my engineering team, I tried ‘review hour’ practice that I come up after once again the print stalled at the review stage. You can read about it in the article and “Team Lead 101” book

Started consulting investing which is my hobby. My first client become my family. The capital of the family found grew up 21% this year.

Learned about 4 stages of awareness:

  1. ego-centric
  2. ethno-centric
  3. world-centric
  4. spirit-centric

First 100 subscribers to my newsletter/blog. Thank you!


Decided to write a book. The initial thought was to write a book about how to be a better developer. This resulted in dozens of ideas for chapters of the book and ideas to battle test them by writing a series of articles.

Three of them were written in April:


Recorder my first video interview with Daragh Byrne on how to become a better developer and how meditation and mindfulness can help. Daragh is an engineering manager and meditation teacher at https://codingmindfully.com/.

Last month of my full-time job.


Started writing a book about the fundamentals of leading and managing engineering teams.

Recorded the second video about how to become a better developer with Vladimir Dementyev

Wrote my second best article this year 22 Things You Should Give Up If You Want To Be A Successful Developer. It was featured on dev.to and Better Programming and it got viral

Realized that I started to eat much more sugar than I used to.

Tried to shot one video each day about anything to practice my work on camera which helped me later to record a decent intro for a job site.

Learned that speaking and asking in the form “WE will do something”, “WE are in fault”, “WE should” means speak to no one in terms of attempt to inspire an action and speak to everybody in terms of insult.

Started using Waking Up meditation app by Sam Harris. It is complete different in terms of what you learn. It is very practical to day to day situations. I love this app and meditate for 154 days, about 2.4k minutes.

If you want a to try this great meditation app for a month let me know on twitter or send me email at helloiamdi at gmail dot com. Just send “Hey, I want a free month of Waking Up” and I’ll give you a link.

Your mind is basis of everything you experience in life and any contribution you can make to life of others … it make sense to train it” – Sam Harris, Waking Up App


Become a mentor for a small group of computer science students. Taught the basics of programming and Python.

Stopped eating sugar and wheat during the whole weak except Saturday or Faturday. Borrow this idea from Tim Ferris. Still practicing this idea and it helped me with the obsession to eat something sweet during the day.

For the first time tried Metta meditation also know as loving-kindness meditation. This kind of meditation can turn your day around. When I do it right I always feel myself on 100%. Very cool! I learned it from Waking Up app.

Changed domain of my site from iamdi.dev to dmitryshvetsov.com


Launch of “Teal Lead 101: How to Manage and Grow Engineering Teams in Small Startups” book.

Book launch overthinking and lack of real actions. I was to shy to ask help from people I know.

Though about productivity. If you are make the most important task as first thing in the morning you will not have unproductive days.


Learned the most powerful habit so far. Speaking to yourself in mirror what great you did today and ending it with “I love you” looking in the eyes. This sounds strange but works powerfully. Since I started this habit I feel myself much better and confident. My wife told me that I became complete different person since I started doing this,

Advice from the book “Positive Intelligence”. I case of stress concentrate on your physical sensations. Another great tool in difficult situations that already worked for me on a couple occasions this year.

Got an electric shock 220V. I was always afraid of this moment, as it turned out there is nothing terrifying in this. This is a lesson how our fear can be much more than reality.

Studied the ideas of the Stoics and they turned out to be close to me.

Learned about the Second brain. This one can be a huge game changer for any person but it should be a part of any developer. Considering how much I read articles and books and how much I retained ideas and knowledge from those books? At most 10%. This is huge waste of efforts. Making notes and saving it into some app (Evernote, Roam Research, or Notion) making your second brain that can find ideas and things you learned in a moment. Checkout second brain you probably want to start to build it as soon as possible because it has a compound effect.


Started using OKRs to define objectives and track my progress. By reviewing each week my progress and measuring it from 0 to 1 I have clear picture I see where I’m doing well where I’m missing opportunities. It always clear why I’m not getting what I want and why.

Made a Google Chrome extension rmtr to display different time-zones on you browser home screen. Try it and let me know what you think. But keep in mind it in work in progress and not yet published in Chrome marketplace.

After I share my investment results over this year my friends start asking me for financial advice.


Changed my username in the internet from @iamdidev to @dmshvetsov (twitter, github, dev.to, medium)

Amazon reach out with an offer to get through their interview process and become Amazon software developer.

Thought that hones, sincere cover letters and resumes works better than arrogant, “I’m great” resumes and cover letters.

Yet again looking how “read it later” and inbox is growing understood the importance of NO.

Fruits of meditation on practice: immediately switched from angry state to positive just before joining an interview call, after a recruiter had called me that I’ve missed an interview call. Imagine me with messy hair in home look, totally unprepared. In the end I’ve passed the interview and got an offer.

Do I think in 3 years in advance when picking 3 important thing I will work on today?

We often track what we spend money on, but rarely what we spend time on

Have an idea that I might enjoy a scientific role (I do not mean data science position here).

Inspired (again) by the idea that systems (habits for example) are crucial after listening to a conversation of Sam Harris and James Clear about habits. I listened to it in Waking Up app and it also available at samharris.org


Capital growth of 3 stock portfolios 73.62%, 42.83%, and 12.27%.


I avoided reading and listening to books for most of my life but this ear I read. But this year I read and listened to 25 books.

The new site section “Book notes” is coming this year. In this section, I will share my notes after reading technical, investment, philosophical, and other great books. I do not want to limit myself to any genres.

Less time spent on social networks and media. More time spent reading books.

I made a mistake to pursue two businesses, knowledge, and account receivable. As a result, I’ve not reached the result that I wanted to and decided to get back what I’m doing the best, solving problems with technologies.

Making 10x goals is inspiring but measuring yourself by it is devastating. A good example is how I learned to swim.

Month after month I promised myself to detach from work but in most cases, I failed to do so and worked until bedtime or even after it.

I tried to do three things in the first 4 months of the year and that was a huge mistake. Knowledge business, accounting receivables, and ebooks publishing.

I miss the whole idea to create on public which I think was a great chance to enjoy the process of writing a book more.

You can follow me on Twitter as I continue to document my journey. Happy to chat with you there.

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