Happy New Years

5 min read

A post outlining my goals for 2022 and looking back on 2021.

Photo by Moritz Knöringer on UnsplashPhoto by Moritz Knöringer on Unsplash

It’s hard to believe that 2021 is over. It feels as though 2021 was the blink of an eye after 2020 felt like 10 years, but here we are the first day of 2022. I don’t have a hangover unless you count not sleeping because I was back in Afghanistan with all the fireworks that were going off all the way to 0600 this morning. Colombians don’t fuck around when it comes to fireworks.

Looking Back On 2021

This was really not what I expected. I had a lot of plans and grandiose views of what I was going to do and accomplish in 2021. I did none of it. It was a year of epic shit show after epic shit show. I lost my job and spent 7 months unemployed. You would think that 7 months would give me plenty of time to accomplish things, but the first 3 months were running like crazy to get a visa approved. We moved twice, albeit in the same city. My wife had some health problems that put us on red alert.

I did manage, after the pain in the ass that is finding a job in the tech industry, to land a job with a Colombian company based out of Medellin, Lean Tech. It’s been a very big change in style and size compared to my last job.

One thing I am proud of is having achieve my first AWS certification at the end of the year. I have not busted my ass that hard when it comes to studying since I failed Chemistry 1 in college. I am officially a Cloud Practitioner! I am studying for the Solutions Architect Associate exam and hope to take in in 1 to 2 weeks from the time of writing.

Looking Forward To 2022

I am going to do things slightly different than I have in the past and break my year into sections and not bite off more than I can chew in a section. Professionally speaking I want to move out of the front end to more full-stack and backend related roles and even more so out of the JavaScript ecosystem. I am completely burnt out on JavaScript and the ridiculous speed at which that ecosystem goes in circles. I am going to do more Elixir development as well as learn the basics of Rust. I am also going to continue on the path of the AWS certifications. At the time of writing I think I am only going to go as far as the second tier and not go for the professional level certifications. The fun thing about this has been better understanding the DevOps side of the web. I am kind of geeking on that shit. Personally speaking my Spanish is still complete shit (hey but I know that one!). If I am being honest I’ve been a pretty shit husband too. Our first year of marriage has been a roller coaster. I don’t think either of us thought it would be the way it was. I am going to set aside more time from keyboard (gasp sacrilege!) and be more present with her. I also want to travel more within Colombia. I don’t see myself traveling outside of Colombia anytime soon unless a job takes me out of here due to all the crazy Rona shit still going on. Most all of my co-workers at Lean Tech live in Medellin so early on this year I am going to make a trip and go work in the office…in person…for the first time in a year!

All Year Long

  • Study 30 minutes to an hour of Spanish a day using Speakly
  • Write more about the good things and what I am grateful for than the bad shit and problems in life
  • Get back to a regular workout routine
    • I am 84kgs at time of writing
    • I would like to lose about 6kgs
  • Be more present in my marriage


  • AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certificate
  • AWS Database Specialty Certificate
  • Write Phoenix LiveView Todo Application
  • Write Telegram Bot with Elixir
  • Apply and Receive Another Colombian Visa
  • Write 6 Blog Posts

Q1 Update

It was a wild first quarter full of distractions and curve balls. I did finish the AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certificate course. Around that time though I was finishing up my role at Lean Tech and beginning the process of applying for my next Colombian visa so testing for the course was put on the back burner. I am happy to say that this time around the visa process was much less stressful. I was issued another visa for the maximum three year term. Needless-to-say my wife and our doggo were quite excited about it! I am now working as a freelance contractor and have started my own business (more on that shit show later). My Spanish is only slightly better and I really need to give this more time. I am hiring a tutor because I am old school and can’t do these damn apps. I am down to 78kgs now and will be looking for a gym now that I am set to be in Colombia for the next three years. And as a final update…we moved…again. I have now moved more times in the 18 months I have lived in Colombia than I did in the previous 10 years living in the USA.


  • Cash My First Check As A Small Business Owner
  • AWS Database Specialty Certificate
  • AWS Data Analytics Specialty Certificate
  • AWS Advanced Networking Specialty Certificate
  • Write Phoenix LiveView Todo Application
  • Write Telegram Bot with Elixir
  • Write URL Shortener Application with Phoenix LiveView
  • Write Phoenix LiveView Camping Application
  • Write 6 Blog Posts


  • AWS Solutions Architect Associate Certificate
  • AWS Security Specialty Certificate
  • AWS Machine Learning Specialty Certificate
  • Write Appointment Application with Phoenix LiveView
  • Write DayOne to Obsidian Parser with Elixir
  • Write 6 Blog Posts


  • AWS Developer Associate Certificate
  • Write 6 Blog Posts

Anyways that’s the plan, I think this is going to work out much better for getting shit done and hopefully as I complete my goals I will start to feel like I am back on track and in control of my life again.

~ Cody 🚀
Cody Brunner

Cody is a Christian, USN Veteran, Jayhawk, and an American expat living outside of Bogotá, Colombia where he works as a Senior Frontend Developer for WAO Fintech.