We're soon done with the decade. Time to get sentimental and look back at how my life has changed. I was 21 when the decade started, so it covered most of my 20s. It's no surprise that many significant life events took place during that time. I also listened to tons of records, read about a hundred books, played a great many games and traveled often.
Earlier this year I wrote about my career progression in "Five Years at Valuemotive". While it would be rather easy to write a couple of thousand words about everything else that occurred in the last ten years, I'm going to summarise the decade with familiar "top ten" lists, ranging from favourite LPs to personal developments.
It was difficult enough to pick 10 of anything, so the lists are not necessarily in a best-to-worst order, and come with some runner-ups.
What did your decade look like? Let me know on Twitter!
10s ✕ LPs
So many great records came out in ten years that it's simply not possible to make a fair top ten list of them. I chose albums that are the most memorable and original. Some acts like D'Angelo and Avalanches released amazing records after a long break (for both the previous album came out in 2000). Lonerism was the "life is changing and I'm lost" album, while James Blake and Battles paved the way for completely new styles of music. Streaming became the norm for music discovery and playback, but I still enjoy listening to vinyl LPs.
- Tame Impala - Lonerism
- of Montreal - Paralytic Stalks
- Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
- Battles - Gloss Drop
- D'Angelo - Black Messiah
- Avalanches - Wildflower
- Phenomenal Creature - Phenomenal Creature
- Bill Callahan - Dream River
- James Blake - James Blake
- My Bloody Valentine - mbv
Loved these, too: Tobias Jesso Jr. - Goon, Centipede - Brazen Bull, Nick Cave - Skeleton Tree, St. Vincent - St. Vincent, Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Jens Lekman - I Know What Love Isn't, Grimes - Visions, Sufjan Stevens - The Age of Adz, Bombino - Nomad, Twin Shadow - Forget, Iceage - Plowing Into the Field of Love
10s ✕ gigs
I saw more than a hundred gigs during the 10s. Many of them were intimate and low-key; local bands playing in the basement of a bar, or in someone's living room. Some of them were truly epic like Kanye West's three-act rap opera and Tame Impala's laser and confetti extravaganza. Lots of vivid memories, alone and together. I also played my first gig with Paimentolaiselämä in 2019!
- of Montreal, Tavastia '12
- Tame Impala, Flow Festival '19
- Kanye West, Flow Festival '11
- Phenomenal Creature, Lepakkomies '13
- Jens Lekman, Tavastia '12
- My Bloody Valentine, Flow Festival '13
- Soul & Gospel Cousins, Käpylän Kyläjuhlat '15
- Magnetic Fields, Primavera Sound '17
- Teksti-TV 666, Sideways '15
- Centipede, Liberte '13
Had a good time with: Outkast (FF '18), Friends (FF '11), Death From Above 1979 (Théâtre Corona '18), Toomas Hendrik Ilves DJ set (Kaiku '16), Slayer (PS '17), Bob Dylan (Hartwall Arena '19), The Zombies (PS '17), M.A. Numminen (We Jazz '17), Gasellit x Uppoklubi '18, Sideffest '13
10s ✕ books
My reading habits fluctuated during the decade. Reading books on an iPad was delightful, but I ended up favoring physical books anyway. I've always read biographies and other types of non-fiction, yet fiction has dominated the last three years. Keith Richards' Life is a thrilling read, and so is Total Recall. Keith and Arnold have achieved greatness early in life and stayed relevant after. What If? is unique in its format, and hilarious. The Fifth Season gripped me with it's bleak world and I completed the trilogy in just a couple of weeks. (Nordic) detective stories have been my comfort reading.
- Life by Keith Richards
- What If? by Randall Munroe
- The Fifth Season by N.K. Jemisin
- Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
- Total Recall by Arnold Schwarzenegger
- A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin
- Burn Math Class by Jason Wilkes
- De ensamma by Håkan Nesser
- Kissani Jugoslavia by Pajtim Statovci
- Kuolemantanssi by Heikki Aittokoski
Other great books: Exhalation: Stories by Ted Chiang, La Vérité sur l'affaire Harry Quebert by Joël Dicker, All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr, Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson
10s ✕ games
The games of the 10s were more immersive and at the same time plagued with free-to-play games and their microtransactions. The world is not black and white, though, and neither are free-to-play games. Fortnite, Fallout Shelter and Pokemon Go kept me entertained for hundreds of hours. I spent the most time with World of Warcraft, though. Raiding the Icecrown Citadel with my guild gave me the best gaming experience so far. I even met many of the guildmates face to face, even though they came from all over Europe. Cities Skylines and it's DLC was addictive to no end. Zelda: BoTW and Witcher 3, among others, were great single player experiences.
- World of Warcraft: Late WotLK / early Cataclysm (2010-2011)
- Cities Skylines
- Zelda: Breath of the Wild
- Stardew Valley
- Fallout 4 / Fallout Shelter
- Witcher 3
- Pokemon Go
- The Elder Scrolls: Skyrim
- Fortnite: Battle Royale
- Mass Effect 2
I also enjoyed: Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, Red Dead Redemption 2, Assassin's Creed Odyssey, Grant Theft Auto 5, Portal 2, Diablo 3, Super Mario Odyssey
10s ✕ new things
In 2010 I was still living in my childhood home. I had recently started studying business IT. Ten years later I'm living with my fiancée and expecting a child. I've been working professionally for about eight years. I have new hobbies and habits. Life is less self-centered and more complex, yet steady. I wonder if the next decade can be this varied?
- Tinder and the love of my life, soon-to-be wife, Ilona
- This whole romantic relationship thing (with some failed attempts)
- Becoming an uncle
- A degree and professional work
- Playing in a rock band
- Making music on my own
- Learning to sing and play the piano (to some extent)
- Living on my own & (metaphorically) building a home
- Discovering vegetarian food
10s ✕ travel
I traveled a lot. I went to see online friends in strange places, family in Montréal, traveled for work and for leisure. Albania is a hedonist's dream, California is epic. Friends showed me around in places like Vienna and Szczecin. Ironically I haven't traveled all that much inside Finland, but the trip to Jyväskylä and Höstfest was great. I also visited Lohja and nearby places like the Fiskars village often because my fiancée's folks live in the area.
- Southern Albania
- Montréal, Canada
- California, USA
- Vienna, Austria
- Barcelona, Spain
- Berlin, Germany
- Assen, Netherlands
- Northern England, UK
- Szczecin, Poland
- Copenhagen, Denmark
Other memorable destinations: Various trips to Lohja (Finland), Corfu (Greece), Riga (Latvia), Hamburg (Germany), Sint-Niklaas (Belgium), Bern (Switzerland), Jyväskylä (Finland)
10s ✕ software development
Finally, I progressed from knowing next to nothing about software development into a seasoned software architect. Your average tech site might mention blockchains, AI and VR as the most significant things this decade, but I'll focus on things that have had a tangible effect in the way I develop things. The Elm programming language changed the way I think about UI development. I used a number of lightweight editors during the decade, and Visual Studio Code being the best of them. The way apps were built and deployed changed over the years. Cloud providers and containers became relevant. The prevalence of smartphones couldn't be ignored.
- Mobile apps
- Visual Studio Code
- Cloud providers and services
- Standard code formatters like elm-format
- Simple web servers like Express
- Declarative DevOps tools like Terraform
That's it. To the next decade! 🥂