Marshall Bowers

Conjurer of code. Devourer of art. Pursuer of æsthetics.

2019 in Review

Monday, December 30, 2019
856 words
5 minute read

It's been a while since I've written a proper year in review. The last one I wrote was in 2016. This gap bums me out a bit, as I really like going back through my yearly reviews and reflecting on them.

I can't go back and change the past, but I can do a better job moving forward, so let's get into it!


  • Got married! In January I married the most amazing woman, and I couldn't be happier. Marriage has been quite the adventure so far, but I wouldn't want it any other way. It's hard to express just how thankful I am for Heather. It's so reassuring to have someone who I know will stick with me through thick and thin and will always have my back, just like I have hers.

  • Visited Japan. This was something that has been on my bucket list for a while, and earlier this month Heather and I spent a little over a week in Tokyo. Japan is a magical place and I can't wait until I can return there (hopefully with some significantly-improved Japanese language skills).

  • Finally got around to installing NixOS. NixOS has been on my radar for a long time, but I never had the courage to pull the trigger on it. Now that I have, I can confidently say that it is the best Linux environment I have ever had. Full stop.

  • Received the Gravic Core Award. This award is the highest honor that my employer bestows upon one employee each year who embodies the company's core values. Ever since I started working at Gravic I have wanted to receive it, and this year my wish was granted. This came as a complete surprise to me and when my name was announced I was absolutely stunned.

  • Launched my own newsletter. I write about software development, self improvement, and lots of other assorted things. I'm using Buttondown to run it, and it's been a pleasure to use so far.

  • Wrote a handful of blog posts. I've been consistently terrible at writing blog posts year after year, and this year I've written a whopping nine (including the one you are reading right now). This is a marked improvement, one that I hope to continue in the coming year.


  • Stressed too much over work
  • Not great work/life balance
  • Didn't keep up with friends enough
  • A bunch of books are still sitting unread on my shelf



I authored 5,470 commits at work and another 1,183 commits on GitHub, for a grand total of 6,653 commits.

At work I wrote a lot of F# code, which has been great. Despite a few minor shortcomings, F# is a really great language. It's been fun learning all the nuances of it, especially in regards to interop with other .NET languages.

In my spare time I wrote some Rust, some Haskell, and a bit of Elm. These three languages are all a joy to use and I want to spend more timing building stuff with them.


I listen to a lot of music every year, and this year was no different.

These are my top albums of 2019, by play count:

  1. Death Race For Love - Juice WRLD
  2. Shadows - The New Division
  3. Ghetto Lenny's Love Songs - SAINt JHN
  4. Shadow_Movement (Deluxe Edition) - The Anix
  5. Even Though You're Gone - Echos
  6. Ivory - BITWVLF
  7. Betty - Betty Who
  8. Ephemeral - Mr.Kitty
  9. ASYLUM - A R I Z O N A
  10. River - BITWVLF
  11. Hollywood's Bleeding - Post Malone
  12. Figments - Forhill
  13. JESUS IS KING - Kanye West
  14. Care Package - Drake
  16. Wide-Eyed - Said the Sky
  17. Voices - Kamandi
  18. 'Til the End - MitiS
  19. A Pill for Loneliness - City and Colour
  20. Redux - Cushy

Goals for 2020

  • Write more Rust
  • Finish and publish a game
  • Keep a journal
  • More home-cooked meals
  • Take better care of my body
  • Write a newsletter a week
  • Continue writing more blog posts

As we enter this next decade I'm excited for all of the possibilities and opportunities that it holds. I will do my best to make the most of the time I have been given. I look forward to seeing what unfolds in my life and in the lives of those around me.