2018 in review

by Kyriakos Chatzidimitriou | Jan 23, 2019 09:31 | life


2018 is over and through this post I will try to summarize personal and professional accomplisments and some of my 2019 goals. I will also try to reflect what went well, what didn't and what I've learned this year the James Clear way. I always wanted to share my annual reviews and goals in a blog post, so let's make this, year one! I know I am a bit late for such posts, but better late than never. The first part is pretty quantitative, while the second is more qualitative.

The list


(For those wondering what is Cyclopt, Cyclopt is my first startup company)

  • We got our first clients performing software quality assessment on their web applications.
  • We launched our first MVP Quality as a Service web application.
  • We got the 5th place out of 361 business plans in the NBG Business Seeds Competition.


  • I co-authored and self-published my first book ever: Practical Machine Learning with R, which at the moment of writing this post has around 500 readers.
  • Published 4 papers:

    • "npm-miner: An Infrastructure for Measuring the Quality of the npm Registry" in MSR 2018
    • "Predicting hyperparameters from meta-features in binary classification problems" in AutoML 2018
    • "A Natural Language Driven Approach for Automated Web API Development"_ in WS-REST 2018
    • and "Deep Reinforcement Learning for Doom using Unsupervised Auxiliary Tasks"_ in arxiv

Books I've read

(not as much as I planned)

  • "The Barefoot Investor" by Scott Pape
  • "It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work" by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson

Conferences I went to

  • Devit in Thessaloniki
  • AutoML@ICML in Stockholm
  • Voxxed days in Thessaloniki


The personal records I did this year:

  • Deadlift: 170kg x 1
  • Squat: 165kg x 1
  • Overhead Press: 72.5kg x 1


The projects I worked mainly on are the following:

  • Already running:

    • Completed the automated continuous integration and deployment pipeline for https://app.equadcapital.com
    • Project management for the project: "Continuous Implicit Authentication on Mobile Devices and Kiosks through gestures". Through this project we launched the mobile application Brain Run, which reached place 344 in Play Store in the Games category.
    • Mobile-Age H2020 project
  • New:

    • eeRIS: electric energy Residential Informational System
    • VITAL: Versatile Internet of Things for AgricuLture

For these two new projects we started building an open source Big Data Management System (BDMS) like keen.io for handling and analyzing real-time event streams. We named it cenote.


Zero out four (0/4) proposals for funding were accepted. On the positive side we have enough previously funded proposals.

Diploma Theses

Some diploma theses I co-supervised that completed in 2018 were:

  • Anastasios Kakouris: "Continuous User Authentication in Web Applications through Behavioral Biometrics"
  • Napoleon-Christos Economou: "Call by Meaning: Calling Software Components Based on Their Meaning"
  • Giorgos Konstantopoulos: "Decentralized Metering and Billing of energy on Ethereum with respect to scalability and security"

Life in general

  • Moved to a new apartments
  • Completed my academic CV (39 pages) and applied for three tenured track positions in Greek universities.
  • I also think I nailed down what I want to do R&D on and what to be good on: "Autonomously improve the quality of software systems (what is called autonomic computing), either in the automatically Find Bugs-Fix-Verify (Fi-Fi-Verify) sense for software systems or in the Life-long-learning sense for machine learning based systems (Software 2.0)."


Started working on some open source software projects:

What I've learned

I will quote James' Clear lesson learnt which is exactly what I would want to write: "Entrepreneurship is never as sexy on the inside as it appears on the outside."

I cannot lose weight unless I spend more calories than those I eat. I knew it, I've read about it over and over again, my wife and friends tell me, but I don't want to believe it, or most probably don't want to do it, and think I can escape it by going to the gym more, doing keto, intermitent fasting and what not. Energy balance is the foundation of the nutrition pyramid. Period.

The four burners theory is a valid theory. You cannot do everything, i.e. health, work, family, friends, with your top performance, especially in my case, where work is split between the academia and the start-up and the family is a wife and two small kids.

Another valid theory is the willpower muscle, especially in combination with the four burners theory. I cannot have many burners on and in the same time expect myself to have the willpower to accomplish stuff in all or most of them. What usually pays the bill is the health burner, both in terms of overweight and stress.


The major professional and health goals for 2019 are:

  • To go below 90 kgs and 20% body fat.
  • To launch the Cyclopt chabot and GitHub Application and reach a decent number of installations.
  • Research and development on the JavaScript (node.js) ecosystem with blog posts, open source software, papers and more.
  • Write more blog posts than the previous year and read more books than the previous years (non-fiction and technological/scientific).
  • Co-author more academic papers than the previous year: 4+

Finally,some other annual reviews I read were: