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Andrew Haglund

2023andMe Year in Review


My goal is to collect the stories and art I experienced in 2023 with a sprinkle of personal updates. Reflecting on the year was a fun process and I hope to turn this into an annual tradition.

Tech Stories

There were a lot of disastrous tech stories this year but 23andMe’s data breach has a special spot in my heart. When I think about the implications for how this data could be misused (off the dome: planting false evidence at a crime scene, the inevitability of nonconsensual cloning), I have a hard time racking my brain for data that’s more sensitive. Stories like this should remind us to be more thoughtful of what we put online. Based on what I see on LinkedIn (a “professional” network), society has ways to go.

Other stories that spring to mind are GM’s bone-headed decision to drop CarPlay and the spectacular bungled effort to fire Sam Altman. The world came this close to Microsoft hiring every employee from OpenAI.1

Speaking of close calls: Adobe almost acquired Figma. I’m bummed for the Figma employees (who missed out on a big windfall) but this is probably for the best.

We saw the collapse of Twitter, which was bound to happen, but did anyone think it’d deteriorate this quickly? In its wake we saw the meteoric launch of Threads and Mastodon’s slow-and-steady growth. I hope smaller services like are getting their day in the sun. In 2024 and beyond I’m ready for a weirder internet.

It’s for these reasons I’m starting a blog.2 After years of posting to Twitter and Instagram, it’s time to have a proper home on the web. I’ve settled on:

The Year of Development

I prefer Yearly Themes over resolutions and while I didn’t plan a theme for 2023, reflecting on the past year helped a theme emerge retroactively: the Year of Development.

After the initial excitement of the Vision Pro unveiling at WWDC I spent many summer nights and weekends learning SwiftUI and SwiftData. In September I launched my first app, MapKeep.

I noodled around with an app for Merlin Mann’s Wisdom Project and a packing/shopping list app based on Myke Hurley’s request in Upgrade 489). These projects are on-hold for now.

Weebly hosted my personal site for 10 years but I grew tired of its outdated editor and godawful blogging tools. I used this as an excuse to learn HTML/CSS and rebuilt my site from scratch. At the end of December the site was rebuilt again using Eleventy.


I visited Des Moines, IA, for a week every quarter for “in-person week” at work. My brother happened to live there which meant we could get dinner downtown or watch an episode of The Sopranos at his apartment. Those days are behind us now that he’s moved to Chicago. It reminds me to always take advantage of opportunities to see family.

I went to Florida to visit sugar cane growers in February. The area was recovering from Hurricane Ian and the destruction was awful. Fort Myers Beach was on a boil order. The hotel was underwater days before I checked-in. I spent a few hours walking the beach and marveled at collapsed hotels, restaurants, and homes.

In May we went to Michigan for a high-school friend’s wedding. A week later we went to a cousin’s high school graduation in Denver and we hiked at Mount Falcon Park.

As an annual tradition we spent a week with my in-laws in Madison, WI, in June visiting downtown, breweries, and the UW Union Terrace. In August we made a trip to Missouri for our niece’s 2nd birthday.

At the end of September a close friend and college roommate got married in the Virginia/DC area. We had great time reminiscing over our stupidity in college.


I continue to work for John Deere as a UX Lead and love it. I was recently promoted and my area of responsibly has grown and I now directly manage a few designers. I’m adjusting to the new role and I’ll be reading The First 90 Days ASAP.

I’m fortunate to have a great mentor and manager. This was a tough year for layoffs across a lot of industries and I don’t take my position for granted.

I try to stay connected with the University of Illinois and in March I gave a talk about the design process at the Siebel Center of Design.


I’m approaching the end of the main storyline in The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom and … what a masterpiece. Mario Wonder was a blast! 2023 was filled with amazing games and I expect my OLED Steam Deck can help expose me to more non-Nintendo games in 2024.

I’ve been playing retro games:

This Christmas the Genki dock let my cousins and I (ranging from ages 12 to 32) play local co-op with 6-players in Super Smash Bros. Chaotic joy.


I heard the podcast ad market was tough in 2023. Hosts would mention this occasionally and I noticed fewer (or zero) ads. I decided to open my wallet and financially support the work I love:

I loved Sir McCartney’s show where he tells the stories behind his killer songs.3

In 2024 I want to reduce my podcast intake or introduce more variety. It’s too easy for me to pop-in an AirPod and tune-out the world. I’m not giving myself enough time for silence.


Thanks to Apple Music’s awkward Replay feature I have a list of most-listened music from 2023:

Other music highlights:

Live shows:

One last note: we all heard a new Beatles song this year. Its authenticity is contentious but seeing people singing Now and Then in Central Park is something. It’s hard to imagine this song hasn’t been around for 50 years.


I started supporting by becoming a member. His site is an invaluable source of information on the internet across a variety of topics and help satiates my curiosity.

I read Expecting Better which is the Freakonomics of pregnancy.

30 seconds into Apple’s trailer for Silo and I was hooked. Before the show aired I read the first book, Wool. I’m currently reading Shift, book 2 of 3. If you’re a fan of the show, read the books.

(I think I read more than this but I don’t have a good tracking system.)


Throughout the year I used Sofa to track what I watched. Stars indicate favorites ★.


Dates indicate when I finished watching the season or series. Stars indicate favorites ★.

  1. As Warner-Discovery’s renowned rerun ad-laden movie channel extravaganza TNT would say, “We Know Drama.” ↩︎

  2. Obligatory “There are many like it, but this one is mine.” ↩︎

  3. The ads are obnoxious. One ad repeats throughout the series has Malcom Gladwell reading (I kid you not) this banger ad-copy, “Apple Card: a credit card made by Apple.” Good gravy. ↩︎