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My 2018 year review!

December 31, 2018 • ☕️ 4 min read

As 2018 is closing, I thought I should recollect all the things I did good and bad in 2018. This is going to include all the things I learnt and things I wanted to learn but couldn’t since I lost interest and also things which I should have learnt.

What I did well?

2017 was a great year. I graduated with a Computer Science degree and got my first job as a software engineer. Landed in a team which focuses on UI which is my interest.

Learnt advanced React.js

2018 was the year when I learnt react advanced concepts. I learnt how to hookup a different state management libraries with React such as Redux and Apollo Client. All of this was not just theoretical and I am in process of making a full fledged side project which will actually have a purpose.

Completed a side project and deployed to production

It was the year when I completed a fairly complex application and deployed it to production all by myself.

I created a website which was well-received by the community and the number of visitors grew pretty rapidly. The main aim of this website was to show crypto-currency prices from all different exchanges in India and compare them in graphs.

Though the hype was short lived and people lost interest in crypto-currencies as soon as they started to plunge, the project taught me things which make me a better developer now.

I used node.js in back-end and Redis as an in-memory database. Used websockets for connection between the front-end and back-end.

  • Learnt how a small piece of code can be a bottleneck and make you restart your server.
  • Learnt about the importance of code testing and why its important to not ship broken code when you have 100+ users live on the website.
  • Learnt about different CI/CD tools and the power of git hooks!
  • Learnt how to deploy a node.js app in production with multiple instances.

Tried a whole bunch of Buzz Word stuff

This year I tried a whole lot of stuff I heard in YouTube talks, Medium articles and Twitter.

  • GraphQL: Created a nodejs back-end on top of express. This is a part of my main side-project for 2019 ;)
  • Serverless: Heard a lot about it. Then there was a contest organized by Amazon on creating an Alexa Skill. Created an Alexa skill to get flight prices using AWS Lambda as a back-end. Though I did not win that contest, it was fun and I got a T-shirt so it was a win for me :)
  • Started a YouTube Channel. Yes, I did that too :D
  • Created an Instagram account which manages itself and is actually entertaining people without me doing anything.

What I wanted to do well but couldn’t do?

Though I was able to accomplish a lot in 2018 somehow I feel I neglected some important stuff just because I lost interest quickly.

  • General Data-structures and Algorithms: I neglected DS and Algorithms for far too long, so long that it actually cost me a great job opportunity in 2018. I am good with ‘development’ side of the work. I rely on the pre-built stuff by the community to complete my side-projects. But turns out since I am only a recent graduate, companies prefer to check my DS and Algorithmic skill rather than looking at my side projects.
  • Open Source Contributions: I put all my projects on Github and while that’s good I feel like I should’ve contributed more to some open-source projects which help me understand how to manage projects and code.
  • CI-CD (automation): I wasted a lot of my time sshing into machines and running scripts. I should have just learnt how to do automated deployments!
  • Fitness: I started the year 2018 with a 6-months gym membership and but went for only 3 months or so. Later, I gained some weight during the year and decided that it’s time I do a #100DaysOfFitness challenge.
  • Social Life: Though I prefer to stay in my room for the most part, I feel I should have been socially active during 2018. I don’t spend enough time around real people. Time to change that in 2019!

Plans for 2019?

This is still a WIP and should be completed within a day or 2. The main focus will be DS and Algorithms, Fitness, OS contributions, Side-projects and automating a whole lot of stuff.

Also, I will be more social that I was in 2019. So if you are my friend, expect a “Happy Birthday” text. Although, now that I think about it, that can be automated as well.

Wait for an upcoming post that covers my plans for 2019. Till then Happy New Year!

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Anand Raj

Personal blog by Anand Raj.
I learn by breaking stuff (mostly code).