It's that wonderful time of the year again. I've made resolutions and reflections in the past, but this is the first time I'm typing it out and making it public. I think that's a good thing — it helps keep me accountable and makes it more memorable.
The year has felt so short, but it's been pretty eventful and a lot has happened.
As I wrote this post, looking through photos and chats, memories came rushing back and it feels really nice to take stock of my year and life. Overall, it's been a good year for me, and I feel extremely blessed and very fortunate.
I feel like I've progressed quite a lot as a developer this year. A quick look at the contribution graph on my GitHub would agree.
This year, I've:
A small startup, and only for around 3 months, but I:
My favourite project to date. No templates, no forks. It's an awesome feeling to have something that I can truly call my own.
As a web developer, I originally wanted a portfolio piece, something to showcase things I've done and to hopefully help me in job-hunting in the future. But my personal site has evolved into something much more than that — it's become a way for me to share my thoughts, experiences, and just a place on the internet I can call my own. It's also been a great way for me to experiment and learn new technical skills.
Through this site, I've learnt:
Looking at some analytics is also really nice — knowing that people are reading what I write gives me a warm, fuzzy feeling. I've also had people reach out to me from my website and that always makes my day.
Betafish: The one I'm proudest of. It was my biggest project this year and something super fun to work on. Less conventional than a typical CRUD app and something that I had to really research and mess around with to get it working.
Markdown Link Generator: A simple VSCode extension that I created for myself. I found myself writing a lot of markdown when I started writing blogs and wanted something to help me inject links quickly. Learnt how to work with Google's search console API, and it's something I still use today.
Can't code in React without JS. Dipped my toes into TypeScript this year. I wish
to not use any
:anys next year in my codebases. Learning about the event loop
really solidified my understanding of the language and helped me understand
async, awaits. I believe this year was also my first time working with ES6.
Just school things. Learnt very basic data structures & algos. Enjoyed it to a certain extent — sorting algorithms can be quite cool, and learning about complexities is a pretty important milestone in any developer's journey, I think.
Bought gavinong.com. Might be among my favourite investments this year. Vercel also makes it super easy to deploy websites. Did learn quite a lot about subdomains, DNS and routing though.
On to more personal stuff.
Joining SUTD might have been one of my best decisions. I have truly enjoyed my past 3 terms here and made many wonderful, hopefully lifelong, friends.
New Zealand: Had an amazing time there with my family. Campervan-ing was a bucket list item for me, and it really exceeded my expectations. I wrote a whole post dedicated to it.
Nepal: Hiked the Annapurna Circuit with a good friend. Truly a unique experience and one that, while it had its down moments, I thoroughly enjoyed. I wrote a post halfway but didn't finish it... maybe I should get back to it.
It sounds extremely basic and duh, but traveling truly expands your horizons.
“The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”
~ Saint Augustine.
I read quite a few books this year.
These are the books I've finished. In bold are those I recommend.
Books I've started but didn't finish
I'm quite happy with how this year turned out. I'd like to be more disciplined in terms of academics and stay on top of assignments and deadlines.
I also have an idea for a full-stack project that's been brewing in my mind for quite some time and I will find the time and discipline to get cracking at it.
I'd also like to continue writing posts. This post will be my 9th of the year, which isn't bad considering I started this blog in June. I started this blog with the intent of writing technical posts, but have found those a chore and pivoted to more personal blogs. That's also probably because I haven't been doing a lot of projects or picking up many new technologies, which, fingers crossed, changes in 2023.
The workflow to write a post and publish also has to be improved. Currently, I write my posts out in Obsidian and copy it into VSCode when I'm mostly done to add pictures, components, etc. It' not bad and quite efficient, but I think can be better.
Ok, that's enough from me.Happy New Year!
Thanks for reading till the end!
Agree? Disagree? I'd love to hear your thoughts!