2020 Retrospective: Personal growth and review

Another year is coming to an end, and what a challenge it has been. This year I have achieved almost all my goals set for the year, but it has taken its toll on me, and also some failures hopefully will help me grow even more in the upcoming year.

🏆 Achievements

As my biggest achievement, I can proudly say that now I am officially an engineer. My focus in the first three months of the year was finishing up my diploma thesis and presenting it in front of the people that are dearest to me. A special thank you goes to my family and CodeChem for all the support that they have given me, and not only for my thesis. (you guys rock !!)

One other aspect that I was working on, was my personality and soft skills. This has been a process that I have taken a lot more seriously in the past two years, and I have found it extremely rewarding. While having great mentors at work, and by learning to follow more experienced people instead of always trying to lead, I gained a lot more knowledge on how people perceive a leader and what a leader has to bring to the table. Hopefully in the future when (and if) I take a leadership role I can do a lot better.

As far as my technical skills, I have gained even more knowledge in the area of cross-platform mobile programming. My first choice of framework is still Xamarin Forms. The difference is that now I am a lot more comfortable programming some platform-specific (native) features.

One other thing that I have been studying is blockchain technology. Honestly, I am fascinated by the power of blockchain. Working on a project involving self-sovereign identity and blockchain has taught me a lot when it comes to information storage and its usage. This sparked an interest in me not only in blockchain but security and data science as well, which hopefully will be something I will be working on a lot more soon.

🙁 Failures

When it comes to failures, I can only say that all of them came from poor time management by my side. Because of the ongoing pandemic, I was under quite a lot of stress and my health started to degrade. I experienced burnout two times in just nine months which is the worst thing that can happen to a developer. I started working on a healthy living standard just recently (one week ago). As smart as I think I am, sadly it took me nine months to realize that this pandemic will probably continue for at least another six months, so no use living in fear and pausing your activities, just make sure you try your best to not fall a victim of the virus and continue to do what you do best!

Also, I failed to start a blog sooner, and have been neglecting the usage of social media to share my work. ¯_(ツ)_/¯

2021: What to expect?

My goals for 2021 are divided into two groups, tech, and non-tech which I plan to tackle simultaneously.

My tech goals:

  • Learn a bit more DevOps, get the grasp of developing and deploying a web application for the general public from start to finish;
  • Investigate Blazor (this will give me the power to develop back-end, front-end, cross-platform mobile apps using only C# as a programming language);
  • Start a small project that will require data science and machine learning;
  • Become a better developer altogether;

My non-tech goals:

  • Get in shape;
  • Learn to dance;
  • Learn to swim;
  • Continue improving my social skills;

That is all from me. Happy Holidays :)

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