2021 has been a great year for me, I learned a bunch of things at the rate of a year. I want to make this blog to remind me of what I did and how much I grow each year.
Learning More React Framework
A month before 2021, I decided to come out of my comfort zone which is Create React App, and try another framework such as Gatsby and Next.js. I still remember how I research which framework to learn and the dilemma to invest my time for one framework.
I ended up learning them both 😄, but I decided that I like next.js more. Gatsby image optimization is great, but there is a steep learning curve which is graphql.
After the decision to learn Next.js, I started learning it more deeply and got tired of setting up all of the configurations on each repo initialization. So I build a starter repository, incrementally add a bunch of development features that increase efficiency, and it grew some recognition that people that are using it loved it.
First Landing Page Gigs
This year, I also got my first organizational project. It was one of the largest events at my university, and I'm really proud that I am in charge to create a website and also being a Vice Coordinator of my Division. To be honest, I was not expecting to get paid, but I got paid $25 for the job. Thanks to my coordinator, she haggled to get us paid 🤣.
It was not bad, I designed it with my coordinator and one of my website team. It was made using Next.js, and my first time using Tailwind CSS, I enjoyed it both.
More Complex Stuff
I build some more complex projects after that. Some of it was paid, some were made as a submission for hackathons. Through this project, my process of learning is paid off. I implement my knowledge, even seek more from the errors I got.
Exploring Advanced Libraries
Learning from docs only
I'm glad that I took my time to check what libraries there are, and I'm grateful to learn to use libraries. At first, I can't even read lib documentation and it is mandatory to watch some tutorial videos first. As time passes, I am now more comfortable with using new libraries just by looking at their docs and some project examples. This is a huge deal for me and saves my time when learning stuff.
I interned at 3 companies this year 😮. I'm so proud that I can work as an intern at an early stage (4th semester), while most of my friends still figuring things out. It is a head start for me and brings me more value and experience.
I work at this company from November 2020 to March 2021. I was still learning by then and I'm mostly confused about what to do and how to do the things I was tasked with. The work is kind of slow because it is volunteer work, none of us got paid 🥲. But this is my first work in a group and I'm learning how to collaborate using Git. I can't even exit vim before this internship.
I mostly work for the CSS part of the website, because that's what I'm good at the time. I was really scared to take complex React things at the time. On this website, I managed to make everything responsive including the Navbar which is really challenging at the time.
I enjoyed a lot working with this team, they are chill and supportive of each other. I was the youngest of them all, and got some pointers that I'm really good with what I'm doing and can be a great prospect. It's really flattering for me that just learned how to code frontend development.
This is the second internship from March to May. AntiGrvty is a software agency that creates sites for notable companies in Indonesia such as Bank Mandiri, Sampoerna, Dji Sam Soe, etc. This is my first full-time internship, and I'm doing it while taking 23 credits in my uni. I have doubt when I got the offer that I can't make it by doing work and still taking classes. Turns out they are really flexible with time. I was able to work at night and finish my assignment in time.
I work mostly in HTML & SCSS for Bank Mandiri and Sampoerna. It was not that hard, more like exhausting work. There is a lot of pages to work with. But I learn to translate design to code as close as possible. I was paid in this internship so I'm quite okay with the exhausting part.
Sadly in this internship, I didn't get the chance to know someone as a team. I mostly work only with the designers and we don't have much group activity. Probably because they are an agency and didn't really have a people bonding type of event.
This internship is from July to October. This is also full-time and paid. Hands down, this is the best internship I have ever partaken in. I was in a squad called 'Alpha' and we work with an npm library to be used by several sites. It is a mind-opening experience, I met many great developers here and often talk and consult with them. It is great to have a mentor and to discuss some issues. Shout out to Kak Oliv and Kak Bill.
I learn many things here but mostly suffer from the slowness of my machine. It was sad that they don't lend any laptops to interns. I could really use a more powerful machine. This internship is also full-time and I need to standby from 9-5. I was still confused about how full-time work works. Like, should I code for 8 hours? I haven't really got an answer for this, maybe in the future.
A solid team. This is also my first time working with a team that has Quality Assurance. It is nice having someone to check on our feature/bug fix and they can test if it is working correctly, and give feedback if there is something wrong with it.
I think I did a great job in this internship according to the feedback I got from my colleague.
- Projects Page
- Like buttons
- Views counter
The features of course added incrementally during the year.
This website is like my work of art and a forever work in progress. Creating a personal website means that I can add anything that I like, I can use the new library that just came out, I can experiment with designs, I can implement some features that I found on other developers' blogs to mine.
If you haven't built a personal site with multiple pages like this, you really should. You will spend a lot of hours building one and improving over time.
I rewrote my website to TypeScript and reconsider all of my practice throughout the year. This refactor process is proof that my skills grew. I saw a lot of patterns that are questionable and immediately rewrote them to something sturdy and logical.
I undergo a lot of design changes, and this improves my design skills. I often ask for reviews from developers such as Gary Simon, Kevin Powell, Josh W Comeau, etc. to get some feedback and improve my design.
I attended 2 hackathons this year, and won twice!
- uOttaHack Canada - Deloitte Challenge
- GarudaHack 2.0 - Runner up
Check out the project page to see what I built and what I learned from the hackathon, or click the link I put on the list.
I got some swags!
I also started writing this year, and no doubt it has been a journey. A lot of people like my way of writing and I helped some people to understand a topic that they didn't really understand before. I'm really grateful that I grew some audience for my writings.
I also got some recognition that motivates me to keep going and writing more and more.
I hosted my first webinar!
It was attended by over 80 people, and the feedback that came back is really positive.
Gear Upgrade 🤑
From my internships, I got some money that I can spend on some gear. This is something that I'm super excited about. Of course, I invest most of my salary, but I still make some exceptions to buy something that can improve my overall productivity
I got a 27-inch monitor to help me code faster with more windows that I can open, and it did.
This is a great deal, it's very comfortable to type on a mechanical keyboard, I also bought some extra keycaps because the stock keycaps are oily with extended use.
I bought a kindle to start a reading habit and it works. I read almost every day, except when its finals week and I have no time to do that.
Proper Ergonomic Chair
Even though it costs me $250, it saved my back. THE CUSHION IS SO SOFT. Just buy it, treat yourself to a nice chair.
What's next for 2022
I'll be attending Apple Developer Academy next year. It is a 10-month academy to learn iOS Development, and also UI/UX & Project Management. It is only open for about 100 people with some strict selection, and I'm glad that I made the cut.
I hope next year I can improve my coding skills and learn more about the industry. I'm excited to see what I can do with my new skills.