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The 2023 Retrospective

Written on January 02, 2024 by Theodorus Clarence.

7 min read
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We’re finally reaching 2024! Here’s a quick retrospective about the year 2023.

This is a yearly thing that I have done since 2021. If you’re interested to know what I did in the last 2 years here’s the link:

Graduated from University

This year I finally graduated from my university! 👨‍🎓

I placed 2nd with a 3.96 GPA out of 4, so that’s pretty nice. Honestly, my experience with the university was really great. I got a bunch of good lessons there, met a lot of lecturers that I admire, and also some great friends.

During my studies, I often get real-life projects that have shaped my skills in software engineering. I still remember when my colleagues and I were the first ones that introduce React and Next.js to the uni’s projects. We’re even one of the first teams that use React for crucial and widely-used governmental sites—which usually were built using legacy technology like code igniter and bootstrap. I’m grateful that I got the chance to work on a multiple project and essentially do trial-and-error.

This wouldn’t be possible without the help of my friend, Rizqi Tsani. We built numerous projects together for almost 3 years and played around with a lot of new technologies. He’s also co-created Aether Design System.

Me graduating
Rizqi and I at graduation

Writing for LogRocket

Who would’ve thought that my skill in writing technical articles would get me several hundred dollars? In the middle of the year, I got contacted by one of LogRocket's representatives to write an article for them. They said that they noticed me in one of my Reddit posts, specifically about loading toast. This serves as a validation that I’m not too bad at writing. That’s why I keep at it 😋

LogRocket website showing my work

TikTok Contents

It’s in Bahasa Indonesia, but here’s the link if you want to check it out. Doing a TikTok is like a new form of sharing technical expertise for me. I could directly show and tell, and it’s pretty nice. I didn’t do it that often anymore since I don’t have much time now. But I really enjoyed it. Might create some content again when it feels like it.

TikTok Profile

In this TikTok account, I try to cover topics that are not usually found on the internet. Mostly about best practices, or a concept that’s too hard to write as a blog.

Revision-Style Mentorship

After having a great feeling of doing show and tell on TikTok, I also started doing a paid mentorship. It’s been joyful to be able to talk and share my knowledge in a mentorship.

I created revision-style mentorship. It’s kinda different from normal mentorship, I don’t really give any keynote about a material nor directly introduce new materials to the mentee. Instead, I nudge them in the right direction. That way, mentees can know what they should learn next. It also makes them get used to finding their truth in Google. This is a very normal behavior in the workplace, where you should be able to fix your own problems by finding them in the docs or stack overflow.


I got a job at Dimension! It’s a US-based company with 9 awesome engineers working on a software development collaboration platform. It has numerous features like chat, cloud, code, project management, and more.

Dimension Landing Page

It’s thrilling! This is something that I dreamed of: working remotely on a project that I like. The project is super interesting to work with. The best thing is that I’m the target user! This is straight-up like building a side project but with a great team and I get paid for it. At the time of writing this article, my team and I are currently making a breakthrough in Dimension. Aiming to make them as instant as possible so it’s enjoyable to use. Wait for it 😉

Working remotely is such a helpful thing too. I don’t need to wake up early in the morning to get stuck in traffic. My workspace is like 2 meters away from my bed. It pays significantly better than the average pay in my country too. So it’s like the best of both worlds. I’m so grateful for this. The cool thing is I actually set ‘remote-working’ as my 2023 resolution last year. That’s great. Now I’m kinda afraid I can’t keep achieving my resolution next year lol.

Workspace Building

Oh, another great thing about remote working is I can justify my splurge workspace expenses as an investment. I’m using them 8 hours a day, might as well buy something nice to keep me going.

Photo of my workspace

Looking good right? Here’s the list of items that I use:

  • MacBook Pro (13" M1 2020, 16GB, 1TB)
  • LG UltraFine™ 4K 32 Inch LG (32UN880-B)
  • Keychron K2v2
  • Logitech M590
  • Kindle Paperwhite (10th Generation)
  • Stramm Bruno Standing Desk 160x80
  • Pexio Jervis Ergonomic Chair
  • Press Play Desk Shelf
  • Mi Computer Monitor Light Bar
  • Creative Pebble V3

Please don’t tally up the cost of them 🥲. Nah jk, it’s still in my reasonable budget, I invest a huge portion amount of my salary, and save up to buy nice things.

Other things

Those are the major things, and these are some other things that I did:

  • got invited by GitHub to attend a conference with the CEO
  • completed the Apple Catalyst Program, releasing a mini story for Hexcape
  • lead a huge project with ±1.5 million users for East Java Province
  • donated blood for the first time!
  • went to Singapore to try out the unreleased Apple Vision Pro, also my first time going overseas ✈️
  • finished Baldur’s Gate 3 tactician mode, let’s see if honour makes it to 2024 retro

Notes to reader

By the way, I enjoyed making retrospectives, it does not fail to make me smile each year. Doing a retrospective is a nice way to make notes about your journey. Also might make you appreciate more of what you did. As a matter of fact, I’m very grateful for what happened to me and the decisions that I made.

For you who are reading this, I encouraged you to try it out. It doesn’t have to be published, you can keep it to yourself as a personal note. But if you do and decide to publish them, please send them to me, I would love to hear the great things that you did. You can find my email or socials in the footer.

What’s next for 2024

Well as I said last year, it’s not retrospective without resolutions. Similar to other software engineers, I also have a dream to work in a tech giant company. Hopefully, my experience this year can be the first step to achieving that.

Another this is I want to have a book or course that I can sell, sharing is one thing that I enjoy and I would love to pour it out into a product that can be easily consumed.

See you in 2025.

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