2016 Flashbacks: My Prologue
I had no intentions whatsoever to write a “2016 in review” post of any kind. Perhaps because I was scared of the unknown… Or fearful that I didn't do enough. However, After reading these three awesome individuals’ 2016 in review posts:
Especially Ire’s, I realized they made considerable growth and despite this, they are still aiming higher. This is what is actually important.
How can I know how and where I’m growing, if I don’t even know where I currently stand.
The best part of all these is that their posts were also inspired by others. I hope my post here inspires someone, not necessarily to write but actually evaluate where they've been coming from and where they want to be.
So here I am — I’m Ace and I’m 22 years young. ♠
2016 started off with me heading off to Minna, Niger state for my NYSC. I wasn’t sure what to expect and half the time, I only looked forward to the end of the service year. 2016 was seen as my prologue year as I kept looking forward to being done with everything holding me back and begin integrating myself into the Nigerian tech scene.
I felt lost sometime in January. Yes, I was working remotely and stuff but I felt stagnant like I wasn't growing. Like I was stuck in the same spot… doing the same things over and over again — Izanami.
This led me to start having discussions with Prosper Otemuyiwa who finally introduced me to Laravel and the rest is history.
In 2016, I also got fired for the first time in my life. I had challenges of power and Internet in Minna and I just wasn't delivering. I was going out of my way to get these things — Power and internet — but combining this hustle with the stress of your NYSC primary place of assignment rendered me inefficient even after I got them. It was a tough time and led me to make terrible decisions which thankfully I recovered from.
For the first time since my Microsoft Student Partner and Firefox Student Ambassador days, I gave only one talk in 2016. On the 26th of July, I gave a motivational talk at the University of Ilorin’s Information and Communication Science Tech Square tagged “Finding your place”.
I also regularly gave technology talks at my CDS group all through my service year. I’m still improving on being very comfortable standing in front of crowds.
Open Source Projects
- Laravel Hackathon Starter by Prosper Otemuyiwa — on June 5, 2016 i made my first contribution to an open source project. A comprehensive hackathon/MVP boilerplate for Laravel web applications.
- LaravelPanel by Serverfire — An easily configurable admin panel for Laravel applications. http://laravelpanel.com
- Hacktoberfest by DigitalOcean — Successfully completed 4 pull requests within the month of October.
- LaravelMP3 — A light weight Laravel package for simple operations with mp3 files. My first Laravel package.
- Display Medium Posts — Display Medium Posts is a wordpress plugin that allows users display posts from medium.com on any part of their website. My first Wordpress plugin.
- DC Square Social — Social app for DevCenter Square members. https://dcsquare-social.herokuapp.com. Front End was done by David Ekpo.
Can’t believe I only built one personal project throughout 2016.
- Scammr — A crowdsourced platform for checking and reporting scams made up of the public’s submissions & contributions towards reducing the amount of people that fall prey to scammers daily. Built with Momoh Silm.
This didn't fly as much as anticipated. We had and still have ideas to pivot but reaching out to possible startups that could have a use for our final product and we got ignored. Hopefully we would come up with a better solution to this and 2017 would be a year of collaboration in Nigerian Tech space.
This year i picked up quite a number of skills. Notable mentions include:
- Laravel — This had a major impact from the moment i picked it up till today. Scammr was as a result of the learning process.
- VueJS — Bringing me back to front end development.
- Driving — This is funny but i drove my first car in 2016. Like drive drive 😢
- Finally learned how to ride a bicycle too 🙂
- Swimming — I learned how to not drown and move inside water in 2016.
My ARIS I caught on fire in 2016 lol… But since then, there have been significant growth in this department. Recession hit hard though. Purchased a Macbook (ARIS II) and a HP Probook(T’Challa) to keep me company. Got an iPhone too.
Life Highlights, Travel and High Moments.
- NYSC — First on the list was passing out of NYSC. Adulthood was scary but largely anticipated.
- NBA CHAMPIONS: Closely followed by one of my top moments of 2016. The Cleveland Cavaliers made history as we won the NBA Finals after being down 3–1. This was the only moment i cried throughout 2016. And they were tears of joy. I’m still teary anytime i relive the excitement
- Family: 2016 was great for my elder sister… Found herself Glo-ing up and also went for her Masters in 2016. Mum was super happy 🙂
- Gurara Falls
Some of my articles blew up more than i could have anticipated and quite a number got featured on Newsletters and Blogs. Here are the top performers
- The Untold Story of a Self-Taught Developer
- Contributing to your First Open Source Project: A Practical Approach
- 5 Web Project ideas to test your new coding skills
- How to Automatically Display Medium Posts on Wordpress
Asides from the mentions of some of my articles on newsletters and blogs… I personally felt elated when i came across this recommendation of a browser extension i built in 2015 — Instaword. Instaword has really performed more than i could have predicted for a plugin that came out of a 4-hour code sprint and my stunted knowledge of word meanings.
When you find a difficult word while browsing the web, all you have to do is search its meaning on your favorite…techreviewpro.com
What about 2017?
We are already in 2017 and writing this article again gave me an insight into what i currently am and where i need to improve on. I’m glad i did this. Uncle Victor Asemota has tagged 2017 as the year of the #BeastMode. It’s time for us to go all out. Like Cleveland — #AllIn217.
- Personal Projects — I hope to build at least 4x the amount of solutions i built in 2016( Scammr only ). I would like to do this as i venture into more technologies.
- Technologies — I’d like to sharpen my skills on Laravel. Find the perfect combo of Laravel and VueJS. And also learn the MEAN Stack. I’m being specific cos i won’t want to dilly dally like i did in 2016. Dive into platforms such as Firebase, Google Cloud Platform etc
- Open Source — My bars must be full of green this year… but most importantly, i must improve in providing value.
- Travel Out — I don’t like traveling by road and since i’ve never really been out of the country, i hope to travel out this year… Be it for pleasure or business… Laracon 2017 is there… You could be my helper 🙂
- Writing and Speaking — I’d like to find a perfect balance to this and make myself skilled enough to be able to speak and write on my chosen topics in 2017.
- Promoting Nigerian Tech — I found a passion and reason for this in 2016. And i would like to place a bit of my focus on this. We’ve already started this with the Made in Nigeria Tech Podcast… Expect more 🙂
Thank you for reading all the way down here. I hope i have inspired you to look back and see where you can improve in 2017.
There are a lot of people i couldn’t mention that played a pivotal role for me in 2016… From words of advice that sunk, and some even providing actual support and pulled me through difficult moments — Technical and Personal. Thank you guys. Momoh Silm, Oo Nwoye, Araba Steve O., Prosper Otemuyiwa, Opeyemi Obembe, AM Imogie, Obaseki Nosa. Thank you and God bless.
It’s 2017 already… Let’s go #BeastMode.
You don’t know me… But you are about to.