2017 Year End Review

A year full of team growth and community engagement

Francis Alturas
Sep 11, 2018 · 5 min read

This is my second year-end write-up and it’s time to look back to the things that I promised myself to do. Like everything in life, there are some quick wins and a few loses, but this has been a very transformative year for me to go out and just engage with the community.

The Quick Wins

I finally went to UXPH and brought the design team with me. I remember years ago, I really wanted to go but I just had allocated my resources to other expenses. So last year, I pitched the initial idea to the founders and they gladly accepted to sponsor. We were quite excited as it was our first time attending a UX conference as a team. Made a lot of new friends and definitely learned alot!

Team Cebu Represent! 🤣(L-R: Neil, Clint, Krista, Justine, Romar, Me, Lottie, Miramark and Kieth)

I got to connect with great community builders like Kit Valmadrid of Philippine Web Designers Organization (PWDO) and Samantha Rose Cruz of Manila.css 🎉 I am super amazed of how passionate they are in building the community. I also learned alot on how they do things over there.

I get to know a lot of awesome designers & developers outside Cebu. Lot’s of talented designers & developers like Miramark Diaz, Rock Gonzales, Rico Sta. Cruz, Michael de Rivera and alot more! 🤯

I finally attended Form, Function & Class. I was always wondering why they arent huge web design conferences like SmashingConf, Digital Design Days or Awwwards in Cebu. And I always wanted to know what it was like being there and having attended a conference that fully resonates with my craft is super amazing and fullfilling. Thank you FFC! 👊🏻💥

I learned to control my “Impostor Syndrome” and became more confident on my speaking engagements. I was quite confidence mentoring and teaching people in the office stuff I know. But speaking in front of a crowd? — I wasn’t really ready for that. But like every hurdle in every designer’s growth, I just need to go through the process and deal with it — even if it was very uncomfortable for me. Soon, I realized that this isn’t about me — it’s about them, and being able to deliver value to your audience. The fact that they came and spent their time to come and listen to you means that you must have something valuable offer.

Google Business Group Cebu — Brand Your Business!
PADCon 2017

My son turned a year older! It’s a miracle, I survived being a father (I never thought I was capable of being one. Haha 🤣)

Even the little guy is proud of me. Lol

This was the year I learned to read books. I was never the reading-type of person. I have always been this way back during my high school & college days. I wanted to become better at learning and articulating my ideas — and what better way to do this than learning first how to read. I finished 6 books that I read from cover to cover, which really amazes me despite my short attention span. Here’s my booklist:

  • Steal Like An Artist — Austin Kleon
  • Show Your Work — Austin Kleon
  • Rework — Jason Fried
  • Sprint — Jake Knapp
  • Creative Confidence — Tom Kelley & David Kelly
  • Change By Design — Tim Brown
  • The Learn Startup — Eric Ries
A growing list of good reads.
  • I started listening to Chris Do and became a disciple ever since. The first time I’ve discovered Chris was his Pricing Video (You should totally watch it) and it was such a huge eye-opener for me! I started to realize my worth and value as a designer after that, I also got a bit better at negotiating too!
This video was an eye opener for me in the industry. A highly recommended watch!
  • The team transitioned to Sketch as a primary digital design tool and developed a new workflow. For a long time, we have always been using Photoshop as our main tool, and as the web changes — so did our tools. We find Sketch very intuitive and it just works. Our productivity doubled after that.
  • I grew more confident in dealing with international partner agencies. Most of my experience revolved around communicating and working directly with clients. But collaborating with other digital agencies for their clients was something new. There are some challenges and considerations you need to make such as communication, timezones and workflows.
  • I organized events for the local design & developer community. Most notably was a CodeInTheDark session for DevFest GDay X Cebu, it was in collaboration with GDG’s Shad Roi and GBG’s Nicole Padin.
CodeInTheDark for DevFest GDay X Cebu

The Quick Loses

Things I said that I was gonna do this year (From last year’s post)

✅ Get involved in the community ❌ Go outdoors ❌ Take care of my health ❌ Learn JS ⁉️ Master Sketch ⁉️ Practice, practice, practice

  • I was supposed to pursue learning JS at the last month of the year, but life happened I was too busy spending time with the family during the holidays.
  • I have created a landing page for myself, but wasn’t still been able to create the portfolio that I wanted. I updated my Dribbble, but it was full of very outdated works.

Hopefully I’ll be able to change all these in 2018. Looking forward to the rest of the year! 🚀

Francis Alturas

Written by

Product Designer. Previously Design Lead at @Symph