2017 In Review: The gods Must Be Crazy

Ridwan, look at the gods. They wanted to drive us crazy in 2017. We won!

The culture of writing yearly reviews started last year for me (2016 in review). And I’m grateful that I get to write another review this year.

First, I’ll like to think that I didn’t do much this year, but every single person that I have shared this train of thought with thinks I’m crazy. 😳

I’ll start with the list of things I thought I would accomplish but didn’t.

Failure is simply the opportunity to begin again, this time more intelligently. — Henry Ford

Epic Failures

  1. Writing and Publishing 3 books: Fail. Shame. 😢
  2. Travel to at least 7 new countries. Fail. Shame. 😢
  3. Write more dev tools. Fail. Shame. 😢
  4. Start an online business. Remember Justbuild.io? I chickened out like the Turkey that I am. Did you see what I did there? Smh. Prosper. That’s not even funny. Another Fail. Shame. 😢
  5. My baby, the blog, goodheads.io that I hold so dear to my heart packed up because OpenShift was in charge of its destiny. I had over 200 quality technical articles on this platform. OpenShift gave everyone 3 weeks to migrate. Who does that? …and now they have refused to hand over my data after countless emails sent to them. I’m seriously looking at you Medium. If you pack up without figuring a way to restore people’s content, YOU WILL NOT MAKE HEAVEN!

Now that I’ve cleared the air on these pathetic failures, it’s time to celebrate the little wins! If it’s true that energy flows wherever our attention goes, then your little wins should deserve your undivided attention and encouragement because they are energetic building blocks for bigger wins.

If it’s true that energy flows wherever our attention goes, then your little wins should deserve your undivided attention and encouragement because they are energetic building blocks for bigger wins.

Writing

This year I wrote a like a mad man. “He whom the gods want to kill, they first make mad!” Don’t fret, I’m not dying anytime soon.

First, I wrote a book titled Migrating a PHP 5 App to PHP 7 published by Auth0. Aha! I couldn’t write 3, but I did 1. Little wins! 💃💃💃

These were amongst my most popular articles —

  1. Build a Mini Netflix with React in 10 minutes
  2. The Ultimate Guide to Deploying your PHP applications
  3. ReactJS Authentication Tutorial
  4. The Future of Audio and Video On The Web
  5. VueJS 2 Authentication Tutorial
  6. React 16 Release: What’s New?
  7. Angular 5 Release: What’s New?
  8. Webpack: A Gentle Introduction to the Module Bundler
  9. Build Better Universal JavaScript Apps with Next.js 2.0
  10. Ionic Framework: Getting Started

Speaking & Community

It was a super-duper amazing and grandiose experience speaking this year. I had the privilege of giving super technical talks at local and international meetups and conferences. I remember the following:

Christian, Scott Hanselman, Me & Brice at the Microsoft NexTech event. (L-R), Me (R)
  • February 12–16, I was at San Francisco, California on special invitation for the SourceRoad and WontFix Cabal Conference as an Active Open Sourcerer.
L: GitHub’s CEO & I. R: SourceRoad Attendees
  • I appeared in Ogun, Nigeria on February 18 to be part of the awesome folks that attended the forLoopCU event.
L-R: The Crew, Timi showing the Rails way, Prosper.
  • On February 28, I spoke at Babcock University (Alma-mater). It was their Computer Science Week. I felt so much joy doing this. Damn, it was inspiring on so many levels.
  • In March, I gave a talk on The Open Source Gateway to Product Success at the CMS Africa Summit in Abuja, Nigeria. Oh, the audience was thrilled.
L-R: Tagged the best speaker, Lumi, Michael, Labi and other speakers, Prosper
  • On March 10, I found myself in Johannesburg, South Africa, delivering a Mobile Site Training Workshop to some digital agencies. Amazing!
L-R: Chilling at the Google Office, J’Burg, Workshop Attendees
  • By March 17, I was already in Ibadan, Nigeria at the Wennovation Hub event teaching developers how to scale their learning and earning process.
  • In May, I gave a talk on Implementing Authentication in React/React Native Apps at the React Summit event in Lagos, Nigeria.
  • May 17–19, I was in Mountain View, California for the yearly developer ritual event, Google I/O. 😅
Up to Bottom, Prosper, Kenneth, Dario, Annie, Edu, Roina, Dorcas, Rukky, Ire, Marvis, Femi, Priscilla at Google I/O
L-R (Yomi, Femi, Prosper), Giving my talk.
L-R, About to start my presentation, Larry(Founder of CakePHP), Yomi, Prosper, Megan Lalk (CakePHP Community Manager)
My Progressive Web Apps Talk at CakeFest 2017
  • In August, I was scheduled to speak at Laracon EU Conference, Amsterdam. Everything(Accommodation, Flight, etc) was ready. Unfortunately, I was denied a visa.
  • In September, I was scheduled to speak at the largest Web Summit in Prague, Czech Republic. Everything(Accommodation, Flight, etc) was ready. Again, I was denied a visa.
Bruuuhh, I already told you. The gods are crazy. Oh, the reason I was denied a visa was this: “We are not sure you will return to your home country, Nigeria”. I presented all the right documents and contacts. To say I was beyond mad is an understatement. Anyways, we move still! 💪💪💪
  • On September 22, I gave a talk on The Open Source Community at the Sub Saharan Africa Google Developer Summit event in Lagos, Nigeria.
L-R: Giving the talk, Showing my dancing skills after the event with Sharon & Ikem.
  • In October, I gave a webinar talk on Realtime Image Manipulation. You can watch it here. You’ll learn a great deal about Chatbots and Realtime Image Manipulation.
  • On October 28, I spoke at the Google Developer Festival, BayFest event, San Francisco, USA.
  • On October 30, I gave a talk on Building Modern Media Experiences in React Apps at the React NYC event in New York, USA.
My Building Modern Media Experiences in React Apps Talk at ReactNYC
  • On October 31, I gave a similar talk on Making Rich Media Smarter at the Halloween Angular NYC event that held at the prestigious Google Office in New York, USA.
My Making Rich Media Smarter & Faster Talk at AngularNYC.
forLoopPortHarcourt — L-R: Aniedi, Chris, I, Mukoshy, FishermanSoup, forloop PH attendees
L-R: Chris, Commissioner for Science & Technology, Sam, Mukoshy, Aniedi, Hanson, Jombo, Mark, Jenni, William, I, John, Neo
L-R, Up: forLoopPH, GDG Devfest Aba, Goddy & I at GDG Devfest Aba. L-R,Down: forLoopKampala, GDG Devfest Kisumu, GDG Devfest RiftValley
Google Developer Festival, South-East, Aba.

This year, I invested a lot in the community as a Developer Advocate even more than I did in 2016. I’m a co-organizer for Angular Nigeria, Laravel Nigeria and forLoopAfrica.

Angular Nigeria — Members grew to 1,570. We organized Dare Angular 2, Angular 2 Basics for Frontend Developers, and An Image is worth a thousand words. Thank you Christian Nwamba, Chuloo, FullStackMafia, Chilezie Unachukwu, and Ire.

Laravel Nigeria — Members grew to 1,677. We organized Demystifying the Glory of Laravel: Artisanal Showcase, and Building World Class Applications. Thank you Neo Ighodaro, Lawrence and Lynda.

forLoopAfrica — Expanded to Kenya, Ghana & Uganda this year. I was M.I.A for the forLoopAccra event but the likes of Solomon Osadolo, Christian Nwamba, Ridwan Olalere and Neo lightened the place up. We grew an army of developers, designers and forLoop organizers in various university campuses and states such as forLoopYenagoa, forLoopPortHarcourt, forLoopKano, forLoopIbadan, forLoopAbuja, forLoopCU, forLoopUyo, etc.

Thanks to all the organizers. They are not paid for doing this work, but they do it selflessly. I am grateful!

L-R: Me serving as Chief host for forLoopLagos, Chris PWA talk, Attendees
L-R: forLoopLagos Attendees, Me cracking a joke during one of the breaks.

Note: I’m really sorry if I spoke at your event and it wasn’t mentioned here. If I could mention every one of them, this post will turn into an e-book!

Work, Travel & Adventure

I spent all year primarily consulting for Auth0 & Cloudinary. In July, I attended the Auth0’s Offsite event in Cancun, Mexico. Let me not lie, I was overgasted and flaggerwhelmed. I’m grateful to work with these incredible team-mates.

I also had the opportunity to spend some time at the Cloudinary Office in SunnyVale, California. Thank you Mickey! I attended the Chrome Developer Summit in San-Francisco, California. I was freaking amazed when @Sean Larkin of Webpack introduced me to the world at this event. #WebpackAfrica. Watch the video here at the 35:05 mark.

L-R: I, Sean, Abdulraman, and Eugene at Chrome Dev Summit.

Oh, that’s not all. I partied all night with Sean T. Larkin on Folsom Street. If you know, you know! Imagine a mixture of Jack Daniels & Webpack laced with discussions of fully birthing #WebpackAfrica in a Trap house. Mad Inspiration, walahi!

L-R: Chrome Dev Summit Venue, I and Adewale Oshineye.

Recognition

I got featured on YNaija New Establishment list.

I got featured on Pulse most influential list in tech alongside legends like Iyinoluwa Aboyeji of Flutterwave, 'Bosun Tijani of Co-Creation Hub, Shola of Them Paystack and Mark Essien of Hotels.ng.

I have no idea how my name got into these lists above, but I have heard people say I inspire them. I strongly believe that the reverse is the case. Y’all inspire me to do more. Let’s build the future! 🔥🔥🔥

Life

  • My Family: Dad, Mum and Siblings were all in good health in this year.
  • I moved into a bigger apartment. A 3 bedroom flat in Yaba, Lagos. And everyone kept saying “But you are not married. What do you need all that space for? Too expensive!”. I kept replying with so much confidence: “Is it your space?”, “Is it your money?”, “Is it your marriage?” “Are you mad?” Smh, Prosper. You should have just moved into a 5-bedroom flat!
  • I turned 25 this year. Didn’t do sh*t because I gave a talk that day and was preparing for another the second day. The God that I serve made me available to turn up for Christian Nwamba’s 25th birthday party. What he doesn’t know until now is that he planned mine with his. Lmao!
  • I visited 3 new countries, Mexico, Rwanda & Uganda this year.

I am immensely thankful for all my friends. Adulting is really hard. But y’all make it worthwhile. Ayeni, Elsae, Funsho, Chilas, Dami, Samuel.

Thank you Aniedi Udo-Obong, Oo Nwoye, Iyin Aboyeji, Adewale Abati ♠, FullStackMafia, Neo Ighodaro, Aisha Bello, Ridwan Olalere, Nwachukwu Chukwudi, Ized Uanikhehi, Kenneth M Kinyanjui, Victor Asemota, Oyewale Oyediran, Femi TAIWO, Daniel Chinagozi, John Kimani, Vivian Akinyi, Dennis Riungu, Jaykaydre, Yomi Osamiluyi and you.

Especially you.

I’m thankful and grateful for how you all have helped me grow.

Can’t do it without you and the ruckus you seek to make every day. Thank you.

What about 2018?

It’s kind of interesting that I don’t have any world domination plan for now.

One thing I know for sure is that I want to be a better man, travel more, be more efficient at my work, invest more and strive to be an excellent Developer Advocate.

I want to be more devoted than ever to the African tech scene, fostering a community that collaborates and pushing international interest in African startups and software engineers!

If I may be so bold, I am a great speaker, community aficionado, open source hacker, excellent trainer, technical consultant and a Google Developer Expert in Web Technologies. Send me an email if you want me to speak at your developer/tech. conference, organize workshops(paid) or consult for your startup/company.

You can follow me on twitter(I swear, I’m not boring), or find me on Github. Cheers to a fruitful 2018: The year of new heights!