2018 has been quite an eventful year, I did a 2017 summary early in the year, and decided to continue with a summary for 2018.

Last year, I had a list of things I wanted to learn / achieve this year. Let's review and see what I managed to achieve in 2018.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

I travelled a bit

I travelled a couple of countries in 2018, notably Europe in March (where I proposed to my now-wife 💍), a couple of times to Malaysia (Penang and KL), and Bali a week ago.

I gave my first talk 🙌

I finally gave my first talk after procrastinating for so long.

It was in July for Singapore CSS' meetup. I almost pulled out of getting the talk as I felt sick the just the day before. I had a very bad case of diarrhoea, one of the worst ones I have had, which caused me to go to the toilet a few times within the day.

Front End Development is hard - SingaporeCSS - Engineers.SG
Speaker: Jacob Tan Event Page: https://www.meetup.com/SingaporeCSS/events/252019251/ Produced by Engineers.SG Recorded…engineers.sg

I persevered and gave the talk and received good feedback on it. The talk is on Front End Development is hard and can be viewed above.

I got married, moved out, and started a new job 🎉

..all within a few weeks of each other. I got married in late August, shifted from my parents place to my own within the same month, and started on a new job in September!

The months leading up to August were a blur. I had to juggle between work, saving up, wedding plans, job hunting, and shifting out. Majority of 2018 was about change, and change is hard but necessary.

I started a new job at a new company, and am currently transitioning from a Front End Developer to a Full Stack Developer.

Transitioning to a Full Stack Developer

… from a front end developer isn't easy. There are so many things to consider when moving across the stack, which I would have never considered while as a Front End Developer as you sort of only needed to consider and focus on the front end of things.

I also picked up Ruby on Rails, which was something I would have never in my life thought I would have done, as part of the stack I use at work. And with all things full stack, I needed to pick up docker and react.

Picking up Docker 🐳

To be honest, understanding and setting up docker took longer than expected. Although I’m familiar with BSD Jails (I have a Freenas server at home), Docker concept and how it is applied took a lot of trial and error, which I’m glad I got to work on at work.

Everyone’s most talked about JS framework; React

React was a framework I have avoided picking up due to my perception of it being difficult.

Fortunately or not, I had to use it at work, which meant learning from colleagues that have had experience using it and being able to be mentored on it. I am still not very experienced with it, but some experience is better than not using it at all.

I attended less meetups and fell sick a lot more

.. as I needed a break from attending meetups all the time, partly due to being married, and partly due to me wanting to focus on the more important things in life (Not that meetups are not important).

Being an introvert, meetups are scary as I do find myself wanting to hide in a hole and not socialise as I am tired from a day's work, and I do lose track of who's who sometimes. Even though I can remember faces, names are harder for me and it would take me a few meetups before my brain registers a name to a face 😅

I also fell sick a lot more, with headaches, cold, and stomach issues being quite a common thing. I do want to focus on my health more in 2019; it is no fun being sick all the time.

I wrote more, and intend to continue writing more 📚

Although this was not on the list, I subconsciously included it into the list and propelled to write more. The most popular being Tackling Front End Performance — Strategy, Tools, and Techniques, which I am quite blown away by the number of claps :D

I think writing is a brilliant way of forcing yourself to double check if what you have learnt is accurate and correct, as what you are publishing would be out there to be judged.

Medium


2018 for me was about transitioning, where I had to juggle and hustle between so many things.

2019 would be a year where I would want to focus on getting better 🤓