2020 Year in Review

5 minute read

I have been reading year in review posts lately, they have inspired me to start a habit of documenting my annual progress. I had a lot of goals for 2020, sadly I failed to achieve most of them. But still, there are some that I have achieved that are worth sharing, and of course, It’s also worth sharing my failures. Hopefully, in a few years, I will look back at this post and see how far I have come.

Blogging

This year didn’t work out the way I hoped it would concerning my blog. I wanted to become a more consistent blogger but I failed at it. The last time I published a blog post was on May 11, 2020. The article burned me out and I lost interest in writing. I also struggled with perfection paralysis. There are so many articles I wanted to publish, some are still in drafts and others are yet to be written.

So in 2020, I wrote only 5 articles before May.

Despite the few articles, my blog grew unexpectedly, which surprised me. I have always been under the impression that Google gives more traffic to frequently updated blogs, so I was surprised to see my daily page views growing steadly long after I took a break from blogging. My blog is peaking at 400 - 700 daily page views.

Blog statistics

This year I got 159, 047 page views and roughly 120,000 users.

blog visitors

The spike in May is when my blog post trended on Reddit.

Top Visitors by Country

blog visitors by country

Top Articles

The following are some of the popular articles on my blog:

  1. How To Install Git Bash On Windows - 70,951 views
  2. Node.js Modules: Import and use Functions from Another File - 18,776 views

  3. How to find Event Listeners on a DOM Node when Debugging - 16,274 views

  4. How to Install Django on Windows: Step by Step Guide - 15,638 views

  5. The Beginner’s Guide to Chart.js - 11,550 views

Freelancing

This year was a good year for freelancing. My first time experience with freelancing was in 2019 where I got one client from the UK and made only 8 dollars for a small gig, LOL. I was happy though, I did not have any freelancing experience. Fast-forward to 2020, I have managed to work with clients from countries such as the USA, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Saudi Arabia, Malaysia, Uganda, and South Africa. The gigs ranged from small to big.

It’s been an awesome experience working with people from different countries, not only has it helped to pay for my bills but freelancing has offered me challenges I wouldn’t have encountered on my personal projects. I have been working outside my comfort zone most of the time, and this has helped me improve my skills remarkably.

Most of my freelancing involves Django, setting up and managing servers.

Personal Projects

This year I worked on a few personal projects. I wanted to create 10 big projects, but I ended up building three(small). Two are close to finishing, one is still in the works. Freelancing took a lot of my time or maybe I was just being lazy or I should blame it on 2020.

I made 175 contributions on Github. Who knows, maybe it would have been more if my freelance contributions were added to my profile.

Github contributions

What I Have Learned This Year

For a long time, I have always been fascinated by Node and React. This year I decided to allocate the time to learn them. Apart from the two, I also learned more Python thanks to freelancing. So here is what I have learned this year.

  • Learned how to create an API with Node.js(Express.js)
  • Setting up cron jobs with Node and Linux
  • How to consume API’s with React and Python
  • How to use headless WordPress with Django
  • Set up web servers for WordPress, Django, and Node
  • Migrate WordPress websites from shared hosting to a VPS
  • Send Emails to Gmail using Django
  • Upgrade Ubuntu 14 to Ubuntu 20(it was painful, LOL)
  • Write text on images using Python

There are so many things I have learned this year and would need a separate blog post to cover them.

What I Want to Learn Next Year

  • Build a web server from scratch(Node or Python)
  • How to setup Docker
  • Learn Playwright and Puppeteer
  • Improve my React.js skills
  • Learn Redux
  • Create API’s with Django Rest Framework
  • How to practice Test-driven development
  • How to set up Webpack
  • Continue learning more about refactoring
  • Continue practicing my writing skills
  • Learn more about Oauth2.0 and JWT

Personal

  • I bought myself a new phone Xiaomi Redmi Note 9. Before Redmi, I was using an 8 GB Samsung Galaxy J1 mini prime from 2017 till December 2020.
  • I learned how to invest in the stock market. I made a small investment of $340, which seems to be paying off slowly.
  • Made my first one million kwacha from freelancing.

Goals for 2021

Next year I have so many things I want to accomplish. So here are my plans.

  • Get a full-time Job - I want to get a web development job(frontend or backend, JavaScript or Python)
  • Personal Projects - I want to build over 10 open-source projects. I plan to use HTML, CSS, React, Node, and Django. Hopefully, also experimenting with a programming language I have never worked with before.
  • Writing - I want to write over 30 articles next year. More importantly, I want to be consistent by publishing on weekly basis. I also want to start writing for other publications.
  • Open-Source - I want to start contributing to open source by coding, documentation, or in any way that I can. So I plan to contribute to at least 10 open-source projects.
  • Email and Twitter Audience - Next year, I want to work on growing my email subscriber list(27 subscribers) and Twitter audience(36 followers). My goal is to have 1000 email subscribers and 1000 Twitter followers. Wish me luck.

  • Switch my blog to Gatsby - I want to switch to Gatsby and redesign my whole blog completely to something I like.

Thats a lot of goals I have set for next year, I believe and will do my best to achieve them. I hope you will achieve your goals too. Have a great 2021! and thank you for reading my blog post.

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