2021 Year in Review and into 2022

5 minute read

At the end of 2020, I wrote a 2020 year in review post for the first time. The purpose is to track my goals, accomplishments and failures so that in the future I can see how far I have come. This year I almost didn’t write a year in review article because I felt like I didn’t achieve most of my goals. But I realize now that’s it normal, and I need to keep myself accountable. Even though I didn’t achieve most of my goals, other great things happened.

Highlights:

Wrote for other publications

In 2020, I set a goal to write for other publications. I got accepted to write for DigitalOcean and LogRocket. In 2021, I have written 3 articles on DigitalOcean and one article on LogRocket(it will publish this month, I finished writing last year).

Here are the articles:

Contributed to open-source

In 2021 I made a few minor contributions to open-source. I was testing the waters and I wanted to see how the process is like. So far it went well. The tiny contributions I made were merged.

Freelance

2021 has been a great year for freelancing for me. It’s been challenging and fun for me. The projects I worked on got more difficult, and the rewards were great. So no regrets.

I almost tripled my whole 2020 income but fell 30% short. This was a huge win for me, because my 2021 goal was to double my 2020 income, so achieving and surpassing the set goal felt great.

Stock Market

I grew my stock market portfolio from $320 to $2760. My original $320 investment grew into $461. Its a slow growth because I bought few shares. To make more gains you need to buy more shares, so last month I invested a hugh chunk of my income to grow my portfolio.

Personal

I enrolled in May, 2021 to a driving school and obtained a license in August. I don’t have a car yet, LOL. I have been trying to learn for a few years, but always pushed it aside because I wasn’t ready to make the time commitment. So last year I decided that it was now or never.

Lows

Let me now share some of my lows.

Blogging

In 2021, I didn’t write a single post on my blog. I gave myself an unrealistic goal of publishing an article weekly in 2020, but writing good in-depth articles takes time. I have learned my lesson now, I will set realistic goals this year.

In 2020, I got 159, 047 page views and about 120,000 users.

blog visitors

In 2021, strangely enough, my blog grew into 2021 to 167,005 visitors and 219, 399 views.

2021 blog visitors

So the blog traffic has been stable but I don’t consider this as a win because I didn’t utilize my blog potential. Had I written a couple of articles, am sure I would have doubled the stats.

Failed most 2021 goals

The following are some of the major goals I wrote for 2021 and I failed most of them. The strikeout indicates what I didn’t succeed.

  • **Get a full-time Job** - I want to get a web development job(frontend or backend, JavaScript or Python)

    : I didn’t get a job, but then I only wrote one job application. So the will wasn’t there, I think I wasn’t serious about job hunting.

  • **Personal Projects** - I want to build over 10 open-source projects. I plan to use HTML, CSS, React, Node, and Django.

    : I didn’t create most personal projects this year, am disappointed with myself here.

  • **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.

    : I wrote only 3 articles that were published on DigitalOcean, so the part of writing for other publications worked. But I failed the goal of writing consistently on my blog.

  • 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: It was a win contributing to open source, but as mentioned earlier my contributions were tiny and I definitely didn’t contribute to at least 10 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.

    : I didn’t write anything to new on my blog to grow my audience and barely twitted. So this failure is so deserved because I didn’t put an effort into it.

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

    This one I din’t even try, I learned Gatsby but I just din’t commit myself to switch my blog.

Since most of the goals in this section I failed, I will attempt them again this year, no need to make other goals for now.

What I Have Learned Last Year

I learned a lot of new things, I enjoy learning new things and updating my brain with new ideas. Here are some few things I found intereting:

  • Docker, MYSQL replication, and got a good understanding of how load balancers work. I had fun learning this, and I want to learn more.

  • Familiarized myself with type hints: Protocols, Functional overload and all the fun stuff.

  • Unit testing, I wrote of challenging unit tests in Python, I am glad I have gotten a hang of it.

  • How to process images, manipulate ZIP files using Node.js

  • Learned more about SQL. I have known SQL for a while but my knowledge has been surface level because I rely too much on ORM’s. In 2021, I learned about indexes, I was amazed by how much they boosted the application perfomance. I also went deep into joins. There are so many things I have learned about SQL, but these were my highlights.

  • Scheme, I didn’t plan on learning this, I came accross it when I was reading How to Design Programs, which am still reading by the way. It’s a fun language, I want to try practical projects with it.

  • Basics of refactoring code, I read half of Ref(https://martinfowler.com/books/refactoring.html)

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 Year


  • Learn TypeScript
  • Continue learning Scheme
  • Kubernetes
  • GraphQL
  • Learn more about Oauth2.0 and JWT
  • Build applications with Next.js
  • How to set up Webpack

That’s it for now folks, have a great 2022.