Dec 31, 2018

2018 into 2019

As 2018 comes to a close, I was inspired by Tania Rascia to write a year in review. I’m hoping to turn this into an annual opportunity to reflect on the successes, failures, and challenges from the previous year, and set goals for the next.

2018 was probably the most eventful year of my life, edging 2014 in which I graduated from college, married, and received my first teaching position. I’ve attempted to list all of the major events and accomplishments of the past year in mostly chronological order.

2018 in review

Last year, I:

  • Received three tech job offers: Node developer with a crypto company, QA with CNN Politics, and React Developer with TSYS
  • Accepted my first software developer position: TSYS offered a contract-to-hire position that worked well for my family
  • Deployed two apps: Dice Roller and Contraction Tracker
  • Attended two conferences: NG ATL, and Connect Tech
  • Became a father: My first child was born in March, changing our lives forever
  • Converted from contract to salaried employee: After a three-month trial, TSYS was happy to offer me an official position with the company
  • Organized Jr Devs: a Meetup for learners with over 200 members
  • Gave a lightning talk at a Meetup: Intro to CSS Animations
  • Learned some Python: created a few scripts, a Flask app for gaming, and a text-based adventure game Rimoria
  • Created two NPM packages: vanilla-include and nodify-string
  • Represented TSYS at a job fair
  • Worked on an application at work in React Native
  • Launched a Chrome extension: Popsicle Sticks
  • Helped TSYS create an engineering blog and GitHub organization
  • Published 12 articles (including two on this website)

After sitting down and writing it all out, I am impressed with the things that I have accomplished in 2018. Especially considering how uncertain I was about continuing my search for work in the tech industry by the end of 2017.

Last year was a long stretch of giving from God: blessed be the name of the LORD (read Job 1).

Previewing 2019

Looking forward to next year, there are several things that I want to learn and do. I am going to list some general goals, followed by measurable ways that I can accomplish them.

  • Python: I want to dive deeper in Python applications, including environments and dependencies, by deploying a Python app
  • Machine learning: TSYS is interested in integrating ML into their applications, so I will complete a course in either Udacity or Udemy
  • Module bundlers: I am lost (and confused) when it comes to module bundling, so I am going to de-mystify bundlers by publishing React setup guides for Webpack, Parcel, and Rollup
  • NPM Packages: I want to learn about creating and maintaining open-source software by publishing two new packages
  • Tooling: I want to investigate tooling options for React development that streamline the process and create a personalized dot files repo
  • Publish more articles: It is my mission to help people, and one way to do that is to publish 24 articles (bi-monthly)
  • Jr Devs Meetup: I want to partner with a coding bootcamp to provide instructors at every meeting
  • Speaking: I want to create a deck and present at another Meetup
  • Husband: I want to take dating my wife seriously and schedule a babysitter four times a year for real dates
  • Father: I want to use the time I have with my son more productively, going on father-son outings twice a month
  • Faith: I want to continue teaching Sunday school, lead family worship every evening, and read/reflect on the Bible daily
  • Personal: Dad bod is a real thing and is only around the corner, so I want to exercise 6 days a week (don’t forget a day of rest)
  • Soccer: I want to find room in the family schedule to play a pick-up game every week

I could go on longer, but twelve seems like a fitting number. I am going to check back on these goals throughout the year and track my progress in a different article.

How was your year?

As I mentioned above, this is not a new or unique idea. But I think it’s a good one, and I encourage you to give it a try. You might be pleasantly surprise (like I was), at how much you’ve accomplished.

If not, then ask yourself: What can I do to help myself accomplish my goals next year? You don’t need to be a super hero; just try to be a little better than you were the day before.

I hope this was half as inspiring to you as it was helpful to me. Happy new year! 🎉

An illustration of Sean McPherson's face

My name is Sean McPherson, and I'm a software developer and educator living in Atlanta, GA.

I write about React, JavaScript, accessibility, user experience, and occassionally some other topics.