Month in review: June 2018
Just before writing this, I was:
Going out for dinner with friends from work!
This past month, I achieved:
- 🎶 Going to two gigs; I had St. Vincent planned for a few months, but ended up getting a ticket to Mallrat’s sold-out show at the last minute. The sponteneity was super fun, and I had a great time catching up with a friend
- 🚀 Re-launched two-factor authentication as two-step verification, with a brilliant new user experience that showcased the learnings from our first attempt at two-factor authentication. I played a key role in rebuilding the front-end experience, which took advantage of our internal design system
- 🛠️ Contributed back to the internal design system, by way of updating some documentation, and backporting some fixes to our front-end web blueprints (think
- 📖 I learnt a whole lot more about architecting multi-page React apps, implemented
react-routerin a new application with proper routes and redirects, and learnt a bit more about how package lockfiles work in npm 5+, as well as some .NET core stuff!
- 📗📗 Finished TWO books:
- 📝 Helped edit a colleague’s article on managing timeouts in C# better
- 🍻 Turned up to SydCSS for the first time; I didn’t meet anyone, but it spurned me to start experimenting with isometric graphics on the web with Isomer
- ✈️ Booked my flights to Europe for September! I’ve been having recurring dreams of returning to Paris for several months now, so I’m super excited to take the plunge on my first solo overseas trip
- 📈 Set up my own instance of Mood on a Dokku server to start tracking my mental health, and played around with Ruby a bit to patch some resilience bugs I was experiencing; the
retrykeyword is magical 🧙
This past month, I learned:
I need to think a bit further ahead in career planning, as I feel somewhat unsteady about what to learn next.
I guess I still don’t really know where I’m going career-wise. I’m pretty young, so that’s probably okay, but sometimes it does feel a little scary looking down the rabbit hole. I definitely prefer to specialise in front-end engineering, and it’s something I’ve consistently enjoyed, but I find that I struggle to focus on one particular aspect of it.
As is typical of web development in 2018, I take a look at what I could learn and end up feeling incredibly overwhelmed: CSS grid, design systems, critical path CSS, Redux, all things I haven’t yet really gotten around to mastering.
I’ve definitely thought a few times “but what if I’m not cut out to be a web developer?” and considered moving into product or something completely unrelated to tech, but not being able to code in my day job would probably drive me crazy. Also, see: imposter syndrome.
I’m not really sure what to do about this, really. My employer definitely has a vested interest in my career development, though the scope will inherently be limited to what they need at that particular time (or for the foreseeable future of the company). Mentorship would be great, though I’ve always felt quite shy about asking for a formal mentor.
At the very least I need:
- the autonomy to experiment with technologies that I think will be valuable in the upcoming weeks and months, and learn new stuff on a regular basis
- the people around me to learn new stuff from (even if that’s not formal mentoring)
- the opportunity to teach new stuff to others as well (lest I get caught up in my own little world)
- times where I will be wearing multiple hats, for when working on code bores me
So these are the things I’m going to seek in future opportunities. In the interim, I’m going to keep getting better at building front end apps, get into a bit more design, and keep working on systems.
This past month, I got bored of:
Self-help / guidance books. I’ve been focussing on these a lot recently, but I’m starting to realise that I’ll never feel completely 100% about myself, and that’s probably okay. Focussing on the hobbies I like, and the skills I want to cultivate, will lead to a happier sense of self.
But that’s OK, because I enjoyed:
YAKIUDON! I’ve been meaning to try this dish for awhile, as Matthew insisted its superiority over donburi, and finally I got the chance to try it with him.
The verdict? Amazing.
Today, something that made me happy was:
Some exciting news I’ll tweet about soon…
Today, something I could’ve done better was:
Been less forceful in a conversation. Sometimes, when I get quite passionate about what I’m talking about, I end up yelling…and scaring other people in the room I’m guessing. It’s weird because I’m usually quite a meek person, but on occasion I do get the one-track-mind thing.
Tomorrow I’m going to:
Ikea! I accidentally knocked over one of the many chopping boards in our flat, and it fell onto the ground and split, so I need to go and buy a new one. I’ll probably buy another apartment’s worth of stuff while I’m there.
In July, I’m looking forward to:
- Regina Spektor’s concert (eep!)
- Reading a FICTION book again
- Another hackathon at work
- Bike riding
- Making some positive changes for the developer experience at work
In July, I’m going to make the positive change of:
Going shopping for groceries only off a pre-defined shopping list. I’m an impulse grocery shopper, and end up with half the darn store in my trolley by the time I’m through. Hopefully between being more conscious of what I’m consuming, having a better plan of what I’m eating, and saving money by cutting down my impulse spending, there will be a few benefits from this strict policy.
One thing on my to-do list is:
Get my damn license - I still haven’t gone and sat the test yet 😭
One happy photo from the past month is:
A really stupid and blurry photo of me and my mains at my 23rd birthday night out:
After this post, I’m going to:
Go watch some stupid sitcom, probably.