My 2018 Year in Review

At StartZone Gbagada for NodeConf 2018

Few days to the end of 2018, so much learned, so much to learn, friends made and more friends to be made. This year challenged me physically, mentally and emotionally. I had a couple of mental breakdowns, overwhelmed with Imposer syndrome but all in all I am happy I made it through.

January — March

I started the year not really knowing what I wanted to do with my life. but, I knew deep down that I wanted to be 10x better than I was in 2017. I picked up interest in technical writing because it was the best way for me to remember stuff that I learn and within this period I was reinforcing my NodeJS Skills so I wrote and edited articles for JavascriptJanuary, huge shout out to Emily Freeman for making this happen.

February wasn’t really my month at all, I lost my dear MacBook (Cleopatra I) to a power surge and my phone got damaged on February 14, just two days after. I was Technically Idle for the whole of February.

March was a breath of fresh air into my life as resumed my first day as a Software Developer at Hotels.ng on the 12th. I kid you not, the first few weeks were the most challenging periods of my life, I had to prove myself now, I had to show that I was competent enough to survive here.

April — June

L-R Me, Daniel Alabuja, Ibukun Ajimoti, Abiodun Azeez and David Saint at Hotels.ng

April was filled with a lot of projects and I was mentally drained constantly questioning my sanity. I couldn’t keep up with the fast-paced environment, I actually thought I was losing my mind I asked myself.

“Do I really want to be a software developer?”

— Michael Okoh (2018)

I was using an HP Elitebook given to me by the company running Ubuntu, it froze almost all the time, but I had to make the best use of it because I literally had no choice. It was a bitter medicine but the patient obviously needed it.

If I perish, I perish

Same April David Ukauwa aka Commissioner of Design welcomed his first Mac named Ella. Thrilling moment to be alive.

Congrats David

Weeks later Sarah our frontend Queen shocked us when she got her own Mac after contemplating for weeks.

May came along and I knew I had to do something about my work laptop, as the day went by I became more frustrated than the previous day.

“If there is a will there is a way”

— Pauline Kael

I manned up, drained my savings and got another Mac which was the exact same model I lost to the power surge back in February. I named her Cleopatra II (Cleopatra the Second).

Cleopatra II

June was interesting, now that I got another MacBook I was motivated to learn iOS development which I would say it went pretty well. I was way more involved in Hotels.ng, I got used to everyone and everything, I wasn’t sleeping during working hours as I used to due to frequent frustration but Friday kept making memes with my pictures, it was all cool until Fisayo decided to pressurize us by buying a beast.

Congrats Fisayo

Between April to June I learned one important lesson, and it has to do with the people you surround yourself with.

“If you surround yourself with great minds, great things are bound to happen” — unknown

Asides the MacBooks being bought, if you surround yourself with people that build bridges you will also build bridges.

Friday and Sarah Imitating Mark and Jenni

July — September

July was my most favourite month of the whole year. Before I dive into what made it my most favourite month, my goals for the month were:

  • Learn Advanced DevOps
  • Re-learn Frontend with React
  • Start writing more

Speaking of DevOps I would need a computer more capable than what I had. The Laptop of my dream was a MacBook Pro with Touchbar, I dreamt about that laptop every night, my heart was not at peace. Behold on the 8th of July I finally got it.

Nefertiti ❤

I named her Nefertiti, I could bet that no one on earth was as happy as I was that night literally nothing could spoil my mood that night, my hard work finally paid off. Huge Shoutout to Neo for the support during the Acquisition process, you have supported my career in many ways that you are not even aware of.

Reunited with Kamsy 😀

August came with depression, I dragged myself deeper into isolation, I started working remotely more often than I should. I felt lonely even when in large gatherings. I knew I needed help but I had no one to turn to, to overcome this I started going out more often most times I went to the marina waterfront or basically anywhere that was close to the lagoon or the ocean (I wasn’t trying to commit suicide). I became more interested in photography as I visited those places.

Company retreat at Lufasi Park

Same August Raphael Ugwu encouraged me to apply to DigitalOcean as a Technical Writer and I was actually accepted. Thanks a lot, you have been reviewing my articles from the early days and I really appreciate you a lot.

Lufasi Park
Random picture of David being funny

Concatenate came up, and it was a nice way of catching up with people I haven’t seen in a while.

Concatenate

I gave my first talk at a Golang meetup all thanks to Anthony Alaribe and Smile Egbai. I spoke on Micro-Services in Go.

Golang Talk

September came along and I wanted to try as much as possible to clean up any mess I may have made months back, I completed a Fintech gig I have been working on for months, I finally tackled my Coca-Cola Addiction and tried to be more friendly.

Random shot at Hotels.ng

October — December

October is my birth month and it was becoming clear to me that I am getting old while I’m still very young. I took care of myself and spread knowledge to anyone willing to learn

“If I perish, I perish” — Unknown

I took weird trips round Lagos, visited Tarkwa bay both documented and undocumented and put effort into helping Junior developer seeking answers to questions.

Random Visits to Tarkwa Bay

November I was back in school for my finals, as much as I hate school its just one of the things I have to just get out of the way. I had a successful defense and I finally wore a suit for the first time in a long time. I dedicated more of my time while I’m off hotels.ng to do DevOps full time, which required me to buy a bunch of servers from DigitalOcean to practice some DevOps concepts.

School 😞

Finally December, here I am typing this long review on Christmas day. I should be out partying or hanging out with people but Nah, I’d stay indoors and set my Target Next year.

What I learned in 2018

  • Surround yourself with great people and watch how you’d grow subconsciously
  • Nobody is going to save you, only you can save yourself
  • If you don’t fail you are not progressing
  • Work hard but smart
  • Every problem is a blessing in disguise
  • You don’t own time

Goals for 2019

  • Build Open source tools
  • Use React more
  • Get a remote job
  • Help new developers as much as I can
  • Travel more
  • Get out of school (Graduate not dropout)
  • Master DevOps
  • Make more money
  • Be happy

Shoutouts

In no particular order Neo Ighodaro, Raphael Ugwu, Anthony Alaribe, Smile Egbai, James Francis, Godswill Friday, Sarah Atuonwu, Fisayo Afolayan, David Ukauwa, Mark Essien, Chen Emechete, Namnso Ukpanah, Valentine Oleka etc.

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The Nothing ▲ - https://okoh.co.uk

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