2020 Review: What A Year!

5 minute read

2020 will go down as one of the craziest years in human history. When the year began everyone, including myself, had dreams, goals and aspirations which they hoped to achieve. It was a blank canvas waiting for us to bring to life our visions. Little did we know that everything will come to a grinding halt just as the year started. The whole world entered into an alien territory where one word dominated everything – Covid-19. We all scrambled to try and figure out the new norm that was not normal at all.

Despite all this life went on, albeit in a totally different setup for which none had been programmed or equipped to handle. Personally, I had to evaluate the dreams I had for the year to see if at least there was something that I could salvage. In this post I will talk about what happened to me during this dramatic year, focusing on notable things that happened in my life in no particular order.

Regulatory Exam 1 Made Easy

The year started with a bang for me with the release of my second Flutter app running on both Android and iOS. In spite of the initial challenge to get it past the Apple review team (it took a couple of resubmissions to get through), I’m proud to have released yet another app built with Flutter considering just over a year ago I hadn’t written a single line of dart. I learned so many things during the project which is what I live for. It was all worth it :smile:. The apps are doing very well which fills my heart with great joy. Some users send me messages of gratitude after they pass their exams for which my apps helped them prepare.

Covid-19

Towards the end of March South Africa went into hard lock-down due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Everyone had to stay in their homes and go out when absolutely necessary. At first, I thought I was gonna handle it just fine since I never go out anyway but, a few weeks in, things started getting a bit hard. I had nowhere in particular I needed to go but the need to go out was intense. It was tough. I managed to make the most of the situation and read a couple of books that I always wanted to read – more on that below.

Blogging

2020 has been the best year for my blog as I managed to write more blogs than all the other years combined. I had initially set myself a target of publishing a blog post every week or two but as the months went by that kind of went out of the window due to a myriad of factors. Nonetheless, I managed to publish 26 posts which is exactly 2 posts per month. I have a feeling that I could have done much better than that so hopefully I will improve this year.

The blog site had 18,045 unique page views with Flutter posts having over 82% of all unique views. Maybe this is an indication of the direction I need to take with my blog. In 2021 you are likely to see more posts on Flutter than any other technology.

One of my posts, Building an authentication flow in Flutter using the BLoC pattern, was ranked very high by the Google crawler (it still appears as the top result on Google at the time of writing). It is also responsible for over 63% of all unique page views on the entire site. For me this was the highlight of my blogging career if I can call it that. The article has been read by thousands of people and the accompanying repository on GitHub has 41 stars and 14 forks(as at Dec 29).

In addition, I revamped the blog and added a custom domain. Since I couldn’t afford paying for a proper logo, I decided to learn how to create one using Adobe XD – another ‘skill’ added to my repertoire.

New Job

In June I started a new job as a software developer at OUTsurance after spending a little over 5 great years at SCAD Software. It was nerve wrecking at first but I found my feet eventually (I think). This was a big change for me and honestly speaking, one I never saw coming when I was planning my year but I’m glad it happened because it pushed my out of my comfort zone. I’ve learnt and am still learning a lot each day.

Reading

2020 has also been a great year when it comes to reading. I read 11 books (5 technical and 6 non-technical). For the first time since 2010 I finally read hard copy books (not sure if it’s the correct term for them). All the 6 non-tech books were focusing on human psychology – something that I’m very intrigued by. They changed the way I look at things and challenged me to ponder on seemingly mundane things. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman was one such book and I’d recommend it to someone who wants to learn more about how our mind works and the biases we all have in certain situations. When I get time I will write reviews for all the books I read this year. Besides the value I got from reading, the books helped me stay away from my computer after work and during weekends – something that I could hardly do before.

Conclusion

Even though 2020 has been a very challenging year, I still am very thankful for everything that happened this year. I decided to only talk about positive things but trust me, I had a fair share of challenges and hurdles I had to overcome. I also feel blessed to end the year in good health together with my family considering the ever present danger that continues to lurk in the shadows – SARS-Cov-2 aka Covid-19. I am very hopeful that 2021 is going to be a great year or at least better than 2020. I am planning to do a series on everything Flutter as well as some posts on .NET. For now I say goodbye. Thanks for reading and see you in 2021 :smile:. I wish you nothing but the best. God bless.

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