2022 - A year in review
Published on Jan 1, 2023
10 min read
My blog has been neglected for the last few months. Writing a year review is my way of making amendments to start writing back and reflecting on the year gone by.
It's been a good year that allowed me to focus on myself. I do not feel one bit guilty about not writing enough or creating enough. I spent most of my time prior to this year in a burnout state. I did not want to repeat that. Getting over burnout is tricky, and I am not sure if I am completely over it, but I often feel that I am coping better than before.
Right now, I'm still trying to balance my life and work and find a way to fit the new endeavors I'm seeking to pursue in between.
Starting the year with a new job🔗
I started the year by switching jobs in a new role as a Senior Content Developer at Vercel.
I was excited to work full-time on the docs team. In the past year, I have often felt like I have been working towards this career path. I started at the end of January and left it at the end of April.
During my time there, I learned a lot about working on a team full of creative and hyper-focused people who shared a love for writing and creating content like mine. But unfortunately, it was a short adventure. I felt left out as the weeks passed. Besides writing in tech, I've been a part of React Native community since almost the beginning of my career. So that shift in tech focus I was working daily was a huge leap to take mentally.
App.js conf 2022🔗
App.js conference has been a vital part of my professional career. I forgot what it felt like to be at a tech conference (since the last one I attended was in 2019) and in the end, it was an amazing experience.
Meeting with beautiful and like-minded people who share their work and interesting ways of solving problems is always fascinating and curiosity-engaging. Not only one gets to see the new and exciting upcoming stuff but also meeting people in person after such a long and limited human exposure felt like it was the first time.
It was a wonderful experience to attend it in person, meet old friends, make new ones and travel once again. Everything from the venue, the beautiful city of Krakow, the quality talks, and the MCs, was a great experience. Kudos to the organizers for hosting it and providing that altogether!
I joined Expo at the end of June 2022. Leaving my previous role, traveling and attending a tech conference, and getting the new opportunity was like a full circle. I am working majorly on the docs. Other areas of my work include engaging with the community.
Before joining, I'd been familiar with the team and their work for four years. From the outside, I know the tremendous amount of hard work the whole team puts in. Driving React Native ecosystem forward, making exponential improvements with each SDK version, focusing on better tooling, Developer Experience (DX), and adding support for native modules. After joining, it is exciting to observe that closely and be a part of it every day!
I wrote 21 articles🔗
I enjoy the process of writing for many reasons. One is that I get to learn something new and deepen my understanding of a topic. Another is pretending to be the first user and trying to understand a way of solving a specific problem.
It also opens doors for me to explore new opportunities. This year, I got to work with some of the publications I have been working with for a long time such as Jscrambler and Logrocket. Two new additions where I published a couple of tutorials as a guest author for Sentry and FlyCode.
It also turns out people like to read them too. Here are some of the most popular posts I wrote this year:
Setup Macbook M1 for Web and React Native development: Even though, this post was Originally published in 2021, I'm actively updating this post and will continue to do so for a while. It's been a popular post once again and I hope it helped folks to get started with their new Macbooks.
How to install Node.js using NVM on macOS M1: I had fun collecting this piece of information. For a long time, I have been using NVM to manage Node.js on the fly. I wrote this one to make a walkthrough of how to set it up and keep up with the latest Node.js versions.
Getting Started with React Navigation v6 and TypeScript in React Native: A post that was exciting to work on. In this tutorial, I discussed how to add type checks to the app screens and how to add type checks to the React Navigation navigators. Using type checks and annotating navigators is a great way to make your app more robust and maintainable when using TypeScript with React Navigation.
Implementing Infinite Scroll with React Query and FlatList in React Native: Another exciting post that I wrote to explore how to implement infinite scrolling in an app using React Query and a real-time external API.
Set up a Next.js project with ESLint, Prettier, Husky, and Lint Staged: In this post, I shared my personal and minimal configuration that I used in a couple of Next.js projects.
I redesigned my blog🔗
My blog is one of the most consistent things in my life. This year, I decided to finally move it to Next.js (if you have been reading this post from the top, you might have realized why 😄). It was fun to do it and to learn new frameworks such as Next.js and Chakra UI.and and implement some of the tweaks that have been on my backlog for a while. I have decided to call the current version 9. Honestly, there have been so many changes and tweaks since I started it in 2019 that I have lost track in the past.
My blog in numbers🔗
I moved away from Google Universal Analytics since their public announcement about GA4 to Fathom in the middle of March. However, I did not remove Google Analytics from my blog after I realized that I might lose historical data for the first three months.
Overall I got a pretty consistent readership this year with over 150k+ views:
It is also interesting to see that what's driving most of the traffic is a mixture of both old and new articles:
Also that visitors are coming mostly through organic search:
Dev.to is my primary platform to focus on cross-posting this year. I did manage to get 45k+ views.
Awesome folks at Hackernoon nominated me for two categories in the Noonies 2022 awards. One of the categories was Most authentic Developer Advocate of the year.
I ended up winning the award (to my surprise). A huge thanks to anyone who voted for me (and is reading this post 🤗). I'm humbled by the recognition
Newsletter saga continues🔗
Less writing equals less number of issues. I did manage to send out a newsletter anytime I had something to share. However, this project was also abandoned for the last four or five months.
Last year, I was charmed by Revue and decided to jump on the wagon. Unfortunately, however, Twitter's new owners have decided to close it down. After moving to Revue, I thought I could stick with the service for some time, but the newsletter saga continues.
I have decided to move to Substack. I have used it in the past, and it's a good service. If you haven't already subscribed and would like to, here is the link: amanhimself.substack.com. Even though Revue did allow migrating existing subscribers to Substack, there was no way of migrating the previous issues.
Highlights from my GitHub🔗
A couple of years back, I started to maintain a single repo for all the demos and example apps I write using React Native and Expo. These example apps are part of the tutorials you see on this blog. To my surprise, it reached 700+ stars. It's still being actively maintained by me and occasional PRs from other contributors.
I also continued to maintain the Expo Community project that integrates Firebase JS SDK in an Expo app. After being involved directly with the changes in the latest Expo SDK around Firebase, I planned out a new version of this project. Even after working on official integration documentation and guides, I feel this project can still serve as an additional resource.
I made a lot of commits🔗
Working on open-source projects makes the GitHub chart go green:
A big shout and a huge thanks to folks who sponsored me on GitHub this year!
I did manage to go through some good books this year. Here are some of my picks that I enjoyed reading:
- First, We Make the Beast Beautiful by Sarah Wilson: A beautifully written book about anxiety for anxious people without any fluff. Love the short chapters, and the writing style which is quite soothing.
- The Practice of Groundedness by Brad Stulberg: I first heard Brad speaking about his book on a podcast. I don't remember what got me hooked in the first place. I remember picking this book after listening to that episode and I am glad I did. It talks a lot about patience.
- Four Thousand Weeks by Oliver Burkeman: Having read "time hacks" books in the past, this book becomes a bit easier to read and understand the flaws with the former strategies (or hacks). I realized that those "hacks" work only until one gets burned out completely and gets put off track in life. The importance of flexibility, living one's life, being patient, and coming to a realization that work is a never-ending, spiral pit.
I did manage to escape on two occasions but overall did not travel as much as I would have liked to.
I have been writing yearly reviews since 2020. It's fun for me to look back over what I did and what I focused on last year or where my time went.
Thank you all for reading this post or reading any other post!
That's it for now. Happy New Year!
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I'm a software developer and a technical writer. In this blog, I write about Technical writing, Node.js, React Native and Expo.
Currently, working at Expo. Previously, I've worked as a Developer Advocate, and Senior Content Developer with companies like Draftbit and Vercel.