2023 - A year in review

Published on Feb 2, 2024

7 min read

YEAR-REVIEW

I must admit that I'm late to the yearly review party this time. The calendar has already flipped to the end of January, yet here I find myself, typing away.

App.js conf 2023

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This year's App.js conference wasn't just an event. It was a reunion of mind and spirits. So many amazing people sharing their expert knowledge to make our developer lives better.

I'm extremely thankful for the opportunity I got this year to give an in-person workshop. Giving a workshop at my favorite conference was surreal and exciting. I caught a glimpse of familiar faces in the crowd and loved every bit of it.

Workshop at App.js with Alek

Thankful to the conference organizers at Software Mansion and my team at Expo for this opportunity. And of course, to Aleksander Mikucki who was my partner in crime.

Customary photo with Catalin Miron and David Leuliette

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, and quality talks, was a great experience. Kudos to the organizers for hosting it and providing that altogether!

I can also officially say I met my colleagues in person since I started working at Expo, mostly after a year and to many, for the first time. The conference just feels different when you are surrounded by people whose avatars you interact with all the time and once a day or week, meet them in a huddle or a Zoom call.

Blog

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Writing is also the primary part of my day job. Occupied in personal and professional life, finding that thin line in between was absent for most of this year. This year, I found myself pulled away from my keyboard on multiple occasions and for the majority of the year, my blog remained silent.

I also didn't mingle with the design of the blog as it has been customary in the past. I did contemplate re-designing it or moving to a newer framework (just for the sake of learning it) but it didn't happen. I've settled on this layout and the functionality of the blog for the time being.

I wrote 15 posts

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It turns out that folks still visit and want to read. Here are some of the most popular posts I wrote or updated this year:

My blog in numbers

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In 2022, I moved away from Google Universal Analytics and moved to using Fathom. I really like their minimal interface. It is not overwhelming and shows me what I want to see.

Since my lack of writing and absolutely not sharing any posts on any media platforms or external sites it took a fall in June, but, overall it has been consistent for the rest of the year:

Yearly blog stats

It is also interesting to see that what's driving most of the traffic are old posts:

Yearly blog stats part 2

Also, most visitors are coming mostly through search engines:

Yearly blog stats part 3

For the lack of time and energy, I also stopped contributing to external publications or cross-posting to other sites. That said, this blog has been my primary interface to talk about or share something.

Newsletter saga finally comes to an end

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Last year, after Revue got closed and I jumped to the Substack wagon, I decided to not pursue it further. Mostly, it was because I didn't have much to share. Although I think some of my friends and regular readers would love to get my posts delivered straight to their inbox.

I'm not sure if I'll start one in the future yet.

Highlights from my GitHub

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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 mostly part of the tutorials you see on this blog. To my surprise, it reached 850+ stars. It's still being actively maintained.

I did not maintain the  Expo Community project that integrates Firebase JS SDK in an Expo app. However, I do have plans to update it this year with a new Expo SDK release.

I did make a lot of commits

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I maintain and work on Expo docs among other things, all of them are open source. The green chart below is mainly work:

Yearly GitHub stats

A big shout and a huge thanks to folks who sponsored me on GitHub this year!

Reading

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I did manage to go through some good books this year. Here are some of my picks that I enjoyed reading:

  • Tao of Seneca vol. 1 & 2: I've read other translations and this one is not easy, though, I'd recommend this over any other translation unless I come across a better one. The letters are well-organized and appended based on a theme sometimes. It is also available in the public domain (thanks to Tim Ferriss!). A must-read because life is like a sine wave.
  • Seven and a Half Lessons About the Brain: Sometimes I wonder why I do a particular thing and what drives out. This book made me realize a lot is going on behind that. It is also like a getting-started guide to learning about brains.
  • Intimacies by Kitamura Katie: Beautiful, unique, thought-provoking and one of those that I wish was longer. Completely character-driven and with doses of realism.
  • How to Be an Adult by David Richo: I wish I had known about this one five years ago. Now is also not a bad time to read it. I first heard about it on the podcast and checked it out, and has been helpful. Can get overwhelming if you try to read it cover from cover (like I did), so don't forget to take your time with this one.

Traveling

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I didn't travel as to my liking and only managed to escape on a couple of occasions.

Wrapping up

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I struggled mostly with anxiety. I've always repeatedly heard this saying, "Go with the flow...". I think I finally had a glimpse of it for a while.

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.

That's it for now. If you made it so far, I appreciate you!


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Aman Mittal author

I'm a software developer and a technical writer. On this blog, I write about my learnings in software development and technical writing.

Currently, working as the documentation lead at 𝝠 Expo. Read more about me on the About page.


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