2018 into 2019

2018 into 2019

Last year I wrote my 2017 to 2018 post, which summarizes what I accomplished throughout the year and goals for the year to come. It helps me keep track of my progress. The tradition goes on this year!

I went to my first 71 meetups

I made a commitment last year to explore the community around me. Despite growing up in Orlando, I have never attended any meetups. There were about 30+ tech groups. Mostly centered around development, but also nonprofit organizations.

Topics ranged from how to build your own frontend framework, to using google’s machine learning tools. And meeting really cool companies and people:)

I wrote 13 articles

Mostly centered around tooling, and lessons learned. I did my best to focus mostly on quality over quantity. My writing is not perfect by any means, but I still try. Thanks to all the readers / comments that have made it so far on this blog :). This year I’ll focus on mostly web/software development

Topics

I worked on 6 collabarative side projects

I have never worked at a software company. So I’ve never worked in a formal team setting, either. I worked on 6 side projects in total, Two from Chingu, an opensource remote developer cohort. Two from hackathons. Two from nonprofits. Some were finished others not so much, in any case it’s been a great learning oppurtunity for me.

  • NASA Space Apps – Hackathon in building an app to spread global awareness of Nasa’s initiatives. Demo
  • Startup Weekend – A hackathon where we build a brain training app
  • Clone Trello – VanillaJS trello clone with junior developers
  • Knowledge Base – React/NextJS/Docker/NodeJS/MongoDB – Basically a reddit clone with stackoverflow on top
  • Homeless Community Center – I built a custom CRM workflow using Airtable to automate the data collection process for clients
  • Human Trafficking Nonprofit – Nothing really got finished here, but learning how a backend reporting system is designed has been interesting

I gave 1 presentation

At OrlandoJS, I gave my first tech talk. I knew very little about the topic. In preparation for it, I built some really fun codepen tools! These include things like an Amazon Codepen snow demo (which hit the frontpage!). And this dope box I made using art vanishing points that I wrote here

Actually I did like 5 presentations, but those were only 15 mins long

I made 1335 commits

It doesn’t mean a lot. Most were tutorial commits. But it looks cool. And it shows the commitment I’ve made to learn more as a developer.

I rebuilt my website

I didn’t know anything about wordpress development, and I still barely do. But I customized my own theme ontop of Nisarg. I opted to go with something that felt uniquely me, while still being functional. Both on mobile and on desktop. My goal was to first focus on deliverable content that is easy to modify. And figuring out a good content workflow.

I’ll need to do a complete redesign from ground zero eventually. There’s a lot of spaghetti code unfortunately. But refactoring is not my goal for several months. Some wishlist features include a day/night theme, an actualy home page, and a newsletter.

I rebranded myself

My name is fairly common (Vincent Tang). If you were to search it on google, the first listing is the head of Darpa, which I’m not. I wanted something short and sweet so people could find me. I settled with

  • vincentntang

So now I can just say you can follow me at [vincentntang] @ everything. Everything being my @gmail, @.com domain, @instagram, @twitter, @github, etc.

Phonetically I can now just say “my first name[vincent], my last name[tang], the letter “n” for nancy inbetween, @everything”

I went to my first developer conference!

Devfest / Google Cloud on board conference. Got to meet a lot of cool developers and learn about a lot of technologies I didn’t know about. Also, google wants to interview me too! So I guess there’s that

I reached 15,000 page views

It’s not much but at least someone finds value in things I write! I’ve met quite a few interesting people from topics on this blog. Everything from a UX researcher from MIT all the way down to entreprenuer wanting to start an ecommerce company in Rwanda.

Traffic has mostly been organic and occasional links through hackernews.

Fitness Milestones Made:

I didn’t meet most of my fitness goals this year, despite working on it everyday + macros/creatine bulking. I’m currently have been sick for a few weeks so progress has slowed. Plus I’m naturally weak (for reference this is what I looked like growing up). I swapped from a r/recommendedroutine to a 5 day workout-split

  • 25+ lb weighted dips (originally just regular dips)
  • 60+ lb weighted pushups (originally ring pushups)
  • 70 lb shoulder total (originally closer to 30 lb)
  • My first unassisted, wide grip pullup (before it was unassisted chinups)
  • 90 lb lunges total (originally just 30lb)
  • Parallel ground rows unassisted (originally 60 degrees)

Things I learned in 2018:

The most valuable skill I learned was how to hire developers, and manage projects. Gained through working many collaborative opensource side projects, and applying it to my current job (e.g. developing an ecommerce site). Some other things I learned:

  • Basics of NodeJS / JwT / MongoDB
  • Ruby on Rails 5 conventions
  • Firebase
  • React
  • ES6
  • MVC design pattern
  • Things from YDKJS (this and closures)
  • Building a custom wordpress theme
  • Building gulp.js pipelines with pug/jade
  • Basics of webGL / canvas/ SVGs
  • UX design tools and Figma
  • Unit testing
  • Git workflows in a team setting
  • How to hire & manage remote developers
  • How nonprofits operate
  • Building a chrome extension / userscript
  • Discrete math
  • Playing the piano and ukelele

Things I hope to learn in 2019:

  • React + Redux
  • React + GraphQL
  • Design patterns by learning other frameworks
  • Python with machine learning / computer vision
  • Text classification processing
  • Datastructures and Algorithms
  • Backend (python, django, ruby, rails)

Projects I intend on building:

  • React/NextJS/Redux medium clone for companies seeking similar specs https://github.com/gothinkster/realworld to learn about polyglot implementations
  • Backend storemapper tool for embedding google maps to learn about how a startup is built
  • Machine learning -> taking an image and making it into a cinematograph

Projects I might build:

  • Markdown editing tools for staging learning environments
  • WYISYWYG editors and design tools
  • Notetaking app based on notion/anki hybrid

Goals

  • Transition into a full time development career
  • Make youtube tutorials
  • Writing blog posts in well known webdev publications
  • Delivering this almost finished enterprise ecommerce project at work

Well that about wraps up 2018. It was a big year in which I stepped outside my comfort zone, and started trying out new things. I’m excited for 2019!

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