"Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood." - Ralph Waldo Emerson
As we draw to the end of the year, reflecting on the lessons, wins and challenges I’ve lived through the year is a practice I started and promise I’d stick to in my 2021 year in review. This is me keeping that promise.
Documenting these experiences lets me keep track of just how far I’ve come and prepare myself for the coming year. And hopefully, let you know that you’re not alone in this journey. We’ve all had our fair share of highs and lows, joys and struggles, and things we look forward to.
Side note: I began writing this on the last day of the year and somehow completely forgot about it because I’m a chronic procrastinator (this phrase will pop up a lot throughout this article by the way). Anyway, it’s better late than never.
I didn’t plan how long this review would turn out, because 2022 was eventful. I do hope it turns out to be worthwhile.
My goal for 2022 was to be really intentional about my career growth, specifically in the developer relations space. Why? You may ask. You see, I love coding, I enjoy coding. But I guess it was never meant to be 😭 (at least for now).
From Q4 of 2021 to the end of Q2 of 2022, I kept working on my portfolio and applying to every entry-level developer role I came across, and I steadily chopped rejections upon rejections, I even got rejected from unpaid internships! These were the tipping points 😭😭😭 life tuff.
I guess I’d try applying again in 2023 :).
Rather, I noticed that what came to me were opportunities related to developer relations, like writing, speaking, and community work. But again, I loved coding, I wanted to code! It wasn’t easy to leave something I really wanted to do due to rejections but menhhh.
Finally, I took a break from applying to dev roles, realized what worked for me, moved to it, and made the most from it.
Anyway, here are some defining moments of my career (both wins and losses) in 2022.
After putting in the work and efforts in the previous year (2021, I mean), 2022 was my best year yet as a technical writer.
I began writing as a technical writer for ContentLab, and within four months, I got promoted!
Writing for Contentlab improved my writing chops. I got to write for some top-name tech companies and having my articles reviewed at multiple stages by multiple people made me a much more confident technical writer and improved how I receive and handle feedback.
Since then, I've written paid articles for various writing agencies, startups, and companies, the likes of LogRocket, Draft.dev, TomTom, Mattermost, Cloudinary, SoftwareAG, and some other freelancing gigs, to name a few.
My big break came when I started writing for CoderPad. In under a year, I went from earning $200-$400 per article to being paid up to a whooping 4-figure in dollars for each piece (you can keep guessing). Opportunity and luck meet preparedness, as I got to work with this company simply because an experienced writer in the technical writing space vouched for me, I had no interviews and no portfolio review. Just an email asking if I’d like to work with them.
“Opportunities are like buses, there’s always another one coming.” - Richard Branson
I’m grateful that this happened because I got to work with the most amazing and supportive sets of humans, such as Meredith, my manager at the time who genuinely cares about and understands her direct reports and is hands down an amazing person all-round. And Corbin, my editor, who is a fun person to work with all round and made me look forward to them editing my drafts. 😅
Also, here’s feedback from my editor praising my technical writing skills.
Community and Open-source
I actively worked towards contributing to the open-source and tech communities in 2022 and I hope to keep on doing the good work.
I got accepted into Freecodecamp.
Published my first article on Freecodecamp a week after being accepted, and Quincy Larson, the founder of Freecodecamp, featured it in his newsletter that weekend.
Contributed to Redux toolkit’s documentation.
Made a major contribution to Airbyte’s documentation during Hacktoberfest.
Considering they are in a field I had zero experience in (data integration and data analysis), I was proud of myself.
Helped my friends get started in technical writing and land their first gigs.
Tried and failed at Hacktoberfest, we will go again in 2023. 😅
Oh, and I made it to FreeCodeCamp’s 2022 top contributors list.
These were all sacrifices, as I had to make these contributions during the evenings or over the weekends. However, I’m grateful that it all paid off and that the little knowledge I share from my tiny corner has been impactful to the global tech community. I’m convinced it’s all worth it from the shout-outs and thanks I get from time to time. 🏽
I had more speaking engagements this year.
I gave my first international talk through Github Africa to an audience of 70+ community members around Africa. This was a big deal for me as one of my 2022 goals was to "Speak at an international meetup."
I delivered classes on web development to master's students at the Federal University of Technology (FUTO) as part of a skills acquisition program. I was teaching people 20+ years older than me menhhhh. 😅
I applied to speak at a GDG DevFest hosted in my state but it was on the day of the deadline for accepting CFP due to my chronic procrastination, oh well, we’ll do better in 2023. 😅 😭
First, I did improve my relationship with God (somewhat). Life comes with a lot of ups and downs, but in all, we’ll pull through.
Second, I made genuine friendships this year. Friends with people that seeing their text messages alone makes me smile so hard my cheeks hurt. I laughed more, created more beautiful memories, and were there for each other when it was needed the most.
Lastly, my relationship with my family became better too. I feel so happy that I can provide financial support to my friends and family.
I started learning Japanese and Korean and have made some decent progress. (Side note, I have watched (I still watch) a lot of Japanese animations and Kdramas) so this is a big deal for me. I can now watch my anime without English subtitles. Arigato Duolingo! 😅
I won my first tech swags this year. This is a huge deal to me as a techie. I mean who doesn’t like free stuff from their favorite tech brands!? Not me 😂😂. Thank you Hashnode, Grey, and Github.
I turned 18. 🤭
This year I prioritized my self-care, I took care of my skin (this is the reason I’m always broke, these products are expensive menh), ate healthily, and went to the gym regularly. Puberty did me good by aiding all these efforts to develop me into a much more good-looking and mature version of the person I was in 2021. I haven’t been this confident about the way I look before.
Hence, my goal for 2023. 🙏
Wrapping up and Plans for 2023
This year wasn’t all good and rosy. We’ve all faced our fair share of challenges and ups and downs. I’ve tried and failed at a lot of things, but what's most important is that I learn from those mistakes and try not to make them again.
Life comes with many ups and downs, distractions, and the need to validate one’s self and existence. Whether that means making a certain amount of money, getting into the school of your dreams, accomplishing X goals, etc, all these preoccupy our minds and lives that we end up in an auto-piloted rat race that when we do slow down, we realize all the stuff we missed out on when chasing stolen goals.
In 2023, I plan to take this slow, this does not mean I won’t be ambitious, fast-paced, and all. No, it means I plan to be intentional about the steps I take, intentional about my health et al. In all that you do, focus on developing and working on yourself too. You only live once, live it to the fullest.
If you’re wondering why you are reading my 2022 year in review when we’re almost at the end of Q1 of 2023? You’re not alone, I too wonder why my life is this way 😅😂😭. I guess one day I’d find the answer.
Till then, thanks for sticking with me to the end. I ended 2022 on a good note and I hope it did for you too. I wish you the very best in 2023. Cheers! 🥂