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In the moment, it can be difficult to realize what you’ve accomplished in a year.

2018 is no different.

As the year comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on everything that I accomplished—or didn’t—in the past 365 days.


Spoke at Tech Conferences

I might have gone overboard with applying to speak at conferences in the past year. But, I wouldn’t have changed a thing. Speaking at tech conferences is a way for me to give back to my community by sharing my story with other developers.

In May, I spoke at Codeland. I spoke about my experiences with Creating and managing my first ever open source project on Github. Before Codeland, I hadn’t spoken at a conference in almost two years, so I was beyond excited to hear that my proposal had been accepted! Giving that talk and hearing from other Code Newbies that my story—the good and the bad—echoed theirs was touching.

Guide your team with an Email Playbook, Litmus Live, San Francisco

A few months later I spoke at Litmus Live in Boston about a project from my work as an Email Developer. Litmus Live 2016 (then called the Email Design Conference) was the first ever tech conferences I spoke at (and attended) so it was exciting to be back with a new story and new experiences under my belt.

There were a few other conferences I submitted proposals for but did not get picked. And that’s ok! There’s something that can be learned from just applying.

Completed a Mobile Web Specialist Nanodegree

I wrote about this in detail, but to sum it up, completing this Nanodegree was one my biggest personal and professional accomplishments in 2018.

Coming in as one of the 50,000 participants in phase 1 of the Nanodegree, I was in over my head. Javascript was a prerequisite and I knew enough to be dangerous, but the concepts in the initial stages of the course were foreign to me.

Service workers? No, I haven’t actually worked in a restaurant. ES6? Isn’t that a video game convention?

Photo by Hello I'm Nik on Unsplash | https://unsplash.com/photos/z1d-LP8sjuI
Photo by Hello I’m Nik on Unsplash | https://unsplash.com/photos/z1d-LP8sjuI

At the very beginning, I considered giving up. With the help of the community and a whole lot of Googling, I completed phase one of the course. And, to my surprise, made it into phase 2 where the course material got even more difficult and interesting. Over the course of 9 months, we took a Restaurant Reviews app from being static to mobile first to offline friendly while keeping accessibility best practices and load times in mind.

This was huge!

Most of these concepts, I didn’t know existed in 2017. Now, I am comfortable enough with PWAs, IndexedDB and ES6 to build new applications. This course has pushed me in ways I wouldn’t have though up and has inspired me to keep going. I recently started an Intro to Computer Science course and have written my first lines of Python!

Made 312 Contributions on Github

Not bad!

312 contributions on Github in 2018

While slightly less than what I did in 2017, I did participate in more projects overall than I had in previous years. Some through Hacktoberfest—which earned me not one but two shirts this year—and some were projects of my own where I wanted to experiment and try something new.

Promoted to Senior Email Developer

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash | https://unsplash.com/photos/gVWQJQEc6lA
Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash | https://unsplash.com/photos/gVWQJQEc6lA

This was a big one.

Getting promoted to Senior Email Developer meant a lot to me, professionally. It helped me to see that I am really, freaking good at what I do and to continue in the direction that I am going.

Over 1100 Tweets

What can I say? I really like Twitter.

Tweet. Tweet. Tweet.

With my total count at 1190 at the time of this post, this number doesn’t surprise me at all. Between tuning into Twitter chats and Tweet-storming at conferences, Twitter is a big part of how I stay connected with the developer & email geek communities.

One thing I tried to do more of this year was to share out interesting, enlightening or helpful articles that I’ve read elsewhere on the web. Usually, I’ll pull a quote from the article and tag the author or publication if I can.


In the last hours of 2018, I look at this list and I’m almost surprised.

This is a lot of stuff.

If you asked in in January if I saw myself as having given tech talks in New York, Boston, and San Francisco, I would have said that sounds unlikely. The same for gaining a deeper understanding of Javascript, or buying a house (!) or even getting a promotion.

But it all happened!

Yes, things got really rough at points—like moving in the middle of trying to keep up with the nanodegree—but I got through it. The hard work, late nights and support network helped to make that happen.

To recap, 2018 was a whirlwind.

I am glad to be through it but am also very thankful for the opportunities—personally and professionally—that have come my way in the past 12 months.

To 2018—thank you! And to 2019—bring it on!

Cheers!

Published by Shannon

Email & Front-End Developer. Wannabe Power Ranger.

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