[2021 Recap] Learnings, Achievements, and more 🧠

By the end of the year, I would like to share some of what I’ve learned and what I’ve achieved, and some good habits that I kept for almost the entire year 2021, so welcome to the yearly recap, some stuff in this article are technical, and most of them are personal but I believe you will relate to at least some of them, and hopefully get inspired.

Year Review Photo from Unsplash by Markus Winkler

Note: I’m going to split this article into sections in different aspects, learnings, achievements, habits, others, and finally what about 2022


My career pushes me always to either get developed daily or you are behind, so I taught myself some technical stuff and others that are self-development through out the year.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» New technologies that I explored in 2021:

  • I’ve learned about Unleash for making feature toggles and used it on production, and I talked about it before
  • learned Vue and Nuxt for an internal project and it is not so bad
  • learned Flutter and Dart for a client which didn’t take too long to be learned and can explain in a different post.

After all still my main drivers are React, Nextjs, Tailwind, and TypeSript though.

πŸ’« I also learned about modern tools for better Developer Experience (DX) such as ESBuild, Vite, and SWC which I’m very interested in DX and how to make Developer’s life easier.

I learned also about CS75 πŸ”— which is a great course from harvard by David Malan, and I really recommend it to anyone working on anything web related, I already started sending the link to a lot of people I know, it starts very slow and ends with tons of useful information.

πŸ’» Started to depend on different devices:

  • using Trackpad instead of a mouse, and that was a game changer for me
  • used fish terminal for sometime, then by the end of the year switched to use Fig
  • I switched from Alfred to RayCast on my mac and looks very handy for a lot of tasks.

πŸ–¨ There are a non-technical stuff that I learned about and they are important IMHO like the feature of Instant Ink from HP for my printer to provide you with unlimited ink automatically detected by the printer and they send you a new Cartridge, also I discovered from a friend that Canon is now providing a utility software πŸ”— to convert its DSLR to be used as a Webcam, I used to make a workaround for that.

Along side with all of that learnings from books that will be mentioned later.


I’ve achieved some good stuff that I want to remember from 2021:

  • I completed 410 days streak learning Dutch on Duolingo πŸ‡³πŸ‡± then unfortunately I lost it and get a bit demotivated, but now I’m starting a new streak with 75 days till the moment
  • I’ve successfully finished all exams of Dutch (Read, Write, Listen, Speak, Social Knowledge) πŸ“‡
  • Re-designed this blog a little, and enable accessibility a bit more 🎨
  • I changed my job to a new company called PassionatePeople, and inside this company we have a weekly problem solving issue to resolve internally that provide the best performance solutions, and my achievement was to get the 1st position among all the participants for the entire october month (my first) , that was huge for me as a new comer πŸ₯‡
  • My Twitter account get more followers that exceeded 7750 followers by the end of the year with growth about 120%, I published 8 videos on YouTube and subscribers grow to more than 14500 subs πŸŽ‰, and wrote about 6 posts here on my blog πŸ“ˆ
  • For semicolon academy, all the technical videos has been moved from my own Youtube channel to semicolon channel for the tech videos, which made me loose all the views that I got before but fine for me to collect all the Arabic tech videos in one place, the subs as well grow to more than 9700 subs, and semicolon twitter grows to more than 3800 followers πŸ“ˆ
  • I also started a new newsletter for semicolon which has by the end of the year more than 350 followers after 9 sent newsletter, make sure to subscribe πŸ”— if you are interested.
  • My biggest achievement of the year could be running half a marathon πŸ”— (21 km) πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ for the first time in Amsterdam Marathon, also my wife run for the very first time 8 km πŸƒβ€β™€οΈ which was huge as well.


πŸ““ One of the best things I keep consistent for the entire year is writing my daily journal, I started that 2 month in 2020 and the full 12 months in 2021, her are what was so good about that:

βœ… I learned what I spent my time doing

βœ… I keep reminding myself with my monthly achievements

βœ… Written learned lessons help me not to make same mistakes

βœ… This recap was so good for me to write because of the already written monthly recaps, less efforts

πŸ“– Reading was also one of the best things that I kept during the entire year, 10 books was great to digest each book instead of 12, some are hard books and some are on Kindle (which I got also this year as a gift from my wife)

Two of them in dutch to learn the language β€œNederlands in gang” and β€œWelkom in Nederland”, they are both essential for anyone want to learn dutch specially the last one, as it has tons of information about the dutch community, history, law, education, and geo-location.

Two of them authored by Dale Carnegie, the first one is How To Win Friends and Influence Others πŸ”— which has some great advices on how to understand others, and the other one is The Quick and Easy Way to Effective Speaking πŸ”— and the reason for me is to enhance my public speaking skills.

Also worth mentioning other books, β€œThe lean Startup”, β€œJavaScript Design Patterns”, β€œThe Phoenix Project”, and β€œGrokking Algorithms” check my shelf here πŸ”—.

πŸ›Œ I started a new habit with my daughter to tell a bed time story on daily basis, and she liked it and wait for it as well, it was a try from me to make a good connection with her as she is spending more time with her mother, the funny thing is that I was just improvising most of the time but got surprised that storys were well formed 😁


  • I travelled to Egypt twice this year, one in the spring and the other one was in the holidays end of the year, and I enjoyed that later one more to be honest, visited some historic places and enjoyed family time.

  • I met some people in Egypt this year that are following me on Twitter or in general e-friends, some of them came from a far distance and I really appreciated that.

  • I have to admit that travelling is cool really but a big factor for me not to follow a healthy diet, so I have gained some weight through the year, that’s a failure 😒, but I’m going to work on it starting of 2022 isA.

  • I registered myself to be speaking in multiple conferences in 2022, I would say that this upcoming year would be mostly for the content in English more than in Arabic.

  • I learned to make a great Mojito 🍸 at home, that even my kids enjoy it in the hot days.

  • I get connected with a lot of people online, either colleges or just friends or friends who liked what I’m writing or tweeting.

  • I hope in 2022 these regulations of COVID-19 would be over so we can meet each other in person again πŸ™

What about 2022 ?!

In 2022, I think I will take some stuff that I tried in 2021 with me:

πŸ““ Keep writing my daily journal

πŸ“† Keep using Notion and Calendar as my second brain

πŸ“š Keep reading books both technical and self-development

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ« keep sharing knowledge through blogs, videos, or tweets

🀝 Keep making connections with great people in the field

Some stuff that I’m planning to start:

πŸ“£ Start speaking in public more

πŸ’†β€β™‚οΈ Focus my eye on my mental health and get more breaks

🚘 Getting my Dutch driving license πŸ€·β€β™‚οΈ

πŸƒβ€β™‚οΈ Be Fit again and run another half a marathon with better timing

➑️ TBD

That’s it all, share your goals with me on twitter @med7atdawoud πŸ”—

Tot ziens πŸ‘‹