Hey future me! It’s your past self, checking in as I do every year. Just wanted to give you a little pat on the back and remind you that you lived a meaningful life and didn’t waste your time. In this article, I’ll brag about all the recognition I received, update you on my health status, reminisce about the big decisions I made, take you on a virtual tour of the places I traveled to, share some wisdom I gained, and make some wild predictions for 2023. I hope this little time capsule will bring a smile to your face and help you remember the good ol’ days.
Let’s jump right away into what has happen this year (2022) in categories:
1. Content Creation 📝
This year, I made a significant contribution to the creation of English content through my participation in conferences, meetups, and blog posts. You can find most of my work on my talks page, but here are some interesting highlights:
- I talked at 3 in-person Meetups in Amsterdam.
- spoke at 5 different Podcasts 2 in Arabic and 3 in English.
- I hosted the JSWorld Podcast 🔗 interviewing speakers of Vuejs conf.
- I was an MC for an online conf called VuejsForge (Interviewed Evan You 🔗).
- I had the chance to speak at the 1st Google Developers Unconference online.
- I gave a talk 🔗 Conference ReactLive Amsterdam 🇳🇱 as my first on a big stage.
- Conference DevFest Casablanca 🇲🇦 where I met many highly energetic people and had a great time.
- I wrote in 2022 alone 7 technical blog posts (relatively long) that each got in average 1500 reads in the 1st week of publishing.
- Created my /uses page which makes it easy for anyone to find what I use with a direct link if he/she wants to buy a similar one.
2. Recognitions 🥇
Hard work always pays off. When you put your energy into making something successful, it will eventually become visible to everyone that you have succeeded.
- I was reconized as GDE (Google Developer Expert), which as a great push for me to create more content and help the community more. Do want to be one? I wrote a blog detailing that read it from here, by the end of the year I got an email from Google telling me that they decided to extend my membership in GDE 🎉
- I won the #1 prize in a hackathon at my client IKEA for a solution I made to make deverloper experience better
- One of my blog posts about web performance (here) was recognised by the best performance newsletter perf.email issue 99 🔗 (perf.email is the best web perf newsletter by Calibre)
- I only shared 3 videos on Youtube this year, but my Semicolon Academy 🔗 youtube channel has jumped from 9000 to 15700 subscribers, which I consider a great recognition, meaning that my content is an evergreen content, thanks for the people who subscribed.
- I tend to create more technical tweets this year in both Arabic and English and my account has grown from ~7800 followers to ~11100 followers, thanks everyone for following me
- The best and most rewarding recognition I receive is when random people reach out to me privately or publicly to thank me for a blog post or video I shared that they found helpful or enjoyable. It always makes my day to know that my content is being shared and appreciated. Thank you to everyone who takes the time to comment, share, or send me a direct message. It is greatly appreciated 😊
3. New Learnings 🎉
In this category, I don’t just write about technical topics. I also share my life experiences and new terms that I have learned and started using
- Technical wise, I learned to get around Remix 🔗 framework and currently I’m trying it in a side project to check all its capabilities and so far I’m happy with what I see and can write later a post about my take on it.
- This year I got my hands dirty a bit with cloud services specially GCP 🔗 and K8s 🔗, I started using an app that facilitate it for me visually called Lens 🔗
- During my interviews with speakers of the JS World conf I mentioned earlier, one of the speakers his name is sendil kumar 🔗 teached me a new term that I’ve never heard about. It was ”Docendo discimus” which is a Latin proverb meaning “by teaching, we learn.” and pretty mush that’s what I do.
- During some discussions in my team someone comes with something that pushed me to read about. It was ”Chesterton’s fence” which is the principle that reforms should not be made until the reasoning behind the existing state of affairs is understood, usually useful for every one joining a new team to understand things before suggesting a deletion or a refactor
- Food wise, I learned a longside with my wife how to cook a great Fatta 🔗, which is a tradition food that we (muslims) usually eat in feasts, here is a photo 🔗 of ours 😋 on my instagram
- Sport wise, I played Padel 🔗 for the first time and loved it 🎾
4. Health 💪
I had planned to get back in shape and run more, including a repeat of the half marathon I ran last year, but unfortunately that didn’t happen. Here are some highlights:
- I started using a Set/Stand desk (link in uses page)
- I got some irritation in my eyes which made me use hydration drops for a while twice a day and was adviced to stay away from screens for sometime which affected my productivity a bit.
- I got a twisted ankle which was the worst thing happen to me, it was a series one that was at first recognised as a surgery then it turns out after an MRI that it doesn’t require a surgery however the healing time will be longer, and now it’s been 4 months as I write this with slightly better results, it might take around 3 months more with physiotherapy 🤷♂️
- I tried to go back to diet since I cannot work out on my leg and it went well for 1 month then I broke it again 😰
- unfortunately ending the year with a very bad numbers on the scale
5. New Places 🚌
I didn’t travel much this year, but there are a few new places that might be worth mentioning for my own reference
- I spent the first day in the new year 2022 in Egypt with family and travelled back to Egypt for an emergency Trip
- I travelled to Purtogal, Lisbon for the first time and it was an awesome trip, the city has great vibes and good food
- I traveled to Morocco, Casablanca for the first time as well, and I loved it, visited Alhassan II mosque which is enormous and beautiful
- In the Netherlands, I went to Zwolle and Amersfoort and they are both pretty nice cities
6. Reading 📚
In my planning for the year in reads, I planned to have the magic number of 10 books, seems reasonable and easy, right? but given all the mentioned stuff that I made and others not mentioned as a father and duties I couldn’t finish except 4 books only and still happy as they were really good ones
- Inventing Bitcoin: The Technology Behind The First Truly Scarce and Decentralized Money Explained, the book is quite good if you know nothing about crypto world, very small as well
- The Art of War: very classic book about wars in the old ages but pretty useful and insightful for how generals might think or if you became one yourself
- The Richest Man in Babylon: I postponed reading this book a lot and it is a great book telling you some advice about how could you save and manage your money
- Never Split the Difference: Negotiating as if Your Life Depended on It, It’s not only well-written, but it also taught me valuable negotiation techniques that I was able to apply immediately with great success. I was initially skeptical, but was pleasantly surprised at how well they worked out. I’m planning to write a separate post about it later.
7. Career 🧑💻
Here we come to the last but not least category, I spent the entire year working for one project however It was always enjoyable and challengable
- for the entire year I was working as a consultant for Passionate People where I spent great time with colleges and made some friends, had the chance to contribute to their amazing conferences as a speaker and as a podcast host.
- and I was a Senior FE Engineer for Ikea (Ingka Group) where I successfully led a project from a prototype to MVP to rolling out in 26 countires, leaving a team of 4 engineers to continue the success of our platform.
- By the end of the year, I decided to go for a new exciting challenge, in January 2023 I’m joining Miro the leading collaboration platform that helps teams work more efficiently and creatively as a Senior Software Engineer 🎉 I love the product and been using it for over 2 years now, and hope to contribute to its success.
Good to mention for young developers who might be reading this, it is still not easy even after 10 years of experience to find a new job (I don’t mean to scare you), I still get rejections and I still prepare for interviews as if I am a fresh graduate, with some experience this is not overkilling anymore, just keep learning and be prepared, this field is a life-time learning experience.
8. What in the plan for 2023? 🌱
After reading all of that, I hope you got inspired by something, in 2023 I tend to do more of what I enjoyed the most, here is my list:
- 📑 Continue journalling
- 📢 Continue public speaking at more meetups/conferences/workshops
- ✏️ Write at least a blog post per month, here on my blog and accept invites to write else where (will announce later)
- 📀 Record a youtube video at least once a month (in Arabic)
- ⌨️ My typing speed to reach 75 wpm (currently 48)
- 🚗 Get my Dutch driving licence
- 🖥️ Finalize my new man cave at home
- 🏃♂️ Run again at least once a week (2 races might make a push)
- ✈️ Travel more and build memories with my little family
- 🇳🇱 Start using Dutch language for conversations with my neighbors
- 🏠 Complete my home automation that started end of 2022
- 🤫 Reveal my secret side project that I’m working on right now.
- 💪 Be fit again (be able to wear my wedding shirt 😅 [main metric] )
Do you have different goals for 2023 ? let’s discuss them on twitter 🔗 to inspire each other
Tot ziens 👋