Recap 2018

2019 January 2

After reading Brandon Sanderson’s State of the Sanderson 2018 and Fogus’s The best things and stuff of 2018, I feel like to write up a quick summary my year of 2018, a part for myself, and a part for the reason I’ll explain later in the post.

Some Numbers in 2018

  1. 280 Open Source Software contributions
  2. 11.9K Total viewership over the 5 articles I published on Medium
  3. 40 Books read

Highlights

1. Cljdoc.org

The thing I’m most proud of in 2018 is that I started contributing to Cljdoc.org. My open source contribution started back in 2016 during my first PyCon’s sprint. Since then I occasionally contribute to the open source software that I use but never had I felt that the programming community would be part of my identity. Not until I stumbled upon Clojure and Cljdoc.

Special thanks to Martin Klepsch, the creator of Cljdoc, who helped me a ton to go through some questions and provide feedbacks all along the way. Through contributing to his project, I gained more confidence and experiences then I would have if I were to learn Clojure all alone. I’m extremely blessed to have someone like Martin to look up to while being so approachable at the same time. Contributing to Cljdoc is easily the highlight of 2018.

2. The Cosmere

At 2016, I picked up the first book of Mr. Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn trilogy and I’m hooked. This year, I stormed through every book in his Cosmere collection and OMG this was phenomenal.

If you are curious, Cosmere is the fiction Universe that surrounds the worlds (or planetary systems) inside. Though the magic systems varies a lot between the worlds, there are some unified laws or rules that each of them follows, though I believe there’re just fan theories circulating around.

Brandon’s story telling in each of the book is so fascinating and I just want to recommend his books to all the people I know.

3. CoolMarkdownEditor.org

This was quite a surprise. I didn’t set out to do a project as useful as the Cool Markdown Editor I just wanted to have a toy project to help me learn Clojure/Script and get familiar with the development. Turned out I was wrong, this is actually something useful to me. I used it when I just need an easy place to write up some technical document. Yeah I know you all have opinions on this. My opinions are:

  1. I want very little distraction.
  2. I want it launch quickly.
  3. I want to see preview on the side, always.
  4. I want to share document.

Though the implementation is quite simple, and probably easier if I chosed to use vanila JavaScript, I really had a blast writing Clojure for this project.

Low-lights

-1. Medium vs Personal Blog

Since this year, I’ve been wanting to move away from Medium but the viewership just kept growing there. I didn’t want to abandon the audience there but my personal blog is just very quiet. Marketing my own blog would be a challenge for the upcoming year.

-2. No USTA tennis tournaments played in 2018

I broke my left knee at the end of 2017 and came back mid this year. Though I played one NTRP 3.5 singles league and the Bay Area Industrial Tennis League, I did not participate any USTA NTRP singles tournament. Though my skills has improved from NTRP 3.0 to 3.5 this year. I wished that I had some record to support it.

-3. Tennis vs Body Building

I didn’t find the balance between body building and playing competitive tennis. Part of the reason is that my tennis schedule isn’t always fixed and work was more stressful this year.

Favorite Stuffs

Technologies

Clojure - Clojure is the best thing that happened to me since Python

Technical Books

Living Clojure by Carin Meier - From my review on Goodread:

This is very practical guide for people coming to Clojure as their second language, just like me.

Non-technical Books

Words of Radiance (The Stormlight Archive, Book 2) by Brandon Sanderson - This is a tough call. I love all the books by Brandon Sanderson and Patrick Rothfuss I read this year. However, there’re some scenes from Words of Radiance that are just too epic. From my review on Goodread:

This book is amazing. I love the character development so much in this book, perhaps more than book 1 in the series. It devastated me how much struggle the characters had to come through. And those heart-wrenching conversations before they came to the realization of their own identities… I learned so much from the characters and I love this book.

Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus by John Gray I’ve learned so much about being in a relationship and the differences between men and women. This book has significantly changed the dynamics between me and my girlfriend.

TV shows

Daredevil - No doubt this is my favorite show ever. I love the interpretation of the characters, the struggles, the religious aspects, the philosophy aspects, the screenwriting, the dialogues, and everything about this show. This is just too good. Daredevil is the best super hero since Christopher Nolan’s Batman.

Personal Relationships

My girlfriend and I have come through a lot in 2018. We both grew and learned a lot from each other and I couldn’t stress more on how important that is to us. We’ve been sort of long distance (7.5 hours drive away) for the most of our relationship and finally we moved to the same city this October.

People who inspired/influenced me in 2018 (in no particular order)

  1. Martin Klepsch
  2. Sam Ling
  3. Hannah Henderson