“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”
Wow, I cant believe we have arrived already to the end of 2019! This year has been a journey for sure. I think it's safe to say looking back that the journey was not exactly what I was expecting or hoping for, but I'm thankful for taking the road nonetheless. I have learned so much this year getting myself immersed in web development, as it has helped me develop my technical and problem solving skills.
My learning has given me the confidence to take the next steps in doing web development professionally, and I wanted to give an update on the steps I will be taking to ensure this happens in 2020.
1. I've finished up a couple of personal projects
I think one of the missteps I had this year was not taking enough to jump in there and just code. While I have been doing a ton of learning through Pluralsight this second half of the year, sometimes there is just no replacing hand-on experience. So, I have taken some time the last couple of months to get a few projects off the ground, and into a live production environment that people could check out and see for themselves. Here are two personal projects I have finished:
- Cocktail_DB: This is the main project I have worked on this second half of the year, which has incorporated a lot of different frameworks (React, Ruby on Rails, Auth0 for User Management, and a third-party API for data), it includes a few basic functions, such as getting a random cocktail, searching for a cocktail, the ability to save a cocktail to your favorites, and deleting a cocktail from your favorites. There is definitely still work to be done and functionality that can be added, but its definitely at an MVP status, and worthy of a production release
- Deal Analyzer: This is a simple calculator I did for fun that is designed to determine whether or not it is worth it to do a house flipping deal. I incorporated two different third-party API's (Google Places Autocomplete and Zillow) into a simple React application, as well as connected the application to Firebase, The application has the ability to calculate the profit and profit margin for a house flip deal, save the calculated deal to a NoSQL database (The Cloud Firestore in this case), and completing a GET request to that database to pull the last saved deal. Not a lot to it, but it was fun to build, and taught me a lot about API integration and Firebase
On top of these project, I am also looking at building an my own API using Python and Flask. It will probably revolve around something TV related, but more to come on that front.
2. I've redesigned my portfolio website
As you may have noticed, my blog has undergone a complete redesign. While the first attempt was a valiant effort at putting together a complete website, I just felt like my UI design was not very pleasing to the eye and wasn't very clean. So, knowing my design skills are not necessarily my strong suit, I looked to other solutions to build and design my site. In that process, I discovered Gatsby.js, which is a static site generator based on React. The number of templates available were awesome, and much better than anything I could have designed on my own. So, I picked a template I loved, and set up a website that I am proud to put out as my own.
3. I'm going to start a side hustle creating web applications
Between my experience creating reporting and dashboards for a Fortune 100 company, and my new found abilities in web development, I am getting ready to launch a new business venture! This is exhilarating and terrifying to me at the same time, but I think is a necessary step for me to meet my long term goals in achieving financial independence.
My focus is going to be primarily on developing web applications that can help small businesses gather information and gain actionable insights from that information, as well as automate tasks that will save them time that can be used to grow their business.
If you want more information and details, or have any referrals you want to send my way, you can submit that info for now through the contact form on this site.
4. I'm going to continue to pursue opportunities to web develop full time
While I would love for my new business to ultimately be my meal ticket out of corporate america, I recognize that effort will take years to accomplish. In the meantime, I know the best way for me to ultimately develop my tech skill sets and learn is to do so in my full-time day job. So, I'm going to restart my efforts to find a position that will help me to accomplish that goal. So, I plan on spending a lot of time at different tech meetups these next few months, and meeting people that will help me to achieve that goal.
I wish everybody a very happy holiday season as we all wrap up 2019, and a happy new year in 2020. I look forward to sharing more updates with you as I continue to press on with my web developer journey!