Do you know how they say success is where opportunity meets preparation? Well, I believe 2022 was the year when my preparations for the past two years finally met that opportunity. Actually, many opportunities. To understand where this year took me, we have to look back at where it all started.
Main Events before 2022
My web development journey started, as for most newcomers into tech, during the first lockdown of 2020. Ah, what a crazy time it was.
Just kidding, it was the best decision of mine, together with joining the Tech Twitter community at the end of 2020. Not only that, but at the end of January 2021, I decided to start blogging on DevTo and Hashnode to share things that I couldn't express in under 280 characters. At that time, my main goals were:
Growing my Twitter audience
Learning and building cool stuff
Blogging about that cool stuff
So, that was it until the end of 2021 when I started learning Web3, first with help of Buildspace and then LearnWeb3DAO. This leads us to April 2022 when puzzle pieces started to come together.
I found out about EthAmsterdam through one of Francesco Ciulla's tweets.
It looked like an incredible opportunity to challenge my existing web development skills together with my newly acquired Web3 knowledge. So, I applied, and it didn't take long until I got the confirmation that I was accepted to participate in my first-ever hackathon.
Finding a team wasn't difficult. I found out later that these events have a big demand for front-end developers. I teamed up with three guys from Cardiff, two of which were experienced in blockchain development and the other one in the energy sector, while I took the responsibility for building the front-end for our application.
The project that we have been working on is called “Flexergy”. It's about providing electricity to homes in demand of it. Instead of taking the electricity from big whales such as power plants and paying big bucks, the network provider buys the energy from locals with solar panels or batteries. Because the system is completely decentralized, the locals who provide energy can set the price themselves.
In the end, we got third place (tied) in the sponsored challenge by Mina, and we won some prize money from the Filecoin prize pool.
Overall, it was a great experience and I learned a lot more about blockchain development and explored the beautiful city of Amsterdam.
First Tech Job
In June, I started my first part-time tech job as a working student at a legal online service firm called Juris. In the 4 months that I worked there, I experienced hands-on how it is to work at an office and improved both my soft and hard skills. I got very comfortable with React, as before I mostly used Vue for my side projects. Through code reviews and reading code, someone else wrote, my code style drastically improved. Sadly, it didn't last long, as I had to move in October because of my studies.
Return to Blogging
If you scroll through my blog posts, you will see a massive gap between September 2021 and August 2022. This is because I stopped blogging for a while. Why?
At first, it was the beginning of my studies, but after it became more of a writer's block. I couldn't come up with ideas for blog posts I thought were good enough.
Finally, in August, I set a goal for myself to take on writing again in September. I failed... in a good way. I came back to writing already in August because of the Hashnode Writeathon. If you haven't heard about it, it's a challenge to incentivize bloggers on Hashnode to write 4 posts in a month, 1 post per week.
I completed the challenge and as you can see, it helped me overcome my writer's block and that's why I'm still blogging up to date. Even though I haven't won any prizes, I received an opportunity that I will mention later in this article.
First Tech Conference
Although, the arrival was a "rocky road" to say the least. I loved the city of Zadar and the Infobip Shift Conference. I met new people and people who I knew from Twitter, people who got me interested in web development. Not only that, but I listened to talks and stories of other developers. There were also cool stands and giveaways. Overall, it was a blast!
After participating in the Hashnode Writeathon I got an opportunity from nexten.io to write technical articles all around development for their blog. From there, I also got an opportunity to collaborate with supabase.com during their launch week. This was incredible because I used Supabase before and still use it for all my projects which require some kind of database or authentication. I like writing, and being able to make some additional money from it makes it even more special.
So, here we are, the last big chapter of 2022.
“It all begins and ends with a hackathon.” — Nobody ever said
This hackathon was organized by my university and as I was new on the campus (I spent last year studying online), I decided it was a great opportunity to meet people and make new friends, maybe even win some prizes.
Do you remember how I said hackathons lack front-end developers and that it's easy to find a team? Well, that was the case again. I joined a team of other three 3rd semester students like myself.
This hackathon was somewhat different from the first one. Just one-fifth of the challenges were based on blockchain. Sponsored challenges were the main challenges, in EthAmsterdam sponsored challenges were more of a side quest.
After visiting a few workshops and discussing what we learned from them, my team and I decided to go with the challenge organized by Solana.
The project that we have been working on is called “Greeft”. We implemented two types of loyalty points into the Solana Pay app, which can redeem gift cards and rewards in our shop. One type of loyalty point is called a “green token”, it is given to the user when purchasing goods & services which are environmentally friendly, e.g. a ticket for the metro. With this token, you can redeem vouchers and gift cards cheaper than with the other type, which is given for all other types of purchases.
We presented our project to the Solana team at the end of the hackathon. We got into the final, where we presented our project in front of all the other participants. And guess what, we WON!
Looking back at 2022, it was an incredible ride. I never thought I could achieve and experience so many things at once. I never thought installing one social media app and one worldwide pandemic could force me to write this blog post and just think to myself “Wow, has this actually happened?”, but it happened, and I'm more than grateful for this.
Of course, I don't know if next year will be that amazing, and I don't have to know that. All I need is to stick to setting and completing my small goals. I just hope that in a year I will be able to look back at all those small goals, see an incredible big picture and think to myself “Wow, has this actually happened?”.
Thanks for reading! ❤️ This blog post is part of Dev Retro 2022. This is my last blog post for this year, so I wish you happy holidays and a happy new year! If you want to be the first one to see my next article, follow me on Hashnode and Twitter!