2019: Year In Review

Beginning of last year, I wrote about what happened in my life during 2018. I thought why not follow it up with what happened in 2019. I think it’s good to look back and reflect on what the year brought to you, in terms of life and work and do a review of it.

Here are some of the highlights in terms of my career and life:

Writing on the Gatsby Blog

I mentioned I had developed three sites using Gatsby during 2018. Earlier in 2019 year, I wrote a blog post on the official Gatsby site. Here it is if you want to take a look. I’m incredibly lucky to join the Gatsby Open Source Maintainers’ Team and also receive their swag!

Failure

We had to shut down our first venture, Laccadive IO in February 2019. Failure was painful but it also teaches us many lessons. I do not regret starting a business or failing with it, as it has lead to the person I am today.

Consulting

Shortly after failing, I began offering my services as an independent consultant. It was quite successful, to say the least as I got to work with folks that I have always admired, namely LearnDash and Zac Gordon. I also worked with agencies like Jatstudio and Simplur.

I worked with a promising startup – Capbase. They are defining the way founders start a business, hire, raise money and more. Here, I got to understand the importance of quality code reviews.

rtCamp

I joined rtCamp in May this year. This was the first time I am working fully remote for an organization. rtCamp, Inc. is registered in the US and has a branch in India. I’m very happy with their culture and their avoidance of micromanagement.

At rtCamp I met many folks who have helped me grow as a developer and a person. I met Rahul back in 2017 and I have always looked up to him and his company. I am super lucky to work at rtCamp and for their clients such as PMC.

Contributing to WordPress Core

I managed to make a minor contribution to WordPress Core, which was released in version 5.2 “Jaco”.

rtCamp celebrated mine and other rtCampers’ core contributions by cutting a cake

This was my first core contribution, and I hope to do more of it in the future.

More writing

Some companies reached out to me with writing opportunities. I did not take up some of them and others, I am not sure if they got published yet. One of the companies I happily agreed to write for was LogRocket – since I like what they do and I see them sponsor good folks like Syntax.fm.

In total, I published 7 posts on this site in 2019. While I am not too happy with the number, I am satisfied because I certainly cannot go back in time!

WordCamp US

One of the highlights of 2019 for me was being accepted to speak at WCUS. I did not get Visa to travel to the US, so had to do my talk remotely. Here is a more detailed post about my experience, and here us my talk on WordPress TV!

More Speaking

I was also fortunate to speak at other online events.

I was invited to speak at the first event hosted for GatsbyJS Montréal Meetup. Here I spoke on “Building with Gatsby and WordPress”.

I also spoke at JS for WP Conf 2019 on “Server Side React for WordPress”.

Happened to speak at WordSesh EMEA 2019 on Gatsby and WordPress again.

I was selected as a speaker at WordCamp Mumbai 2019 as well, but could not attend there due to unavoidable circumstances.

I was lucky to be invited to speak at a few WordCamps in 2019 – will refrain from mentioning names – but could not make it due to time and logistical reasons.

Traveling

I spent 2 months out of the 12 in India. This is the longest I had stayed in a foreign country.

I noticed how similar South India is compared to Sri Lanka – and how different it is at other times. It’s hard to explain.

Overall I had a lot of fun in Chennai: the food, the malls, and the culture were fascinating.

I tried Starbucks after 3 years – we do not have them in my country – and liked it just as much as I did the first time.

Adventure

On the last weekend of 2019, I went on a trip to Puttalam – which is in Northwestern Sri Lanka – and to Wilpattu National Park with my family. The Safari at the national park was an exhilarating moment for all of us.

We spotted a leopard closeby – it darted up a tree and came down and vanished in a matter of seconds.

Hello, 2020!

I do not have New Years’ Resolution or 2020 goals written on paper. But in 2020, I want to take care of my health more – physically, spiritually and mentally.

I also want to travel more this year.

In terms of career – I want to relearn Data Structures and Algorithms. Purchased a subscription from AlgoExpert – but did not start learning yet. Let’s see how that goes!

I may not have achieved all my goals for 2019, but that’s okay! I feel it’s better to set loose targets or a direction of where I want to be headed, instead of writing specific numbers.

Anyways, I’m so looking forward to this year and decade and what it has in store for me!

Happy 2020, and I wish you all the success and happiness in this new year and decade!

Cheers 👋