"2017, A Post Mortem" was published on


2017 has been a very wild ride so far, and I wanted to look back on everything that's happened, career-wise. I switched jobs! I traveled to 8 countries! I went to 3 conferences! When I started this blog in September, I was hoping to write a post at least once a month, but then life happened and I couldn't really be bothered, but I figured looking back on a very important year was something I could do.

The Good

  • 💻 2017 was my first year as a full-time frontend developer!
  • 🍾 I switched jobs
  • 🤓 I co-organized another very successful edition of Stupid Hackathon Amsterdam with Stephanie!
  • 🌍 I traveled to 8 different countries (Poland 🇵🇱, Germany 🇩🇪, Switzerland 🇨🇭, Austria 🇦🇹, Slovakia 🇸🇰, Hungary 🇭🇺, Croatia 🇭🇷, and Slovenia 🇸🇮)
  • 🎫 I visited three conferences: Front-Trends, CSS Day and Fronteers. They were all great, but especially Fronteers was a total blast.
  • 💜 I realized I have great friends and a wonderful support system

The Less Than Ideal

  • 💸 I spent too much on mechanical keyboards and fake internet coins, and not enough on my savings account.
  • 😔 Lots of imposter syndrome

A year in frontend development

I started as a frontend dev November last year, so 2017 was truly my first real year of doing frontend development every day (working day, that is). It's been a wild ride where I gained tons of new knowledge and skills, but also struggled with a lot of self doubt. After a year, I can truly say that I love doing frontend dev - from talking about a new design to writing CSS to thinking about cache invalidation and deploying a new product. I'm glad I found this field and I can't imagine myself doing anything else (except maybe UX or interaction design!).

I do struggle with feeling not good enough, a lot. I'm surrounded by brilliant people day in, day out, and sometimes I feel like I'll never get on their level because I'm not smart enough, or I started too late and why would anyone want to hire me over a 22-year-old with five years of experience? My previous employer took a chance on me when they offered me the dev job (I was doing tech support before that), and a part of me has always felt they did so out of pity - even though I know that's not true (that'd literally make no sense).

What helps in this aspect is talking to people. I've come to realize that pretty much anyone I look up to struggles with the same doubts and anxieties over not being good enough, or being a fraud. It's good to know I'm not the only one who thinks like that. But what really, truly helps me, is working hard and get better at my job. It's being able to read someone else's code and just know what's going on, it's being able to write ES6 from scratch, and it's coming up with solutions that my co-workers haven't thought of.

I'm still terrified that I'll be found out one day and get fired, but as long as I work hard and enjoy the work I'm doing, life's not too bad. What's been a major boost to my self-esteem was the amount of enthusiastic replies I got from companies when I started looking for a new job in August. I had a really good run at TransIP, but I'd been working there for almost three years and even though I'm very grateful they took a chance on me, I wanted to do something else. I realized that to become a better dev I'd need to write a lot more JavaScript, and just doing side-projects wasn't cutting it. And when I put myself out there on the job market, something amazing happened: companies were interested! I'd worked as a junior dev for less than a year, and every company I reached out to offered me a job interview, sometimes only minutes after me emailing them. Mind blown! So that was pretty, pretty good.

Anyhow, new job. It's been really good so far. It's a digital agency so very different from what I was doing (doing in-house dev work versus working for clients), and I'll be starting my first client project in January. The frontend stack is great: Gulp, Sass, ES6, Node.js, and no Bootstrap! I'm super excited to get more comfortable writing ES6-flavored JavaScript and maybe even branch out a bit to React and Vue.

2018

I love doing New Year's Resolutions! I don't care what science says, they're helpful to me. A new year is a good moment to look back and reaffirm what's important. So here's a list of what I'll be focusing on (more) the coming year:

  • ⚡️ More blog posts! They don't have to be long, they can just be code snippets with a short explanation. Writing down what I've learned is helpful to me and hopefully, also others.
  • ♿️ Learn more about accessibility and inclusive design, and update this website with that in mind. It's a bit of a mess right now :(
  • 🔥 Write lots of JavaScript and get better at it.
  • 💻 Contribute to an open source project.
  • 👩‍💻 Come up with a new side project and stick with it. Keep up a shipping streak using WIP.
  • 💜 Cultivate my friendships with the amazing women and men in tech that I've been fortunate to meet over the past two years.

That's it! 2017 was very weird, very challenging, and very hard at times, but I'd like to think I came out on top. I'm excited for 2018! 💪