Looking Back Year 2019

The year 2019 has come to end and the new year 2020 is beginning. Keeping my tradition of writing looking back year review post, its time to reflect on 2019 and set the goal for year 2020. Here are links to my previous year-end 2016, 2017 and 2018 review posts.

As in previous years, in this 2019 looking back post, I attempt to make critical self-assessments on what worked, what didn’t work, and set goals for the next year 2020.

Year 2019 Goals

I had set the following three learning goals for the year 2019 – Learning JS fundamentals, ReactJS, and WordPress 5.x and Gutenberg block editor.

  • JS Fundamentals: Learning JS Fundamentals: This goal I failed to complete this year will be continued in year 2020. My plan approach was to do topics recommended by Robin Wieruch in learning JS is fundamental to ReactJs and Strengthen JS fundamentals by reverse engineering. Continue learning through React projects.
  • ReactJs: Although I had a reactJs learning roadmap for 2019 with useful learning resources after I came across GatsbyJs & post related to Gatsby generated sites I switched gear to learning GatsbyJs and most of my ReactJs learning roadmap remain behind.
  • WordPress 5.x and Gutenberg: Because the WordPress 5.X & Gutenberg block editor are developing at fast pace & constantly evolving, recent updates are not fully documented . Therefore decided to follow Gutenberg phase 2 development and familiarize with blocks.

Goals Accomplished

Gutenberg Watch

It got less attention this year. I followed its development & release cycles and practiced using blocks and customizing in my current themes. The themes landscape is uncertain at this stage and its better to watch & wait until the block editor features are fully developed & bug-free.

Learning JS & ReactJS

I started learning ReactJs as planned from early January. While I was doing my react router lessons I came across GatsbyJs and started reviewing its tutorial documentation. During this period, I read Why My New Blog Isn’t on Medium by Dan Abramov, ReactJs developer, that his Overreacted.io site was build with Gatsby.

Thanks to Gatsby, my blog works 100% without JavaScript, loads with a lightning speed, and the client-side JS enhances that experience with prefetching and seamless transitions. Dan Abramov on Medium

This together with Tania Rascia‘s post Migrating from WordPress to Gatsby and many similar posts changed everything. I changed gears and started learning GatsbyJs, which is also based on ReactJS.

Learning GatsbyJS

This was the most fun project that I started in 2019. After some research I realized that the Gatsby tutorial documentation was ideal route for to me to go forward.

My take away lesson from Gatsby learning was that “most of the goals that I wanted to achieve with React SPA could be achieved with Gatsby in much sorter time and ease. Indeed, I have achieved most of the goals with GatsbyJs already.”

Learning in Progress

In addition getting acquainted with Git & GitHub, I am also working on designing a basic gallery site with Gatsby with a goal to creating a basic image gallery site similar to Kyle Mathews’s Gatsbygram example site.

Writing Blog Posts

I wrote more than 110 blog entries in my six personal sites with only 25 substantive learning-note posts. I plan to do better in 2020.

Prioritizing Personal Health

I started giving priority on my personal health & fitness this year. Although, my morning workout-routine took my most productive learning time (morning) but it was a worthwhile effort getting into a habit. Additionally – I started involving in gardening & other activities and readjusting to my work schedule. I plan to continue putting my health & fitness in my list of priorities going forward in 2020.

Year 2020 Goals

JS Mental Modals by Dan Abramov: React developer Dan Abramov has created simple Just JavaScript, which I plan to do to get better understanding of JavaScript fundamentals. Dan writes exceptionally simple & easy to understand notes, which I am hoping to help better conceptualize basic JavaScript.

  • Rest API to GraphQL. Focus learning GraphQL rather than REST API because GraphQL will be replacing REST API. Gatsby with WPGraphQL could easily fetch data from WordPress. As WordPress themes are heading to the dead end, headless Gatsby WordPress themes are emerging.
  • Headless WordPress Sites: Keep an eye on the development of headless WordPress sites development and learn as much as possible through personal projects.
  • Git & GitHub Learning: I have started learning Git which I plan to continue by creating learning projects (eg. Gatsby site deployment) etc.
  • Create More Content: My new focus in year 2020 will be on creating content, large or short content. Just keep on creating content not just for documentation but sharing as much as possible through blog posts or publication in other websites.
  • Personal Health & Community: Plan to prioritize personal health & fitness. This is especially important for those of us who spend long hours in-front our screen & keyboard. Equally important goal is to start giving back to the community that we love.
  • Reorganize & Archive My Learning Notes: Because these learning notes were created for my own consumption and not for sharing, they are scattered. I plan to reorganize & archive these learning-notes posts for archiving & sharing.
  • Learning & Sharing: My new renewed focus will be learning & creating contents for sharing. I have been fortunate to get benefited from posts, tutorials, guides of other developers. Its time for me start sharing my learning experience to others too who are just beginning their learning endeavor like I was not while ago. I am still doing everyday.
Wrapping Up

The year 2019 was a another productive year. I learned GatsbyJs. Tutorials, posts, developers and their work always inspired me to do what I love to do – learning. Learning is a process and not a goal.

Start every day as a producer, not as a consumer. Clay Johnson | Lifehacker

I am looking forward to having a very Happy & Productive Coding Year 2020!