Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash
Dev Retro 2022 — a tech retrospective
3 min read
2022 was a very interesting and busy year for me. Interesting because
I never thought I'd be switching careers and becoming a developer
I met and worked with so many new people
I learnt a lot of new things and unlearned some old ways of doing things
I presented a talk at a tech conference for the first time
... I could go on and on ... but, let's keep it simple 😃
Now, let's break things down a little bit 🙂
Getting my first role as a developer
In March 2022, I started work as a junior developer at Torchbox, working remotely and building interesting stuff with Python, Django and Wagtail! I'm grateful to The Lord for this opportunity. I never imagined myself leaving my previous job in 2022 to become a developer. God willing, I will write about this in a separate post. Suffice it to say, it's not easy to leave behind a career you've built for a decade, to start afresh in a completely new field. Notwithstanding, it's been a great experience so far, and I hope I can continue to grow in this new craft, and become a better developer one step at a time 🏋💪!
In the meantime, check out our careers page, you might just be my teammate! There are various roles there, across various departments.
New people, new ways of working
Starting a new job not only entails meeting and working with new people, but also new ways of working! In my case, all my colleagues are at least 10,000km away, on various continents outside Africa, and I haven't even met any of them in person! However, they are all fantastic people, and it has been such a joy working and interacting with them. I thought working remotely would be all fun and games ...
It requires a lot of discipline, focus and hard work, otherwise you won't get anything done!
The whole agile thing was new to me — sprints, stand-ups, backlog refinements, etc. Took a while to get used to this, and I'm still learning!
Prior to this experience, most of the development work I did was solo. No teams, no collaborators, except, of course, for open source contributions. Now, I learnt all about Git workflows, and the various nuances of having several pieces of interdependent work going on simultaneously ... interesting stuff!
All in all, a lot of adjustments and adaptation, but all good so far 👍
Learning, learning and learning
I've already highlighted some of the things I've had to learn. I think there's been so much learning in 2022 for me. At the end of the year, I was certainly a better developer than I was at the beginning of 2022. I even subscribed to Coursera Plus at the end of the year, so that I could continue to level up my skills! I started a Computer Science Series, where I talk about these things. You'll also see from my Class Central profile that I completed the following two courses:
Fundamentals of Digital Marketing, by Google.
Starting Up, by Aalto University and MinnaLearn.
"But these courses don't even have anything to do with programming", you might say! Well, that isn't entirely correct! Being a developer is much more than writing good code. Ask John Sonmez, he has a lot to say about this! I have been reading his book and I have found it to be quite insightful.
First PyCon talk
I submitted a last-minute application to present a remote talk at PyCon ZA 2022, and I couldn't believe it when I got the email confirmation of acceptance! You can check out my talk in the video below:
And that's a wrap!
Well, I'll pause here for now. I need to get some sleep 😴, a busy week ahead, lots of things to do, and more interesting things to learn! By God's grace, we keep moving!