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My 2022 Smilestones: A Reflective Journey

Wins and Lessons from a Rollercoaster Year in Tech

Ayodele Samuel Adebayo's photo
Ayodele Samuel Adebayo
·Dec 28, 2022·

16 min read

My 2022 Smilestones: A Reflective Journey

Photo by Collin Sheffield on Unsplash

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Success is a process… During that journey sometimes there are stones thrown at you, and you convert them into milestones. ~ Sachin Tendulkar

My name is Ayodele Samuel Adebayo, also known as Uncle BigBay, and this is a documentation of how I did in the year 2022, including what worked and what didn't.

Although I had difficulty writing about my journey last year, I was able to learn from the experience, to write regardless and move forward. While I made some changes to the topic, I ultimately did not publish the article.

Last year's retro draft

Looking back, I wish I'd been able to complete the article to compare the challenges and progress from last year to this year's update. However, I am grateful for the opportunity to reflect and grow from the experience.

My workspace from the previous year looked like this (This will serve as an illustration of the previous year's summary).

Date: July 2021

This year (2022) has been a significant one for me in terms of my tech career. There have been many highs and lows, as well as new roles and responsibilities. Overall, it has been a year of growth and development for me.

I plan to document and update this article with key events and incidents from my 2022 journey that I can remember at the time of writing.

This article delves into my 2022 journey in tech and how I navigated it. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Frontend Engineer at Ksolutions (Internship)

As 2021 was ending, one of my goals for 2022 was to further build a professional working relationship and learn more about how a professional workplace operates.

I was fortunate to be offered an internship at Ksolutions, for the third time and decided to accept it.

Why didn't I accept the first and second times? Fear! Fear Of the unknown!

I resumed the second day the offer letter came in and I shared a post about it on LinkedIn a few weeks later.

2021 was all about freelancing and making personal decisions on clients' projects.

This year, I am excited about starting my first internship with Ksolutions as a Frontend Developer. I look forward to making beautiful memories in the company, working and learning from professionals, and experiencing growth with the company.

Wish me well.

Unclebigbay starting internship at Ksolutions

View the post on LinkedIn.

Ksolutions is the first company where I get to work a nine-to-five job since I've been freelancing since 2020 (should've documented the WHY in 2021 🤦🏽‍♂️).

I worked on 4 teams and 4 projects in total during my internship at Ksolutions while I served as the frontend lead for 3 of the teams using React, Tailwind, and Bootstrap.

I had my final standup meeting at Ksolutions as a Frontend Developer on Feb 18 and it was an emotional one for me. See the post on LinkedIn here.

No alternative text description for this image

My team's engineering manager wrote me a LinkedIn recommendation, and here's what she had to say about my time working at Ksolutions.

Wrote as many articles as I could

Aside from coding, I enjoy writing and spend a lot of time on the internet writing about coding, products and tools, and how to build things on the internet. I was also one of the 2021 top writers on Hashnode.

One of my goals for 2022 was to write as many (paid) articles as I can, and not on my personal blog, where I am both the writer and the chief editor.

This was a challenge to monetize my writing skills and I also believed writing for companies and clients will allow me to get as much feedback as possible from more experienced people while writing for them.

At the end of the year, one of my editors asked me this question:

This also made me realize that I had written as many articles as possible.

Writing for Hashnode Web3 Blog (Contract)

Writing for Hashnode Web3 blog was a great opportunity for me. I'll always be grateful for the right brain that whispered to me to use this guide written by Favor Onuoha on the Hashnode web3 blog to write a walkthrough of how I Turned My 2021 Hashnode Tech Awards into NFTS.

A lot of people loved this article including Andrei Tiburca, the former content marketing manager at the Hashnode web3 blog who reached out to me on Twitter.

After a few conversations, he gave me my first topic to write and offered me the highest rate ($/word) they could afford after my submission. The payment I received was significantly higher than what I had expected and I am still surprised by it today.

I've written over 14 published articles for the Hashnode web3 blog, making me the top writer at the publication thus far (followed by Ryan S. Gladwin with 13 articles) before the blog was discontinued in December.

Writing as many as I can; can sometimes look something like this on the Hashnode web3 blog:

Or look more like this:

I also got feedback from the Hashnode web3 audience:

Click to view feedback pictures

Writing as many articles as possible was one of my goals for 2022, and I'm grateful for the opportunity to write for the Hashnode web3 blog.

The experience was great and I'm thankful for the following experience while writing for the Hashnode web3 blog:

  • A comprehensive standard writing style guide.

  • Access to SEO strategies, feedback, and technical writing resources (thank you! Andrei Tiburca and Yuri Lee).

  • Being a pioneer writer of the Hashnode web3 blog for people learning web3, blockchain, and NFTs.

  • A better understanding of how to use Trello with over 22 other writers and my editor (better workflow and async culture).

Writing For Stream Chat (Freelance)

While writing for Hashnode web3, I received an email from James (not his real name), a technical writer from Stream Chat, who came across this Aviyel community article I wrote in 2021.

My task was to integrate Supabase authentication along with their Steam chat SDK in React, and no one on their team has tried the integration before; which means I had to figure most of the things out on my own. I was also given 2-3 weeks to complete the article, but I submitted the first draft and the functioning app within the first week 👀.

I was actually writing this article during my last days at Ksolutions (see the browser group from the dropdown below):

Click to view

I also get to work with their lead resident React engineer on some workflow that they didn't consider:

Along with him, the article was supervised by 6 more people from their technical writing team 😰. I should probably add working under pressure to my CV now 😅.

Working with the Stream chat team on Discord was pretty fun! And I enjoy personally giving them progress reports now and then to keep us in sync.

See the following example:

I completed the integration article and created a YT demo video for it here.

My payment got a little bit delayed, but it finally came in 😅

Also, I got this energizing feedback from James.

I couldn't continue working with Stream chat because I hadn't heard from James in a while (back then), and then I saw this tweet about a Stream layoff (I'm not sure why, but his profile shows he's also moved from Stream).

Writing for CopyCat (Contract)

CopyCat is an AI-powered plugin that helps you streamline your workflow by automatically converting your Figma designs into production-ready UI code.

I was approached by CopyCat's Head of marketing for a ReactJS technical writing role in March.

I got in after a few discussions and I've enjoyed working at CopyCat because of the friendly folks there and the technologies we used for creating SEO-optimized articles.

I ended up referring up to 4 other technical writers from Nigeria to the team, and I was later promoted to work as an editor along with my existing role as a writer, where I wrote 29 articles in total for CopyCat's blog.

Things I did while working at CopyCat:

  • Improved the writing process by introducing the Trello Kanban board which makes the writing and editing process faster (learned this from working with the Hashnode web3 team).

  • Introduced CTA captions to be used within articles.

  • Introduced "new article" format alert from writers to editors, which makes it easier to maintain conversation relating to each topic.

Below are recommendations from my marketing lead on LinkedIn:

Recommendation from my editor on LinkedIn:

Facilitator at TIIDELab (Volunteer)

I graduated from TIIDELab Cohort 2 in 2021 as the best graduating fellow (see the tweet and my experience). Then I volunteered as Technical support for the Cohort 3 pre-fellowship and made the lead technical facilitator for the Cohort 4 pre-fellowship, an intensive six months web development program.

Click to view pictures during my time as Technical support View the tweet I host twitter space

Content Creator at PolyPortal (Contract)

Polyportal is an online learning platform for beginners to learn about NFTs, Web3, and DAOs. The CEO reached out via Twitter and I was contracted to write some NFTs course modules.

I wrote three-course modules in total while at Polyportal and it's currently being rebranded.

Frontend Coach at TIIDELab (Full time)

I was offered the role to be the coach for the Cohort 4 main fellowship in the frontend stack. Before then, I was already volunteering as a frontend engineer for TIIDELab where I designed and developed their new website and application portal (Adeyemo Peter wrote the backend, I enjoy working with you Peter!) where we had over 1k applicants.

I was also presented with an "Ambassadorial Honours Award" for all of my volunteering work.

Click to view the Ambassadorial Honours Award

Taking on the role of frontend instructor was a challenging one for me, even though it is similar to what I do as technical support and lead facilitator during the pre-fellowships.

But there's more this time with more responsibilities coaching in the main fellowship; as there are 60 fellows to be taught HTML and CSS, guided through JavaScript, and ReactJS within six months, all while still working as a technical writer contractor at Hashnode web3, CopyCat, and PolyPortal.

Click to view screenshots from my classes

My goal at that point was to ensure that I'm always available at every point and that every concept that I found difficult during my time as a fellow and software developer was broken down into chunks for my new students.

Click to view tweets from my students

The program was for six months and we finally had the last React class on the 22nd of November.

The final day of frontend class.

The cute man by my left is my JavaScript coach in 2020 and now we work together as coaches, I teach frontend while he takes the backend courses.

During the six-month fellowship, we formed a team of six and completed six MVP projects together.

See screenshots of team projects presentations below:

Click to view team projects screenshot during a presentation

Below is the final list of the graduating students for the 2022 TIIDELab fellowship:

Image

I also got a special recognition award on graduation day:

Click to view the award. PS: The work address on the award was wrong...

Our students started getting job offers the second week of graduation:

Click to view tweets and DMs

Interview with Moralis (Developer Advocate)

I wrote quite a several articles about Moralis web3 SDKs and APIs on Hashnode web3 blogs here, here, here, and here, and I was approached by one of their team to apply for the role of developer advocate.

Since I love what they do at Moralis, and loved creating content myself, I applied and fixed an interview with an HR person, Catherine.

The interview went pretty well and except for my network connection (MTN!!!), I had to do a network check on the other tab (jkjjkjk) 😂.

I was given a React coding challenge to attempt on Codility. I crushed em!

Then I proceeded to the next interview stage, where I was to make a short video explaining Blockchain Mempool Transaction. I find this interesting and challenging because I'm not -really a video person sometimes.

Click to view recording screenshots

I did the first recording, and I was told it isn't bright, purchased a ring light to record the second video. Then I received the latest interview update from HR.

At least give me a refund for the unplanned ring light! 😂

Overall, I had a great time during the interview with Catherine and found the entire process to be enjoyable, especially the coding challenge which helped me demonstrate my technical skills at a high level.

Got into Hashnode as CSE (Full time)

I love Hashnode, the product makes my life easier as a writer, and I've been writing there since 2020.

I also write for the Hashnode web3, so it's safe to say I know the in and out of the Hashnode product 😋.

I've also been sharing an unusual UI bug with the team on discord, which I figured out is unique to my phone, Tecno Spark 4.

Click to view the UI bug

That's the first time the Hashnode CEO dm'd me 😱, I mean I'm a big fan 😅

I mean it, the bug was unique to my phone 😹

The bug was then reproducible, with similar reports showing up in the second month after I provided more information about my device, followed by an offer to collaborate.

The interview was pretty much straightforward, took a test, and went through the company's culture and when everything went well, I finally get to meet with the two cofounders (they're friendly and amazing!).

Click to view interview screenshot

Then, I'm in:

View Tweet

Working as a Customer Success Engineer at Hashnode

As a Customer Success Engineer/Manager at Hashnode, my responsibility is to ensure that our customers, both writers and readers, are successful in using any part of our products by engineering the Hashnode features documentation and managing the live chat support on Intercom and Discord.

Although I do not have any prior experience specifically for this role, I believe that my strong communication and technical skills, developed through writing, may have been beneficial in this case. Additionally, I was endorsed on LinkedIn by one of our satisfied customers, which is a positive indication of my abilities 💃

Working at Hashnode has been an entirely new experience, working remotely with amazing people and receiving real-time feedback from customers, and my team is fantastic!

Here's one from a colleague.

I also used my engineering skills to help the engineering team debug and reproduce bug reports from users, saving them time and allowing them to solve bugs faster!

I get to work with almost everyone on the team, especially the engineering and the design team, and everyone is ready to assist. I always have fun resolving domain-related issues with Sai Krishna Prasad Kandula.

Missed a Trip to Thailand

I was unable to join my team on their trip to Thailand due to the lengthy process of obtaining my passport from the NIS, but it appears that they had a lot of fun, as indicated in this tweet.

Image

I've also gotten my passport, not missing next year's trip 💃

Made Mama Cry 3 times this year

I'm so happy and grateful that my mom, one of the best things in my life, has been moved to tears of joy twice by me, including on our first night in our new home this Christmas 🎄.

Take a look

My workspace has moved from this version in July 2021:

To this version in March 2022 [WIP]:

Excited about the 2023 version 😃

Gift from the Grammarly Team

Grammarly is a product I can't do a day without, in as much as I'm creating content. I came across a premier video suggestion on YouTube about The Grammarly Text Editor SDK Launch Party 🎉, I was so curious to test it out but I couldn't find any developer-friendly documentation on how on integrated the SDK at the time.

So, I decided to write a step-by-step guide on how to make use of the SDK and I made a tweet about it (the usual tweet for all my blog posts)

Click to view tweet

Then, I got an invite via tweet to share the tutorials with their communities. I also received a letter from their developer advocate.

Image

Along with more gifts (see tweet here):

Image

Got some useful feedback from people as well:

100k Pageviews Milestone

Even though I'm not writing as much on my personal blog this year (12 articles), it's still gaining traction and has over 150k pageviews at the time of writing.

What I didn't do well this year

I didn't attend any in-person events such as Devfest

As an introvert, I find that I am more outgoing and communicative online, especially in chat settings. However, in-person meetups can be draining for me because I struggle to come up with things to talk about with my online friends when we meet in person.

Despite this, I enjoy organizing developer hangouts in my community (UBB and Friends) where we can have casual, informative discussions about programming-related topics and answer any questions from participants. Then we play a typing game at the end.

unclebigbay and friends community

I'm always the winner of the typing game challenge 🏆

I also received valuable feedback from the community:

Inconsistent Physical Activities

I achieved many of my goals for 2022 as a technical writer and made progress in software development. However, I didn't prioritize my physical well-being, leading to insufficient rest and persistent back pains. I did engage in morning exercises, but it can be better in 2023.

Click to view steps report

2023

  • I hope to be more consistent with my daily 1-hour exercise next year.

  • I hope to make an effort to attend at least 3 in-person developer events by next year.

  • I enjoy my role at Hashnode and hope to get better at it.

  • Build and launch two side projects (with Adeyemo Peter at the backend)

Wrapping Up

  • The CTO of Ksolutions is my JavaScript coach at TIIDELab in 2020, who offered me an internship position in 2021 but I had to go to school, I rejected the offer the second time because I was afraid of not meeting expectations, I accepted the offer the third time, did well, and we eventually became co-coaches at TIIDELab in 2022. I major in frontend courses, while he majors in JavaScript and Backend courses.

  • Actively promoting my work on social media platforms such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and WhatsApp was one of the strategies that contributed to my progress in 2022. I was able to gain recognition and opportunities for my writing and technical skills by sharing my articles and making myself visible to a larger audience. This proactive approach assisted me in developing my brand and connecting with prospective clients and collaborators.

I am looking forward to reflecting on my progress and accomplishments in 2023 by revisiting this article and examining what has worked and what has not worked for me. It will be a helpful exercise in self-reflection and growth as I continue to develop my skills and achieve my goals.

Thank you to everyone who has being a part of my 2022 journey, and I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year in advance 🎊.

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