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Christine Belzie
Christine Belzie

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🌟 #DEVImpact2023: A Year of Challenges, Triumphs, and The Future


Since my mid-2023 reflection post, I’ve grown so much in my tech and open source journey. There were goals that I’ve set and managed to achieve and a few surprises that I did not anticipate. Now before I start getting tear-eyed, join me as I reminisce on my triumphs, challenges, and muse about the future.


There were so many wins that I experienced this year, but I had to pick a few, it would be the following:

Win #1: My First Contribution to

I’ve always wanted to contribute to's open source project, but never knew how to do so. Then one day while I was trying to schedule on a post for OpenSauced's blog, I told @michaeltharrington, one of the moderators of the website's Discord community, that an alert appears for these kinds of posts. He then suggested that I add this information to the Editor Guide via a Pull Request:

docs: making updates to Editor Guide #20258

CBID2 avatar
CBID2 posted on

What type of PR is this? (check all applicable)

  • [ ] Refactor
  • [ ] Feature
  • [ ] Bug Fix
  • [ ] Optimization
  • [X] Documentation Update


This PR makes a couple of updates in the Editor Guide. I noticed that when scheduling a post to be published the next day, the message, "This URL is public but secret, so share at your own discretion". After raising this issue to @michael-tharrington and learning that posts will only appear in feeds and on a user's profile when they are published on the day they are scheduled. Through another conversation, Michael pointed out that the bullet point about the Markdown editor needs to be updated since now has two editors. By making these adjustments, users would gain a better understanding of how to edit and publish their posts.

Related Tickets & Documents

Not applicable

  • Related Issue #
  • Closes #

QA Instructions, Screenshots, Recordings

mention in editor guide

UI accessibility checklist

If your PR includes UI changes, please utilize this checklist:

  • [ ] Semantic HTML implemented?
  • [ ] Keyboard operability supported?
  • [ ] Checked with axe DevTools and addressed Critical and Serious issues?
  • [ ] Color contrast tested?

For more info, check out the Forem Accessibility Docs.

Added/updated tests?

We encourage you to keep the code coverage percentage at 80% and above.

  • [ ] Yes
  • [ ] No, and this is why: please replace this line with details on why tests have not been included
  • [X] I need help with writing tests

[optional] Are there any post deployment tasks we need to perform?

[optional] What gif best describes this PR or how it makes you feel?


It was wonderful making that contribution and look forward to doing more in the future. If you want to learn more about this contribution's creation process, check out Michael’s post here:

Win #2: Becoming FreeCodeCamp’s Top Publication Contributor

To this day, I’m still get giddy that I am one of FreeCodeCamp’s Top Publication Contributor. Given that this is my first year writing for them, I did not anticipate that I would win this title, so through this experience, I’ve learned that sometimes, the wins you don’t plan are the best ones. If you want to learn more about my experience, check out this post:

Win #3: Becoming an open source maintainer

I’ve managed to be a maintainer not one but two open source projects. LinksHub and OpenSauced.

GitHub logo rupali-codes / LinksHub

LinksHub aims to provide developers with access to a wide range of free resources and tools that they can use in their work. These resources include links to free software, libraries, frameworks, and other tools that can be used to build and deploy applications and websites.


Welcome to LinksHub πŸ‘‹

LinksHub is a hub of links made for and by the community. Whether you're a new developer, a seasoned technical writer, or a customer service representative looking to learn how to code, we got the resources you need to aid you in your learning journey.

We recognize that there's a wealth of information available, but often, it's a matter of knowing where to find it. That's why we've made it our mission to bring the right resources to you


We are passionate about helping people from all backgrounds start their open source journey. Here are some initiatives that we have partaken in:

Name Logo Purpose
Product Hunt LinksHub - A hub of ready-to-use tech resources | Product Hunt A platform where people launch different kind of products/projects and share them with the community
GirlScript Summer of Code 2023 a white background with the text, GirlScript Summer of Code next to an orange flower 3-month summer
open source program with a mission to help students from India and beyond in developing their

GitHub logo open-sauced / guestbook

The place where future contributors are born

Open Sauced

πŸ• Guest Book πŸ•

Welcome to OpenSauced's Guest Book Repository!

OpenSauced Guest Book

This guest book is a place for people who have taken OpenSauced's Intro to Open Source course to take their first steps into contributing to open source.

Getting Started

For complete instructions on how to add yourself to our guest book, please head to the "Let's Get Practical" section in our Intro to Open Source course.

Resolving Merge Conflicts

If you encounter merge conflicts while contributing to this repository, read our Intro to Open Source course's "Merge Conflicts in the Guest Book Repository" section.

What's Next?

You can add this contribution to your OpenSauced profile as outlined in the course.

Hungry for more contributions? Check out our pizza verse repository and join us in celebrating pizza!πŸ•πŸ˜„

🀝 Contributing

All contributors are required to abide by our Code of Conduct. Please…

Reviewing Pull Requests and brainstorming ideas to enhance these projects with @rupali_codes, @bekahhw, @adiatiayu, @nickytonline, and @bdougieyo has been a wonderful experience. I look forward to doing more with them. If you want to learn more about my experience, check out one of my posts here:

With triumphs comes challenges, so bring out some more snacks and join me as I reflect (and cheer) on the challenges I have managed to overcome.


There were a couple a challenges that I faced this year, but if I had to pick some, it would be the following:

Challenge #1: Surviving Hacktoberfest

This year, I decided to participate in Hacktoberfest as a contributor and maintainer for the first time ever. In the beginning, it was hard balancing trying to find projects and fulfill the four PR requirement and helping contributors achieve the same goal, but after a while, I slowly got used to the workflow. It was a great experience and would love to do it again. If you want to learn more about how I survived this event, check out these posts here:

Challenge #2: Find Paid Tech Writing Gigs

In mid-2023, I set out to write paid technical content, which turned out to be quite the challenge. Many publications favored web development experts or didn’t find my drafts aligned with their brand. Their rejections left me feeling a bit dejected, but just when I was about to give up, voila! Success finally smiled my way! 😊 A non-profit organization reached out to me and mentioned that their open source project’s documentation leader has read some of my blog posts on Hashnode and asked if I’d be willing to help them improve their project’s tutorials. As someone who’s been blogging to boost my job search, this win reassures me that I’m heading in the right direction. If you want to learn more about this experience, check out my reflective post here:

Alright enough with discussing the past, come and let’s look forward to the future with me! 😊

Looking Into The Future

For 2024, I would like to achieve the following:

  • Do more paid technical writing content
  • Find an online graduate program and gain a certificate in Cybersecurity
  • Participate in a paid open source program.

I know there’ll be more roadblocks coming with these goals but I’m ready to face them head-on.


As I always like to say, β€œThere’s no i in Team”. Here are some people I would like to thank for their help:

  • Thank you @blackgirlbytes for being a huge inspiration in my approach to writing technical content, and giving me the courage to be reflective about my writing journey! 😊
  • Thank you @anmolbaranwal for being receptive to my ideas for LinksHub and encouraging me to grow as a maintainer! 😊
  • Thank you @yuridevat for your support during Hacktoberfest. Your guidance and patience in my approach to contributing to your open source projects has been immensely helpful.

Where to Go Next

I don’t know how 2024 will be, but I do know one thing. It’ll be great! 😊 Stay updated on my journey by exploring my other tech blogs and social links on my BioDrop profile.

Top comments (5)

yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» GDE

Wow, what an achievement and exciting year it has been for you πŸ₯³ Congratuliations. Thanks for sharing your story. And thanks for mentioning me.

Wish you all the best for 2024 ✨

Interestingly enough, I am currently doing the Google Cybersecurity Professional Certificate. It is quite good, in case you still looking for a program.

cbid2 profile image
Christine Belzie

You're welcome @yuridevat! :) I've heard great things about the Google Certificate but my main concern (besides fees of course) is finding a way to gain real-world experience after I get the certificate and pass the exams. So, I'd love to take a certificate from a program that offer internships for those who complete it. I hope that makes sense.

yuridevat profile image
Julia πŸ‘©πŸ»β€πŸ’» GDE

I didnβ€˜t know something like this exists. That would be awesome.

anmolbaranwal profile image
Anmol Baranwal

Hehe ^^

Thanks for the mention. @cbid2

One thing I believe in is paid content writing. I mean, it's just feels so good to receive sponsorship and collaboration offers from top-rated companies.

It gives off a different vibe. πŸ”₯

Best of luck for 2024.
Work hard and enjoy life :)

cbid2 profile image
Christine Belzie

You’re welcome @anmolbaranwal! :) Yeah, there’s just something motivating about getting paid for writing! :)