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My 2019 Year In Review

easybuoy profile image Ekunola Ezekiel Originally published at ・Updated on ・6 min read

Early this year, I read Prosper's 2018 year review and it inspired me to do and accomplish a lot and is also the reason I've decided to also start writing my year review as well.

2019 has been a year of ups and downs for me, mostly ups 😁. The first quarter of 2019 was not so pleasant for me, but I was able to bounce back, turn things around and have a great year.

At the beginning of the year, I did not plan to do some of the things I did, my only plan/goal was to become a better software developer, all the other things like writing, mentoring came along
from people around me pushing me to greatness.

Humbling moment of 2019 πŸ™‡πŸΎβ€β™‚οΈ

I took a technical interview sometime this year for a position at a company, turned out it was to be taken on Codility. It was my first time hearing/interacting with the platform, I was used to Hackerrank mostly then.

Fast-forward, I took the test on Codility, I think there were 3 questions. I solved about 2 of them, with sample tests passing, only for me see the results and I got 0%.

What!!! How??

I later learned that the example test cases did not count toward the final score results. I knew I wasn't that good with Algorithms and Data Structures then but I never expected to get 0% in a coding challenge.

It was truly a humbling experience that just made me realize I had lots of things I still needed to learn. Since then I've taken courses on Data Structures & Algorithms, and also solved coding challenges from time to time.

Work & Personal Projects πŸ‘¨πŸΎβ€πŸ’»


  • Andela: At the beginning of the year, I was working for Andela as a Software Engineer, and it was a great experience for me, I met lots of fantastic people with great minds who pushed me to give my very best. On September 17, however, Andela laid off about 400 engineers (read about it here), sadly I was one of them.

Andela invested a lot in me, and I'd be forever grateful for the experiences and the support that Andela showed, even after we were laid off.

Andela Party
Andela Party 😁
Andela Hangout
L-R: Chinedu,Tunmise, Me
  • Lambda School: I started work as a Technical Team Lead at Lambda School in November, and it has been quite an experience. I work with people from diverse backgrounds, and it has been an opportunity for me to improve my leadership and communication skills.

Some of my responsibilities as a Technical Lead include:

  • Leading a team of learners that emulates a real work environment using the agile methodology.
  • Mentoring learners on how to learn effectively and solve programming problems.
  • Providing daily feedback and issue resolution of all curriculum through slack help channel or code review.
  • Delivering one-on-one feedback and code review daily.
  • Reviewing student code and giving feedback on areas of improvement.
  • Leading daily standup meetings to build camaraderie, facilitate sharing of ideas and work progress, and provide guidance for that week's study material.
Team Meetng
Team Meetng (Awesome times πŸ˜…)
Lambda School Lagos Hangout
Lambda School Lagos Hangout

Personal Projects

This year was my most active year on Github, I made 3,164 contributions working on projects, as well as open-source contributions in 2019.

Some of the fun projects I developed are:

  • Portfolio: I built my Portfolio with Gatsby to learn the amazing prowess of Gatsby and GraphQL.
  • Blog: This was built using one of the Gatsby starters, I also used this as an opportunity to learn more about Gatsby & GraphQL.
  • Use My Tech Stuff: This project was built to demonstrate my understanding of React & Redux.
  • Marvel Comics: This was a fun project I decided to build with Marvel's API.
  • School In The Cloud: This project was built for demonstrating my understanding of Flexbox.
  • Multi-User Dimension Game: This was a team project built with React & Python to further establish an understanding of Data Structures and Algorithms.
Github Graph
My 2019 Github graph

Writing ✍🏾

I started writing around July 2019 and I have written a total of 10 articles this year, including this one. I write on my experiences with tools and technologies as well as teaching how to use different tools.
My first ever article was on Deploying React app from Github to Netlify.

Writing has not exactly been easy for me, I was not able to write as much this year as I would have loved to. I'm still trying to figure out the best way that works for me, what topics to write on, but I believe I'll get better with time and consistency.
I want to give special shoutouts to Johnson, Chinedu and Xavier(XROLE) for their support and motivation, and for helping me find bugs in my articles πŸ€ͺ.

I've gotten some good feedback from people as to how my articles helped them one way or another, which just motivates me to want to do more.

Top 5 articles of the year


Open Source

I always wondered what contributing to Open Source meant πŸ˜… and how it was possible, well I was able to find out this year. I contributed to several open source projects this year as well as participating for the first time in the Hacktoberfest challenge.
I also wrote about my contributions to the Hacktoberfest challenge here.

Some of the Open Source projects I contributed to in 2019 below:

Hacktoberfest Swag

Hacktoberfest Swag


This year, I was only able to attend the concatenate and unstack events held in Lagos, Nigeria.

At the events, I learned a lot with topics ranging from Design, Communication, Accessibility, Building JAMStack apps, GraphQL & Gatsby, Functional Programming and so on. I was also able to network and connect with other people in the tech industry, and also find out the interesting things they've been building and developing.

I just want to thank the organizers of the events for putting them together. It was an awesome experience for me, and I can't wait to see what they have for us come 2020 πŸ€—.

Concatenate Event

L-R: Me, Chinedu, Benjamin, Noble, Yusuf (Concatenate conference)


I was able to be part of the mentors of the DevCTraining program where I mentored participating learners, provided technical support, reviewed their code, and also delivered feedback to them.

Shoutouts πŸ“£

Special thanks to Johnson, Chinedu, Chidimma, Xavier(XROLE), Ebenezer and everyone for making my 2019 πŸ”₯, encouraging, guiding, pushing, and providing me with the much crucial support. I'm really glad to have met you all πŸ€—.

Plans for 2020

  • Writing ✍🏾: In 2020, I'm looking to write way more than I did this year.
  • Community πŸ‘¨πŸΎβ€πŸ’»: I want to be more involved in the developer community in the coming year. This means more volunteer work and also contributing more to open source projects and building developer tools.
  • Reading πŸ“–: I have never been a fan of reading books 😩, even though I've tried to. This year, I managed to finish reading a book titled Eat a frog, by Brian Tracy. My target next year is to read at least 10 books.
  • Travel πŸ›«: I did a little or no traveling in 2019. Next year I'm looking to travel to at least 2 countries.

2020 is a year of doing more of the things I kickstarted this year. Looking forward to an awesome and exciting year ahead πŸš€πŸš€πŸš€.

Originally published on my blog

Discussion (20)

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

Happy new year! What's your plan to get to 10 books?

easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

Happy new year Sandor, the plan is to read at least one book in a month. I should read more than 10 that way πŸ˜€

sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

Thanks, Ezekiel! And how do you plan to read a book a month?

Thread Thread
easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

I have about 2 books I had planned to read somewhere in my log book, but I’m yet to plan out the books I would be reading in 2020, do you have any suggestions?

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

You can go to my profile and look for the tag #books. I post about books I read on a regular basis.

But this was not my point. Reading 10 books in a year is very difficult - especially if you are not fond of reading. It's a huge goal and many people fail at it, because by the time they take it seriously, by the time they realize it's become difficult to make that goal is too late.

Reading a book a month is better. You have better visibility on that timeframe, but it's still difficult.

So what could be a realistic and helpful goal?

Or let me ask a different question. How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time!

If we apply this answer to reading it would mean to commit something small, something easy. Like to read one page, 5 pages or 30 minutes a day. That's something realistic and even if you miss a couple of days, it doesn't jeopardize your end goal. And by the end of the year, you will have an awesome new habit!

What do you think?

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easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

I tend to get bored when I read for a long time, so I would say dedicating 30 minutes daily would be a realistic goal.

I also would set a consistent time on my calendar so it becomes a routine.

I realize reading 10 books would be tough, but I'm ready to take on the challenge πŸ’ͺ🏾.

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sandordargo profile image
Sandor Dargo

Good luck and tell us how it went. Writing a short summary is helpful for us to read about new books and helpful to you to think about what you read!

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easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

Yes, I'd try to do that for each book I read, Thanks.

awamelvine profile image
Awa Melvine

Fantastic article! Beautiful pictures.

That bit about 0% on Codility gave me a good laugh, haha. By this time next year, I will contact you to find out if you actually read the 10 books you talked about 😜


easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

Thanks, Melvine 😁I really hope to read more than 10 books next year.

razibchamp profile image
Razib Hossain Shuvo

You had a nice year. keep the momentum.

And I also need some guidance from you. I really wanted to start contribution to OS . I tried Github search with advanced filters to find a suitable project for me. But i couldn't match any. Could you please help me guiding on that ? How was your approach to find a project to contribute ?

easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

Thanks Razib. I used the same method of searching through the list of Github issues, till I was able to find the one I could work on, I started with updating npm packages for a project.

razibchamp profile image
Razib Hossain Shuvo • Edited

Thanks a lot Ekunola. Hopefully i will be able to find a suitable project for me ASAP.

codemouse92 profile image
Jason C. McDonald

Consider adding the #devjournal tag, which is perfect for journal-type posts, such as year-end reviews.

nedsoft profile image
Chinedu Orie

You had an amazing year dude, looking forward to a greater 2020 πŸ”₯πŸ’ͺ

easybuoy profile image
Ekunola Ezekiel Author

Thanks again for your support bro, have a fabulous year ahead πŸš€.

gonz4lex profile image
Alex GonzΓ‘lez

This is some wholesome stuff right here. πŸ‘πŸ‘

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easybuoy profile image
ben profile image
Ben Halpern

Great writeup, good luck in 2020!

easybuoy profile image