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2018 Year in Review

lkopacz profile image Lindsey Kopacz Updated on ・6 min read

It's that time of year where I utter the same predictable phrase: "This year feels like it's been so long and yet so short!" As some may have noticed, I took a bit of a break from blogging in December. However, the positive of that is I've had a lot of time to reflect on the year and my goals for the upcoming year.

Champagne clinking together with a message Goodbye 2018 in the background.

Blog

This blog is something I wanted to start since April this year. I worked with my friend Raquel (link in the footer) to get the logo designed, and the color scheme decided upon. She was a fantastic resource, and I have recommended her to friends who are looking for a designer. But somewhere along the road, I got a bit slowed down by hosting costs because I was building my blog in Drupal. Drupal hosting is EXPENSIVE and considering I was not making any income from blogging, I needed a cheaper alternative. It wasn't until my friend Ali Spittel told me about Gatsby and Netlify that I really got my momentum going again. Knowing that costs were no longer a factor, it reignited my excitement!

Gif of Kermit the Frog typing furiously at a typewriter.

I launched my blog on October 3rd (my birthday), and from that day to year end here are my stats:

  • 9 Posts, all cross-posted on dev.to
  • 1 Post only posted on dev.to
  • 2.6k Sessions on my blog website
  • 11,208 Views on dev.to

What I've learned from this: always cross post. One of my main goals for blogging is to share my knowledge with the world. There are so many readers on dev.to that already exist, and none of them would have seen my content had I not cross-posted there. While I have some business motivations for blogging, most of my goals relate back to sharing my knowledge and establishing myself as a subject matter expert.

I've also learned from a ton of amazing experts such as Max Antonucci, Marcy Sutton, Tatiana Mac, and the list goes on. If you're not already following these people, you should!

Career

This has been an exciting year for my career. I've always seen my career as something is highly correlated to the theme of my job. What position I was looking for usually had a high correlation to where I wanted my career to go. While that is still the case, my career has started to incorporate side hustles as well.

Side Hustling

Side hustling seems to have a very very different connotation depending on who you speak with, so first I want to clarify what it is and isn't for me:

What a side hustle IS NOT for me

  1. A way to steal my time from my partner, friends, and family.
  2. A way to burnout with the "hustle and grind" mentality.
  3. Being an entrepreneur.
  4. Centered around coding.

What a side hustle IS for me

  1. An asset for myself.
  2. Being in charge of my own thing.
  3. A way to allow me to define my career instead of another company.
  4. A way to investigate what works well and what doesn't.

Gif of Beyonce with saying I'm not bossy, I'm the boss.

If you had asked me 2 years ago if I would have any sort of entrepreneurial spirit, I might have laughed in your face. Literally. Both my parents are self-employed, and I've never understood that path. I never wanted to worry about overhead, taxes, or inconsistent money. I just wanted to go to work, do my thing, and have them give me my pay and benefits.

I still see the value in that, which is why I am not 100% working for myself. Side Hustles have been a great way to ease into thinking entrepreneurially, but it lowers the pressure and risk as I still I have my benefits and salary from my full-time employment. While I have not made any money yet on the side, I have gotten the opportunity to monetize my teaching which is really exciting, and I have plans to do it in the new year!

The day job

This year has been the most significant transformation in my developer career since I started working in tech. I know that sounds like a dramatic thing to say, but every job I've had while I've been a developer has been in Drupal. This year, I transitioned to doing JavaScript and Data Visualization work! There are several reasons for this transition.

First, I was merely just bored. Drupal has come a long way, and there are a lot of innovative things to do with it. I had a lot of cool custom work that I was a part of using Drupal. But the work just wasn't doing it for me anymore. While you can use Drupal to build apps, the reality is that most clients attracted to Drupal still want to develop websites and aren't sold on using Drupal as a way to provide content for a decoupled framework.

Second, I wasn't making enough doing Drupal work to save significantly AND enjoy my life a bit due to the cost of living where I live. Transitioning to JavaScript work was a nice pay bump (about 32%). From a personal aspect, I'm thrilled to be able to save my money AND have a little fun with it. I am excited to treat myself to a nice haircut and a facial from time to time. Honestly, I'll probably save the majority of it, but it's nice not to feel guilty about treating myself!

Lastly, this is an excellent opportunity to expand my accessibility knowledge! I am really excited to learn more about the JavaScript and DataViz's communities problems with addressing accessibility issues, and learn how to help them resolve it.

I'm sure this will frame a lot of my future content. Stay tuned :).

Personal

I'm going to keep this short as this isn't my personal diary. If you want to know more about this stuff, I talk about it a decent amount on Twitter.

I've gotten way more into lifting and gotten super strong!

I got engaged!

And finally, my mental health has improved because I stopped shaming myself and learned to set boundaries with myself and with others.

2019 Focus

This post has been way longer than I thought it would be. So I am going to keep this short and talk about my plans for the next year:

  1. Manage to plan our wedding while managing my personal goals.
  2. Manage my time well, because as you may see, I have a lot on my plate. New Job sector, side incomes, wedding, and being a good friend, daughter, and partner.
  3. Post one blog post a week, and if that's too much, every other week.
  4. Record one egghead.io video per week and if that's too much, every other week.
  5. Focus on growing my email list. I am thinking about creating a free intro to accessibility course.
  6. If my goals are impacting my mental health and life negatively, feel free to re-evaluate

Here's to a fantastic 2019! I'd love to see some of your years in review!

Leo DiCaprio lifting champagne for a toast.

Posted on by:

lkopacz profile

Lindsey Kopacz

@lkopacz

I'm a self-taught Front End & JS Dev and professional learner with accessibility expertise. I'm passionate about breaking down concepts into relatable concepts, making it more approachable.

Discussion

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Wow, if am surprised with how much I relate to this post. I feel exactly the same towards my side-hustle and towards my work and career.
As a Developer who wants to launch his blog in 2019 but feels he lacks the courage to write consistently, thank you for this post!

 

You're welcome! Happy New Year!

If you ever have questions about it, feel free to Tweet at me or ask me here :).

One piece of encouragement that I'll share is this: the most discouraging thing from starting writing for me was that I thought I would run out of things to talk about. But here I am, still writing, and I have a running list of 20 or more things that I want to write about still! Once you start writing, you almost become overwhelmed with what to write next because there are so many options, especially if you have a theme!

Good luck and keep me in the loop!

 

Thanks, Lindsey!
That is indeed one of my fears; I have a list of about 10 ideas but I am procrastinating over the fact that I will run out of ideas, not have the courage/time to write or that I will not have the ability to create posts of good quality.
But people like you give me the strength to at least try it ;)

Happy New Year to you, too!

One thing I do, is when I have a random idea, I write it down on my phone RIGHT AWAY. That helps a ton. When you start writing, you'll get ideas out of the blue. But because of my own brain capacity, I forget if I don't write it down there. That's where my long list came from. Also, you can ask people here what they would be interested in hearing about.

That's how I do it, too. Whenever I have an idea that could be the subject for a post, I write it on my phone. Then I filter out the ideas that don't seem relevant or lack of value and keep the best ones.
The problem arises when I have to actually sit down and begin designing/ sculpturing my post, this is what I have to further develop :)

I'm good friends with @aspittel and she has a great post about how she does her workflow. I use her principles a lot, and have used it to find my own rhythm! Highly recommend reading it if you haven't already :)

Have read most of her posts, thanks for the reference!

Awesome! That one's worth a bookmark. I reference it frequently.

 

Sounds like a positive year!
I look forward to seeing more of your a11y posts in the new year πŸ™‚

 

Yay!!! I have a decent amount planned. Some soft stuff, some coding walk throughs!

 

lol, I did my first 80kg DL last and think I pulled ligament D:

 

Oh no! Rest up! I've been fortunate to not injure myself!

 

I understood you, I'm married and I have a daughter. It's not easy to find time to learn new things. Great post!
Happy new year and keep calm and code!