New Year Resolutions: 2018

New year resolution has sort of become a joke in recent years, referencing plans people set at the start of the year and unavoidably fall short at the end of year. Though probably true, I still maintain that setting goals is helpful, in that they orient one’s focus and efforts. Personally I have been doing this privately for the past few years, and I am quite happy that every year I have managed to achieve most of them. This year in the spirit of getting more visibility and accountability I plan to write out some of the goals I set for the year, which I shall review at the end of 2018.

Most of the goals in this post are somewhat related to software development, for privacy concerns. ;)


Real life project

If you have been here for a while, you will know I have started an AngularDart series, in which we build a web chat app called Teamoji. Currently the app is only about 50% done, and the first goal of the year is to finish the project and blog series, also launch it online.

Personally I have virtually no experience in devops. (The last time I deploy code is through a FTP server) So this would be an interesting experience to go through. I will certainly blog about this as we progress. I have set up a list of TODOs for this project and we will follow it.

Taking it further

Once the web app is online, I would like to do a follow-on project to make a mobile app for it as well. For a very time I have been interested in Flutter and this would a perfect sized app to adopt. I will devote a separate post to this once we finish the web app.

Going deeper into Backend

After half of a dozen front end heavy projects, I suddenly realized how unfamiliar I am with backend. Over the past year when I was using Node for my uni honors project, I found myself very confused at times and had to rely quite heavily on online help. This year I plan to vastly expand my backend knowledge, through a series of side projects, focused on API building. Since this part is mostly personal learning, through a lot of existing materials, I would not be publishing relevant posts.

Distributed Systems

Over the last year we saw a burst in cryptocurrency, most famously Bitcoin. Personally I have been very interested in Distributed Systems, ever since I took a relevant class at UNC.

This year I would like to allocate time for 2 full system building projects, one centralized and one decentralized. The specific projects are TBD, and as usual I will write up individual posts when I start the project.



Over the past year I have only read 5 books from start to finish, partly because of laziness, and ignorance of the value of reading. In 2018, I plan to read 10 fictions. (Yes you heard that right) When I look at my bookshelf, it is very clear most of the books I have read are technical, or relevant to the tech business. In the interest of balance, I figure it is time to pay more attention into fictions. If you have a suggestion, please let me know. There are still quite a few empty slots.

This doesn’t mean I will stop reading technical books though. To finish the projects above, there’s a quite a list of books and online materials I should go through.

Giving back to the community

I have never considered myself a genius developer. Along the way I have worked very hard, but equally important, I have received countless help from my peers, mentors, and just friends. The point of this blog is to give back some of my knowledge to people just starting out their developer journey, and help someone to get through what I have been through. In 2018, I want to help more people, beyond the medium of text.

I am planning to set up a podcast for myself, to talk about my experience as a developer, and have guests to discuss various topics of software development. As you can probably guess, I have no experience in running a podcast. But over the past year I have listened to many great podcasts and I believe it is a viable medium to share knowledge and experience. If you have topics that you have to hear me talk about, please let me know, either through comments below or private messaging. As guests go, I would have mostly my friends and other developers I know, and we will see how that goes!

Wrapping up

These are my goals in 2018. They seem like a lot for sure, and frankly I am slight terrified at this point when I scroll back and read them again. However, I have confidence to knock them down, or try my best to.

Screen Shot 2018-01-07 at 20.35.00

Have a moment to think about what you want to achieve in the new year, and set up a list to track them too. It doesn’t really matter if you complete them or not; what matters is have you really tried.

Happy New Year!

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