2018 Retrospective

The new year 2019 is just hours away, I decide to take some moment to reflect myself for the last year. 2018 was full of changes and challenges for both family and work.

The Good

Family

The whole family went through an unexpected event together very bravely. This has helped us to love, grow and understand the important of family.

  • I couldn’t thank enough for my wife devoting herself to give our best to the children. She’s always patient, gentle and thoughtful.
  • My daughter started kindergarten in 2018, we were so nervous when taking her to school the first day. It turned out parents seem to easily overreact things comparing to children. She coped very well with school, made new friends, learnt ton of new things. It has been only 4 months, but she could read some children books by herself, draw and make up stories.
  • My son also started pre-school this year. For his first day at pre-school, he cried almost the whole time. It took him for a month to stop crying. He’s bright and can learn things very quickly.
  • It’s such a blessing to see my kids playing together.

Work

There has been lot of opportunities and challenges at work. I left Cambia (Healthsparq) for over a year working there. I realized that I love working in a fast pace start-up environment instead. Therefore, I joint Nike Valiant Labs, a hub spot for building innovation technologies at Nike. It’s been really fun to meet new people and working on excited projects. I join the team as a Senior Application Engineering with more focus on the UX and UI. I also had great time working with new technologies such as: GraphQL, Serverless, AWS Lamda, AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Server side rendering with React, Styled Components, Node and Express…

Joyn.co

My first project was to lead the front-end team to build the user experience for Joyn.co (https://joyn.co), a community fitness that help instructors can easily setup their classes and let people sign up through the application easily. We developed the application for 4 months and launched the beta and then pilot in 8 months. Unfortunately, we had to pivot into different direction and decided to shutdown Joyn for 8 months running it, but we’ve learnt so much from it. For now we’re keeping an eye on the online content based for fitness.

Resku

The other project that I’m working now is Resku (https://resku.co), an e-commerce site for selling affordable Nike shoes (either returned or cosmetically flawed shoes.) This has been gaining great traction from the market and I’m excited for its future.

Side Projects

The work at Nike always kept me busy, but to stay fresh I also enjoyed on working on side projects with friends and helping local non-profit businesses to accomplish their mission.

Last Heavy

Working with the two awesome creative directors in Portland, OR to build an unconventional and incredible website for the Last Heavy (https://lastheavy.com) brand. We spent endless amount of time to think creatively and fine-tuning the experience. I ❤ this site.

Non Profit Projects

Since my daughter and my son joined co-op preschool at Oswego Playschool (https://www.oswegoplayschool.com/), I feel really passionate with helping non-profit organization to rebrand, develop and rebuild their website. Here are some websites that I helped for non-profit org during the year:

Other projects that worth mentioning.

The Bad

Personal

  • I usually cook most of health food for the family; however, I didn’t really take care of myself as much as I wanted. I didn’t do much exercise or meditation during the year.
  • I keep thinking of changing from night owl to morning person, but never doing it. (I blame the busy schedule and side projects.)
  • I started the investment, but it’s so hard to keep emotion from it.
  • I wasn’t very good at letting go old stuffs.
  • I didn’t finish books that i bought.

Work

  • Got several ideas to work on personal side projects, but I didn’t really have time or find motivation to work on them.
  • I didn’t achieve my goal to learn more about database and containers.
  • I didn’t do much pair programming with other team members.
  • I wasn’t very good at writing retrospective notes after finishing projects.
  • I didn’t contribute to open source projects.

The Improvement

There are several things that I need to improve in this year.

  • Start running.
  • Meditation for 30 minutes a day: 15 minutes morning and 15 minutes before bed.
  • Go to sleep early and wake up early. Set goal for 10:30 to sleep.
  • Start minimalism by de-cluttering things that not bringing joy.
  • Start saving more (recession, I’m looking at you).
  • Spend more time with family.
  • Read more books.
  • Get to know more with people at work.
  • Need to think of investment as long term.
  • Start contributing to favorite open source projects and help create open source projects for the team.
  • Encourage the team to do more pair programming.
  • Write notes after finishing projects.
  • Technologies to invest in 2019: React, NodeJS, Go, Docker, Kubernetes, Serverless, and Postgres.