2018 - A Year In Review

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Disclaimer: I mostly wrote this blog post for myself. Writing my Year in review helps me to celebrate my biggest wins, see what was wrong and define goals for the upcoming year.

2018 was a whirlwind year full of a lot of great opportunities and travel.

👨🏼‍💻 Work

In April, I left HostelWorld. I stayed 18 months there, which is longer than most of my friends though! I loved to work with people from everywhere in the world. But, I felt overwhelmed by politics decisions. Plus, my team and I weren’t really challenged.

In May, joined VSware in Dublin as a Senior Frontend Engineer. In a nutshell, the company is doing a cloud-based solution for schools (currently focusing on the Norwegian market). Here are few insights from what changed for me:

  • I switched from a PHP/JavaScript position to a 100% JavaScript position. This is exactly what I wanted!
  • I work on a day to day with a very large Vue.js application.
  • I have the ability to work remotely.

Since October, I’m 100% remote! 😱

🎒 New remote/nomadic life

Going full-time remote was probably one of the biggest change for me in 2018. Now, every place in the world with a table and a decent WIFI is a potential office for me. Surprisingly, I found myself comfortable to work from anywhere. It can be at home, in a cafe or, in a coworking space.
Hey, since you’re here: forget about the long chair on the beach, except if you want to break your back or show off on Instagram.

desktop setup Before/after ~ no more 24’ curved screen! But, I’m now more focus with only one screen!

To make this shift successful, I set up some rules to avoid procrastination and get a healthy work-life balance:

  • Don’t fall into the temptation of working from bed;
  • If I can’t work, stop pretending to work. Do it later;
  • Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is the key!
  • Every day, I write down my MIT (Most Important Thing) to keep focus and avoid distractions;
  • No overwork;
  • Come back to the office every now and then to say “hello”.

I’ve found a big difference between full-time remote and part-time remote. You can’t postpone a meeting because you’re in the office next week and it’s more convenient…

👨🏼‍🔬 Sides Projects

I wasn’t a very prolific author in 2018. I only blogged 3 times! The main reason (after laziness), was my platform. Jekyll started to be too heavy to me. So, I moved my personal website to Gatsby. Working with this tool is pure pleasure. Hot reload, performances, fancy technologies… I don’t regret it at all!
Another important thing for me: I decided to release the template to the community. It was a good idea because it seems that other people enjoy using it 💜

pages view on maxpou.fr

In 2017 I had a total of 36,546 pages view on my website. In 2018, I blogged less and I reached 64,700 pages view! There are a few reasons:

  • Gatsby made my website more SEO friendly;
  • I also posted my posts on Reddit. The community here is great, I had really good feedback!
  • I cross-posted blog the Vue.js article on Dev.to platform. With only 2 posts, I have more followers on Dev.to (~400) than Twitter (~280) 🤷‍♂️

Also, docker-symfony reached 1 000 ⭐️ on GitHub! Yay! Unfortunately, I can’t maintain it since I stopped using PHP.

🗣 Conference

my talk in MadridJS

I spoke 6 times about 2 different topics: Progressive Web Apps (PWA) and Frontend Testing. For the first time, I delivered talks outside France or Ireland! I had the opportunity to speak in 4 different countries: Ireland, Austria, Poland and Spain. Yes, no conference in France for 2018!

Also, I gave my very first workshop! It was an introduction to Vue.js at @DublinJS.

A funny anecdote: during my talk at Voxxed Vienna, I showed -by mistake- all my GitHub Recovery Codes + Personal access token 🤦‍♂️

✈️ Travel

trips My 2018 trips on a map!

This year, I travelled a LOT! I did 9 countries and 14 cities! For the first time in my life, I went outside Europe. In January, I visit the US: Los Angeles and San Francisco. 4 months later, I visited Canada: Toronto, Quebec City and Montreal!

Since I’ve got a NomadList profile, I can now track my trips like a pro!

days in countries

✨ Random stuff

  • 🍀 Farewell Dublin. as you guess, I left Ireland after 2 years living as an expat. Apart from the chaotic housing situation, I still really like this country. And I don’t exclude to come back!
  • 🎒 Minimalism. After watching The Minimalist (available on Netflix) and Matt D’Avella’s podcast, I decided to try this way of life. Now, all my clothes, electronics… fit in a backpack. The only thing I miss is my Xbox!
  • 🥗 Eat better. This year I also started eating better: more vegetables and fruits and less meat/fish. But, I didn’t become a vegan or a vegetarian (and I don’t want to be).
  • 📕 Readings. According to my Pocket stats, I’ve read the equivalent of 7 books. But I think I’ve read much more since I didn’t use this app for months.

Previous goals

  • ✅ Get a new job
  • 😐 Continue to give talks. I gave a few talks this year. But not as much as I wanted to.
  • ✅ Give talks in other countries than France & Ireland. Vienna (Austria), Krakow (Poland) and Madrid (Spain)
  • ✅ Switch to a frontend position.
  • 😐 ~ ✅ Travel 1 country / month. I think this goal was a bit unrealistic. But, I’m happy with what I did!
  • 😐 Keep blogging. Only 3 blog post this year!
  • 😐 Sport. No gym for me in 2018! After, I used to walk 1-2h/day.

High-level 2019 goals

In 2019, I’m going to work from Asia, I have a few goals attached to this trip.

  • [Asia trip] Be able to work with my Irish colleagues;
  • [Asia trip] Be grateful. Having the ability to work from the other side of the globe is a great opportunity.
  • [Asia trip] Enjoy my trip!
  • Make more relevant/valuable side project;
  • Give Miracle Morning another try;
  • Write blog posts (let say 6 and one in French);
  • Dry January - one month without alcohol or anything else…
  • Give meditation another try;
  • Continue to give talks & workshops;
  • Reach 500 followers on Twitter. Nah I’m jocking. Getting more followers is everything but not a priority for me!
  • Write my 2019 year in review on time! 🙃

As you can see, 2018 was a great year for me. I can’t wait to see what 2019 has in store!

About the author

For the last decade, Maxence Poutord has worked with a variety of web technologies. He is currently focused on front-end development. On his day to day job, he is working as a senior front-end engineer at VSware. He is also a frequent tech speaker and a mentor. As a new digital nomad, he is living where the WIFI and sun is 😎
Do you want to know more? Read this!

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