Retrospective: 2018, For Better or Worse

Another year is gone and everyone is doing their retrospectives; goals they did or didn’t accomplish in 2018 and what they plan on doing in 2019.

I wrote such a piece in the beginning of December and I thought I’d go through some things I didn’t mention in that post.

Some Letdowns

I was not offered a position at DEV. Simply put: I did not perform well. I did initially, but after a month or so, I began to have lapses in judgement that cost me. I couldn’t navigate VS Code with just my keyboard, I wasn’t taking notes so the things I was instructed on doing I would forget.

This is not acceptable, even for an intern. And when I got my mid-internship review it was brutal. I shut down completely; I stopped communicating with the team and I fell into a pretty deep depression that I could not shake for months. I eventually sought help for that depression and am since doing better, though sometimes it’s tough.

I went on Christmas vacation in 2017 to come back to a notice that my apartment was renovating and they wouldn’t be renewing my lease. This exacerbated my depression and I shut down even further.

They didn’t offer me and to be honest, I was really glad. This didn’t stop me from feeling depressed and spending months not programming at all and sitting on the couch watching baseball all day, however.

Net Wins Amongst the Losses

I interviewed with several big companies last summer, one of which was Microsoft. I killed the first two interviews, but in the technical and final interview I completely choked. I knew the material for the most part but I kept stammering over pretty simple concepts. I can’t disclose much about the interview process because of NDA, but they told me that I was everything they wanted; a culture fit, someone who was on the rise and excited to learn, I just needed to study up on algorithms and data structures and to keep in touch and apply again.

I sent a LinkedIn message to my recruiter for Microsoft at the end of last year. He was really happy to hear from me and that yes he wants me to reapply and get those basic skills but to also focus on getting practical experience. He told me to keep in touch and it was nice hearing from me. This was encouraging. Really.

More Interviewing and the Pain of Bureaucracy

I interviewed with another large company shortly after. I would have needed to relocate and I was really hesitant to do so because I just moved back home and couldn’t afford to break my lease. The company was willing to pay for that and to relocate me. I was willing to go but I didn’t want to. I didn’t want to live in that city, though it is only two hours from me. My apartment now is gorgeous and spacious as anything. I did not want to give it up so soon.

They would have let me work remotely but since I was going for an associate position the boss didn’t feel comfortable having me work from home. Okay, I thought. Anything for a chance.

Without going into too much detail, I didn’t hear much of anything from the guy that I talked to. It was silent for a long time. I finally reached him and he told me they closed the position. That it was basically mine but the team decided to go in another direction and to not apply there again because it was so unstable.

I was glad the position was shuttered before I moved or I would be in a world of hurt right now.

I also got interest from a consulting firm and after some time chatting and discussing their financial situation, I heard nothing back from him either.

Bleh

I was burnt out most of the year last year. I don’t think anyone would blame me. The disappointments and letdowns lead to even more depression and while I tried to feel excited about programming I just didn’t care anymore.

2018: The End

At the end of 2018, things began to iron out. I interviewed at another company and am still in that process as I interviewed during the holidays and that time, as everyone knows, is chaotic. I slayed the technical interview. We’ll see what becomes of it.

Someone else also reached out to me about positions at his company. Both of these companies are remote positions which makes me super happy.

2019 Goals

Here are some of my goals for this year.

  • Gain confidence in sharing my content.

I have a hard time with this. It feels slimy to me. But this tweet made me think:

https://twitter.com/justincosmo/status/1079959343221608448?s=21

Lack of confidence indeed.

  • Write a blog post a week. This will push me to seek out information, practice that information, and write about it.

  • Record an egghead lesson a month.

  • Contribute to open source every week. If I’m serious it will show I’m serious.

  • Finish my goddamn projects already For real.

  • Follow more folks on Twitter

  • Gain another 1k Twitter followers

    • I’m on my way there. After the tweet I sent out above I gained two hundred followers in one day.

  • Get out of my project comfort zone by writing libraries that challenge me and promote the hell out of them. No fear. No shame.

  • Code More. I really didn’t do that much and it is embarrassing to admit it. This year is the year of programming. I mean it.

Just a Sample of Things

This was my year last year. And the goals listed here are just the surface; I have detailed goals in Notion.

I hope this year is better, not just for me, but for all of us. Boy do we need it.

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👋🏾 Hi. I’m Tiffany White. I am a front-end engineer and egghead.io instructor. I sometimes contribute to open source, and blog about web development at Tiffany R. White Blog. I love JavaScript, React ⚛️, and herding cats 🐾 🐈