Chukwuemeka Aladimma
Acel's Blog

Acel's Blog

My 2020 Year in review

My 2020 Year in review

Chukwuemeka Aladimma's photo
Chukwuemeka Aladimma
·Dec 31, 2020·

10 min read

2020 was quite a year for me. How my year went:

Resumed for my 2nd year in Unilag. Finally moved in to a hostel with my dad’s permission after he wanted me to go from home till I finish…lmaooo. I moved in on my own (off and on) in my second semester. At times its good to be stubborn/rebellious, lool.

Then I started attending ECX’s weekly classes for frontend late January/early February. That’s where I began learning frontend development. Signed up on github, created my first repo and my first website (It looks like Beans mixed with Amala). Was stressful having to go to the venue right after classes but it was worth it.

Was preparing for tests before ASUU drank Alomo bitters and went on a two weeks strike. I was low key happy so that I’ll use the time to prepare properly for my tests and complete my assignments. Then Covid-19 came, sent us into panic mode and sent us packing. The whole thing made ASUU look unserious and they now decided to go on indefinite strike sighs

With the way Covid-19 was going, I kuku(immediately) knew we wouldn’t resume till next year, so I chose to improve my frontend skills. Luckily, ECX came up with a #30daysofcode coding marathon. I registered willing to complete the program.

I started well, finished not so–naa I didn’t finish. From day 1 to day 5 were seamless. Relatively easy tasks, but by the day each task increased in difficulty. I think I managed to get to day 8/9 and fell sick. Couldn’t code for days but I recovered did my best to catch up then broke down. I had gotten Ill twice in one month! The first thing to come to mind would have been Covid-19 but I also fell Ill multiple times while in school. I took my time to recover. At this point I was far behind and just hoped to complete the tasks up to day 15.

While on it, my laptop broke down. sighs I was convinced my village people were on my matter and decided not to stress myself anymore. Later a friend reached out and asked if I was still participating in the #30daysofcode. We talked and he gave me ginger to continue, I resumed. Remember, my laptop was still bad and there was a very strict lockdown (as a then). I had to become a self-taught hardware engineer. Watched one or two videos, took the risk and dismantled my laptop. Luckily, all I had to do was remove my RAM cards, CMOS battery and insert them back… It worked! I assembled it and it worked like it used to. Village people 3 – 1 Acel. At the end of it all I could only complete 14 tasks–needed 15 to at least get a certificate of participation.

Another #30daysofcode presented itself. I participated but approached it a bit differently. Registered for the Frontend Intermediate and Python beginner track. Along the way, day 6 or 7, I dropped the frontend track. Why?

  • I was doing other things at home. I live with my parents so I don’t have full control over my time.
  • I didn’t know jack about JavaScript so I had to learn it on the go. There just wasn’t time for that.
  • Plus Frontend being time consuming for even the littlest of things, I had to drop it. No time and I couldn’t afford to fall sick again.

So, I continued with the Python track and completed it! Python wasn’t completely new to me as I had learnt a bit of it before. So, half of the cohort was revision and the other half learning best practices and other cool stuff in Python.

This was May and I had to decide between continuing with Frontend or moving to Data Science. I had gained some insight on data science from TECH SKILLS HUB headed by Arinze but data science, data engineering, data analysis, AI, ML etc. were all so vague that one could get lost in the learning process. So, I opted for Frontend development that had a learning path one could follow.

I applied for hnginternship and started learning JavaScript on Udemy. I didn’t have any hiccups while learning JavaScript except for the data burnt. I also paid for a course I haven’t taken till now. A whole 14k in this terrible economy sighs. It’s not that I have money oo, but HNG happened.

Learning online and all is cool but when you’re done what you get is certificates. This was a chance to get experience in what I was learning. So, I took it and put what I was learning on hold. HNG internship was an experience that’s difficult to describe. Completing tasks before deadline, having to suddenly work with people you’ve never met on short notice yet compelled to deliver on time. Honestly the joy of completing tasks was immense but so was the task that followed. You could be having fun one minute, debugging codes the next. Playing games one second, preparing for your tasks the next. Relived by night, sent into panic mode by morning.

Yet, I wanted to finish it. Coming from someone that could easily fall sick if he overstresses himself, that’s how much I enjoyed it. I made friends, bantered, had Slack crushes. During this period, I was so immersed in the program that I became a Painite on WhatsApp. Quite difficult to find there. The tasks were difficult, very difficult to complete, but I kept pushing. Till I could push no more and that was stage 5. I broke down once again. That didn’t stop me though. The fact that everyone kept trying their best and wanted to get to the next stage was enough motivation for me.

I worked with an overworked body and days later my will failed me. I decided to stop but this time, it was my mum who reached out. I had gotten better but I was late to get a task–well almost. I got one quite late, did it and was able to make it to the 7th stage. My enthusiasm was back. I went on, learning a new technology for the next stage and applying it as much as I could. I didn’t make it past this stage, but I was happy I made it that far. Seven whole stages, stressful as f**k, and was quite time consuming. Also visited their office at Yaba once. I used my last days to have fun on the random channel and other fun channels. I learnt how to work in teams, lead teams, how to use GitHub better, how to use Slack , new tools and made my way to Tech Twitter. I thank HNG for the experience.

Later on, a friend of mine became motherless. Yeah. It wasn’t my mum, I know but I questioned a lot of things. I was quite sad that week, really sad. I asked my mum how it felt to lose someone close to you and she said it’s painful and the pain never leaves. You just accept it. I visited this guy and didn’t know what exactly to say. And incase you’re wondering, I did imagine losing a loved one. It’s not like I wanted to lose someone, but I just needed a good idea of what it felt like. Sad phase for me this year.

Participated in WeJapa’s Internship, August this year. There were hiccups and it was more or less you learning on your own. Just one task given which I completed. No vibes, just Insha’Allah. I don’t even know why I wasn’t given a certificate. Hopefully they do better next year.

Participated in ECX’s Internship that held in September. We were given a task each week during the internship. The first task was individual based and the rest, in groups. I lead my group during the internship. Compared to other groups you could say I had active members, but none of them were designers. It’s either they weren’t online or had an issue with light or something. But there was always a significant delay from their end hence, the backend devs were left with little or no time to complete the projects. This was a time I wished I knew a bit of backend so I could assist them. Unfortunately, NodeJS learning materials aren’t easy to find. We even had to outsource designs for one or two projects. My experience here taught me a lot about how to manage teams and people.

In October I took an in-depth bootstrap course on Coursera . This was when I really understood the struggle with online learning/ tutorials. My learning experience on Udemy and Coursera were quite different. On Coursera, there’s always an assignment(s) at the end of every week and you can’t slack a bit cause the modules are timed. Plus, you also have to mark other students’ assignment. Quite stressful but I finished it on time. Just so you know, I’m an advocate for pure CSS, no frame works. Unless for things like carousels, animations, etc. I learnt bootstrap so I can read people’s code better. Not everyone is like me and a lot of people use bootstrap. Not to mention that some companies make its usage compulsory. So, if I’m gonna work in teams, I might as well learn it properly.

Completed the JavaScript course I started earlier in the year and also learnt about Progressive Web Apps and how to convert web apps to PWAs.

I worked on my Portfolio and Resume. Was something I had been wanting to do but just kept postponing it cause I felt I didn’t know enough to get a job anyway. Eventually did it cause of the EnyataProjectBuildup. Designed (in my head) and built my portfolio. Worked on my Resume with Canva. Thanks Ugonna for the Resume review.

Was more active in church particularly at the start of December. Months away from church really made me question and reaffirm my faith, beliefs and doctrines as a Christian. Took me a while to get back to my best.

27th of December, I heard that a friend/primary schoolmate lost his dad a month ago. We live on the same street. What is should I say funny, is that we got to know through a banner announcing his death on our street. Sighs

29th of December, I heard that a friend/secondary school classmate lost his mum exactly a month ago. He told me himself in the DM.

Apparently, he posted the news of her death on his WhatsApp status. I also have class mates from Sec school I chat with yet I didn’t know, didn’t even get a clue about it. We chatted. After that, I began to wonder how detached I was from friends and family, what was I doing wrong, the possibility that big things(good/bad) had happened in the life of my friends and I have no idea about it. Am I too self-centered? Or introverted? Or me just having a very bad habit of not keeping in touch? I couldn’t pinpoint a reason but decided to try to be more active socially. Even if I’ll have to leave my comfort zone of staying at home, not checking out people’s WhatsApp status, initiate chats more, even if it’s just to say hello and be a lot more active in group chats. Especially those that include friends and family.

My finances really took a hit and so did my body. I don’t think I’ve ever fallen ill so many times in one year. My relationship with friends and family also took a hit. This year wasn’t my best, neither was it my worst.

What I want for 2021

  • I want to be a better person next year
  • I want to do really well in school next year
  • I want to be a better programmer next year
  • I want to get gigs/jobs next year
  • I want to be a Microsoft Learn Student Ambassador next year
  • I want to have a good social life online and offline next year
  • I want have a far better health next year

And how could I forget, my phone was stolen on the 1st of January 2020 and my Ulcer resurfaced December this year. And yes #EndSars. I couldn’t leave my house but I’m happy to have participated as much as I could online.

I apologize for having to make you read so much, I didn’t think it would be this long.

Happy New Year!

 
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