2019 Annual Review: A Year of Change

It’s the first time I’m doing a year annual review! I dedicate a couple of days to reviewing my entire year, personally and professionally, so I can reflect on my skill set, learnings, what I’m thankful for, goals I’ve accomplished, where I’ve succeeded, where I’ve experienced failure, and how I plan to move forward in the coming year.

In 2019, I was fortunate to have a good year and the most progressive year. Here’s what happened. I’m going to split this section into four sections.

  1. Key Learnings
  2. Work
  3. Non-work
  4. 2020

Key Learnings

At the start of 2019, I set some challenges for me to accomplish in the year.

  1. 365 Days of Code (Accomplished)
  2. Reading 20 Books (Accomplished)
  3. Write a blog post every week (Failed)
  4. Start a weekly newsletter (Accomplished)

365 Days of Code

From the first January, I was working on freelance and side projects. Every day, I tried my best to get my hands on modern technologies/frameworks. I commit everything to my GitHub just to keep my progress graph updated. Sometimes, it’s just one line of code and sometimes it’s a complete learning-based application.

This year, apart from Security, my main focus was on frontend development. I choose Vue.js to be my main frontend framework and it’s the best decision I’ve made by not following the crowd to select React. I also worked on React but I believe Vue has a much better learning curve. Super active and friendly community. It’s really easy to get started with Vue, all you have to just use a script tag to get Vue up and running.

This year I worked on multiple projects and got familiar with technologies which include PHP, Vue.js, React.js, AWS, GraphQL(Apollo, Lighthouse), Node.js, Electron, Laravel, MongoDB, Firebase, PostgreSQL and MySQL. Some of these learning-based projects are open source.

This is what made my year the most progressive year so far. In the start of 2019, this sounds almost impossible. In 2019, I contributed total 1,711 times to GitHub and secured the 15th position on most active GitHub users in Pakistan according to https://commits.top

Reading 20 Books

This is something I developed my interest this year. I have used Goodreads to keep track of my reading list. I tried to write the review for every book I read this year. Click on the book title to read my review of that specific book.

  1. The Developer Highway Code
  2. The One Thing
  3. The Power of Focus (One of the best books I’ve ever read)
  4. Apni Talash(2x) (One of the best books I’ve ever read)
  5. The Lean Startup
  6. Zero to One
  7. How To Have A Beautiful Mind
  8. Soch Ka Himalaya
  9. Laravel 5 Cookbook
  10. Maloomat-e-Rasool (PBUH)
  11. Vue.js 2 Book
  12. Unchi Urraan
  13. Learning Laravel 5
  14. The Power Of Now
  15. Bari Manzil Ka Musafir
  16. Kamyabi Ka Paigham
  17. The Rules of Management
  18. Zaviya
  19. Rich Dad Poor Dad

Work

365 days of code not only help me enhance my skill set but it also helped me get job offers from the different organization around the world. Luckily I secured my first job as a Security Software Engineer at Foretheta.

Most of my work on a day to day basis comprised of DevSecOps, system administrator, secure software engineering and defending Foretheta team from very bad peoples on the internet.

Non-Work


Fatal Road Accident: If you notice my progress graph of GitHub in 2019, you’ll see I took two breaks. I took the first break due to Itikaf. I don’t have intentions for the second break however life happened.

While travelling to my hometown for the holidays I had a fatal road accident and both of my wrist and my leg got fractured. I had an operation and now there are surgical plates in my leg. I was at bed rest for three months. From the time my hands got recovered and I started working again but this time from the bed. It took six months to completely recover from my broken leg. So including the break technically it’s 338 days of code.

Weekly Newsletter: I started a weekly newsletter(archives) on my blog where I share what’s new in the Security and Web Development, with content for beginners to pros. I’m trying to be consistent on that.

President Edwardes Computer Club: Edwardes STEM was a computer club which provided a platform to multidisciplinary student to broaden their vision in Science and Technology by working on projects and learning by doing approach.

Ethical Hacking & Coding 101 Workshop: I am very glad to be a trainer of STOORE. They conducted a workshop on Ethical Hacking and Coding 101 at IM Sciences University Peshawar. The purpose of the workshop is to acquaint Cyber Security with youth and let them find their passion by introducing them to different fields. Target gathering of students was from sixth to twelve grade.

No Social Media: This year, I have deactivated my Instagram account and focus more on the learning side. In this year, I barely posted on Facebook and Twitter. In 2020 I’m aiming to be more active in the community as HackerOne says, “Together, we hit harder”.

Plans for 2020

  • Reading 25 books.
  • Involve in the community.
  • OSS contribution and 2000+ GitHub contributions count.
  • Launch my first SaaS product.
  • Continuously sharing my experiences on the blog posts.
  • Create Vue3 Course.
  • CISSP and OSCP.
  • Active directory penetration testing.
  • Focus on better health.
  • Travel, Travel and Travel.
  • Writing my weekly newsletter.
  • More command on Linux.

Happy new year!

I hope your 2020 is full of purpose, freedom, learning and healthy relationships.

Cheers,
Muhammad Muhaddis
@MuhaddiMu

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