Dev Retro 2022 - From feeling imposter to feeling confident
6 min read
2022 was a year full of learnings for me. It was about solving problems, lots of iterations, making solid fundamentals, and growing up as a person. Even though it feels like this year went really fast and I have a very vague memory of it, this is my honest attempt to reflect on the year 2022.
🚀 Launched 2 products on Product Hunt
My first open-source project Coverview, a tool to create cover images for blogs quickly and easily crossed 500+ stars on GitHub. So I revamped it and added new features like more themes, fonts, custom icons, and Unsplash integration. And launched it on Product hunt. It was 🏆 #1 Product of the day
I also launched Halfbakedideas, an app to share and vote half baked ideas on Product hunt. It was the 🏆 #2 Product of the day. More than 1000 people signed up and it has around 350+ half-baked ideas at the moment.
🏃♂️ Hackathons and sprints
This year I participated in 3 hackathons.
Netlify x Hashnode hackathon - It was a 4-week-long hackathon. I built Glimpse, an app to track and share about books. Out of 150+ submissions, My project was among the top 10 runners ups.
Hasura x Hashnode hackathon - It was also a 4-week-long hackathon. I built an API that gives bucket list ideas based on different categories. I learned about GraphQL and Hasura while building it. I wrote about the whole process here. Also, you can play around with API at https://bucketlist-api-playground.vercel.app/
PlanetScale x Hashnode hackathon - This was also a 4-week-long hackathon. Even though I didn't make it to the winners, this was the most fun I had in a hackathon. I built an app where we can share our half-baked ideas and vote for them. it's like bringing the internet's best half-baked ideas into one place.
Have a look at halfbakedideas.app for some creative side project ideas.
Building something from the scratch and turning an idea into a product was a thrilling experience. That's why I love hackathons the most. The deadline makes it more fun as it's like a sprint of building stuff. Also, I learned new technologies like Nextjs, Hasura, Planetscale, and more.
🙇♂️ Lots of rejections
Job search is hard. I applied and interviewed at a couple of companies but faced lots of rejections. It hurts more when you get the chance but you fail to grab it. But every rejection helped me to reflect on myself and see what mistakes I am doing. Every rejection was a lesson, a step towards being more confident.
👀 Am I an imposter?
Even though I was learning and building stuff, I was feeling like an imposter. I had feelings of self-doubt all the time. And the harder I tried to hide it by constantly building new stuff, the worse it got. I knew something was missing. And I realized that my fundamentals are not strong. I only had enough knowledge to build stuff but there were missing gaps. That's what I was afraid of.
💪 Making strong fundamentals
The first step to solving a problem is to understand the problem. I started noting down the things I am bad at and the things that I need to improve on. Taking action was the second step.
The biggest lesson I learned in this process was I should focus more on the why and how of a topic than what while learning anything.
🕊️ The thing about confidence
I used to think I need to be confident to do a certain thing. Like, say I need to be confident to give interviews. But I was wrong. The first time we do anything will be uncomfortable. The next time we do it, it will get easier. Confidence doesn't come before the experience. We need to do the experience and then get confidence. So in this case, giving more and more interviews gives you confidence and not the other way. First comes action then confidence.
🔮 Rebuilt my portfolio
I had a personal website before but it wasn't ranking on google. So I decided to rebuild my portfolio website with Nextjs which improved the SEO drastically.
It's built with Nextjs, tailwindCSS, and framer motion for tiny animations. It uses markdown files and contetlayer to create pages where I wrote full case studies of my projects. Have a look at rutikwankhade.dev
🐣 Personal growth
The other half of the I year when I understood the importance of physical and mental health. Most of the days were about sitting in one place in front of my laptop for long hours. And I didn't notice until my body started giving me signals.
So I joined the gym. I went and paid the next two months' fees beforehand. I call it deliberately pushing myself into commitments. Like if I wanted to start reading books, I would already buy 3-4 new books. If I want to learn something, I would buy an expensive course. And it works every time.
Out of all the books I read this year, I can't recommend "The courage to be disliked" enough. It's one of the best books I read that changed my perspective on life.
I bought a little pocket sketchbook, and some pens and started drawing again. I mostly draw cute characters but It's one of those activities that I enjoy doing.
🎉 Finally launched Tabwave v2
Tabwave has been my passion project for a long time. And now it has become even more mindful and beautiful. After lots of procrastination and the constant urge to make it perfect, I launched a new Tabwave
It has now a clean user interface and features like drag-and-drop, sort tasks, edit notes, access and search bookmarks, site blocking, and more. You can also use it at web.tabwave.app
📅 Looking forward
Last year I thought of doing so many things and didn't even start. But this year I want to focus on less stuff with more impact. This year I will write more. Regardless of what I do in 2023, I wish to keep on building. From getting crazy ideas to turning them into products, building cool things, and having fun.
Happy new year!
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