2021: what a mess of a year

Hello, this time it’s really been a while. This place lies in ruins ever since the last years recap. And it just goes to show, how busy and unpredictable this year has been for me. So let’s take a step back for once from all of this mess, and try and look at it from a distance.

Projects and jobs

This year I’ve not completed any personal projects. And there are four main reasons for that: lack of time, lack of motivation, health issues and jobs. Right at the start of the year, I ended up on my first real job, but it quickly turned out that I’ve actually gotten two jobs going at the same time. One was all about developing a mobile app in Unity, full of minigames. I ended up doing mostly CI/CD work for the team, since they had no such system in place. Ended up wrapping my bash scripts into a nice frontend using build bot. At the same time I was redeveloping an app for text-to-speech synth for the second time, first iteration was written by me in March of 2020, later on I rewrote it in C++ due to limitations of C# version, but we quickly realized that moving on C++ is a really tough language to develop an app that does the amount of web requests as our did, so I rewrote it once again, this time as a server+client application in node.js. This version is in use by this day.

But as you can imagine, working in two places at the same time quickly grew tiring and in the Spring I’ve left the team developing the mobile app. All this time I was kept extremely busy and my mental health started drifting apart due to this and a few other very important for me personal factors, but I haven’t noticed that until much later on in the year.

I’ve kept on developing the voice synth app, until the Autumn came and I got a really slick sounding offer in a big mobile game development company here, in Russia. All my jobs before this were considered freelance jobs, but this one offered real employment with all the benefits and stuff. Of course I couldn’t resist the offer. Aaaaand then I dropped out of life for a month.

I went to a hospital for a month all because of the mentioned mental health issues. It was a real challenge and a really bad time, probably one of the worst in my life, but now it’s over and I’m ready to never ever think of it again. (man, I forgot how time consuming these posts are, ahahahah)

The crisis helped me avoid getting drafted, tho, so it’s not all on one side of the coin. Anyway, I came back, and was pleasantly surprised to find out, that my job offer hasn’t expired, so I took the chance and my first real job has begun. It was a really interesting experience working in a big company. My team (called dev4dev) was very tiny, just 6 people, but that is still 5 more people that I’ve ever worked with seriously before, so all the scrum stuff and story points and all the meetings were so new for me. But I didn’t last long. Having gotten used to a free floating time schedule, I couldn’t get myself to agree to spend 8 hours a day at a specific time in a specific spot, it grew really tiresome really fast. First month was okay-ish, but then my mental health started drifting apart with the speed of sound, so I took action (perhaps a bit too late) and left the place. It was a scary decision, but now when it’s all over I’m so glad I’ve taken it.

I just wanted to quickly mention, that I find it really funny how I started the year with working on CI/CD for Unity, just in the same way I’ve finished the year working on CI/CD for Unity (this time on a much bigger scale, 10 agents instead of 1, TeamCity instead of buildbot, hundreds of builds per day compared to one a week).

OH and I even forgot to mention another freelance job that is still going on in the background, I’m developing a mobile app using react-native and a node.js+express server for the past few months, so there is also that.

The progress

So year, all of that has kept me busy, and I’m kind of bummed about the lack of any visible progress in terms of project releases. But you know, looking back I’ve still learned a lot this year. That includes:

  • Node.js express stack I knew some of it before, but I feel like this year I’ve really mastered it
  • React
  • React Native
  • Working in a team That includes using tools like YouTrack
  • Unity Worked very little with it in the past, had to work a lot with it this year, I’m still sticking to my bad opinion of it

It’s not much, but I’m still glad there is some progress going on in the background.

Yearly Themes

Last year I took The year of new as my yearly theme, and you know what, I’m not going to change it for now. I don’t feel like my discovery of new things is ready to come to a close yet, so why end it?

In 2022 I want to focus on my mental health, get it all back together, and honestly I don’t have any other goals in mind just yet. I guess, we will just see what the year brings, and until then, take care!

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