2020,2021: Years in Review

2020,2021: Years in Review
Photo by Dayne Topkin / Unsplash

The last two years were nothing less than a rollercoaster ride!

From joyful and rewarding highs to challenging and exhaustingly painful lows. I must say the two twisted years brought in lots of surprises, some good, some bad. But, one thing for sure, these will be one of the most memorable years of my life. Through this post, I decided to share a summary of my learnings and accomplishments over the last two years.

Photo by Matt Bowden / Unsplash

πŸ“ˆ Career

I started looking for a permanent job in early 2020, I wanted to experience working in an MNC and I thought to give a break to my freelance career. Little did I know that the whole world would start working remotely when I start looking for a permanent job πŸ˜‚.

Before taking up the opportunity with Frescano Infotech, I did a small freelance project and took a break of almost 2 months to focus only on one task: finding a job.

πŸ“œ Freelance Project- GatsbyJS (War Of Crypta)

πŸ“… January 2020 - March 2020

The project requirements were simple: to build a static website out of JSON files. I chose to use Gatsby for this Project. Gatsby is a static website generator built on top of React. Gatsby takes care of a lot of things like module bundling, routing, compressing, etc for us and makes building static websites easy and DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself).

A large part of the project revolved around creating static pages out of Gatsby's `createPage()` function. There were some challenges involved in doing the same because there were multiple JSON files and all the content had to be sorted, indexed and combined before creating the pages. Async/await and some JavaScript trickery was all that was needed to do so!

The project also used some basic scroll animations to enhance the User Experience.

You can view the project here.

πŸ“œ Sr. Engineer (UI) - Frescano Infotech Pvt. Ltd.

πŸ“… June 2020 - September Β 2020

I worked with Frescano for about four months starting June 2020. The project I was assigned to received millions of hits per month and it is one of the biggest ebook/audiobook subscription service in Europe (particularly Scandinavia) . The project was built on ReactJS, Redux and we used both Redux Saga and Thunk as middleware.

The project was very rewarding in terms of Β learning experience and I am glad I could share my expertise in terms of React, Redux, CSS and DesignSystems with the team.

πŸ“œ Sr. Staff Engineer - Altimetrik India Pvt. Ltd.

πŸ“… October 2020 - Present Day

I have been working with Altimetrik since October 2020. Mainly our team works on building ReactJS apps that utilise APIs from AWS and give the back-office team relevant data to work with. The apps we build usually have a code coverage of 95%+ (mandatory minimum is Β 85%+) and we use Jest for unit-testing our React JS code.

We heavily invest in reusing company built Design Systems and components instead of recreating our own. Sometimes, we come across requirements that cannot be managed with current design systems, in such scenarios, we build our own solutions.

As a part of my job profile, I interview candidates for Altimetrik and I evaluate them based upon their Technical skills, namely: React JS, JavaScript and Frontend Development. I have received appreciation from managers over the last few months because of my detailed evaluation documents. I make sure that I document every single detail about the candidate, like what they are good at, what they can improve upon and also their communication and soft skills. The interview evaluations give clear steps for the next round of interview(s) or the reasons the candidate failed to clear the round and will not be a suitable fit for the role.

I along with 4 of my colleagues participated in Altimetrik's Ideathon. We built a finance literacy game for pre-teens. We managed to do Information Architecture, Basic Design, User Experience and write ReactJS Code for the App. We built a prototype to present our idea to the Judges and we somehow were semifinalists in the competition.

The company was ranked #36 out of 100 best companies to work in India as per GPTW (Great Places To Work) Survey. The company invests in many employee welfare schemes and keeps us motivated. We also have a business account for Udemy to keep us updated with the latest courses.

The company also sends us goodies on special occasions.

Altimetrik Company Goodies

πŸ“š Books, Courses and Learnings

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» WesBos's Gatsby Mastery Course

Wesbos's Gatsby Mastery Course is one of the best courses for anyone who's planning to utilise their ReactJS skills to build static websites.

During the course, Wesbos builds a Pizza website in Gatsby and covers topics like GraphQL, Headless CMS, Server-less functions and some basics of Hooks and state management in React.

The course helped me to get a better understanding of Gatsby and gave me tips and tricks I could use in building above mentioned Gatsby Website.

πŸ‘¨β€πŸ’» WesBos's React Advanced Course

Since I completed a couple of courses from WesBos, I was sure that this course would not be a letdown.

The course goes through building front-end and backend (Full-stack) for an online clothing store. The course also explains how we can add real checkout and at the end of the course, the instructor focuses on Testing the React application.

In terms of Frontend, the course explains building various pages using React and Graph QL

In terms of Backend, the course covers various topics like authentication, permissions, sending email, uploading images, and charging credit cards.

Some prior NodeJS knowledge would be nice, although not absolutely necessary.

⏰ VueJS Time App

Since VueJS was a much talked about library in recent years, I dedicated sometime to learn the basics of VueJS. It was a refreshing way to look at how HTML, CSS, and JavaScript can be written in a single file and the approach was quite different from my past experience with React.

During this phase, I built a simple app that shows the World time based upon user selection.

VueJS Application Demo 

Click here to read more on the same.

🎀 Jamstack Conference

On the 27th of May 2020, Jamstack virtual conference was organised. The entire conference was conducted online using an event platform, Hopin. I wrote a post covering some interesting talks presented during the conference.

To read a detailed post, click here.

✍️ Successfully Registered my Trademark

After a patient wait of nearly three years, I successfully secured the registration of several logos under my name for Web Design/Web Development services. Additionally, I proudly registered a Word-mark, "Prashant Sani."

For those curious about the intricacies of the trademark registration process, I've detailed the entire journey in a comprehensive blog post. Acquiring these trademarks represents not just legal accomplishments but a testament to the dedication and hard work invested in building my brand.

πŸ† Recognitions & Appreciations

I was awarded a "GEM Award" by my current company, Altimetrik Pvt. Ltd. for going the extra mile in terms of my work. it was a proud moment for me to be appreciated and recognised for my efforts by managers.

Although my portfolio website was launched in January 2017, I still keep receiving emails from people recognising and appreciating my efforts to build the website. I am so humbled by the community and grateful that I can inspire fellow developers.

Here are a few blogs and YouTubers (designers/frontend developers) who shared my website for inspiration in 2021.

Slider Revolution (Best Examples of Portfolio Website) 

πŸ§˜β€β™‚οΈ Personal Life

The one thing that had helped me to manage my stress over the last few months have been my hobbies. I have been collecting Hot Wheels and Lego for a few years and I also maintain a blog to showcase the same.

Working with a therapist has helped me to get a better understanding of my thoughts, relationships, trigger points and patterns of behaviour. I have developed better coping mechanisms and also learnt assertive ways of communicating my needs. Therapy also helped me to gain perspectives to see situations more from an impartial observer, without opinions and biases.

One self-book that I read last year was "Think like a monk" by Jay Shetty. He distils the wisdom he learned as a practising monk into practical steps to live a less anxious, more meaningful life. The book bestows wisdom in a simple, understandable and a relevant way.

I must say, good and bad, I really appreciate everything that has happened in the last two years. It has shaped me the way I am. I am sure it must be as much difficult for everyone else as it was for me.

A message for readers? Well, there's a very famous quote from KungFu Panda,

β€œYou are too concerned with what was and what will be.
There is a saying: Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.”