7 min read

2018: Year in Review

Goodbye, Twenty Eighteen

It was a year of opportunities and miss-opportunities. A reflection of how 2018 went and the approach I will be taking in 2019.

What was done this year

Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

1. Vue — Love affair with JavaScript started

2018 was a continuation of my first job since graduation and working on Vue Framework that I had picked up back in 2017. I had never written code in JavaScript to a huge extent during my days as a junior web developer. It has always been PHP and to the likes of Laravel Framework. Vue has made me like JavaScript. Shoutout to @Evan You for the awesome work on Vue!

2. From Start-up to Government-linked Company

I ended a wonderful journey in a start-up as the pioneer technology person in the media industry. I want to thank Sproud for giving me the opportunity to explore many various areas in the technology industry. Over the year, we have added more developers to the team and I was able to step up my role and guide the newcomers along. We worked on many different projects ranging from interactive HTML learning packages with the Ministry of Education to create a different experience of learning in school to experimental areas like Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR). Amongst us was an experienced individual who has worked on VR technology for years. It was a pleasure having him to show us the “Wows” of some of the projects he did in the team. Shoutout to him. He became a father this year, congratulations!

Huge company. Big team. I joined Singtel in late 2018. A different culture, and a different set of working tools, but I am ready to take on the challenges.

3. Giving back to the community

Having started contributing to Stack Overflow in 2017, I have brought my Stack Overflow profile to greater heights. In 2018 alone, I scored yet another 1,000+ reputation points bringing the total to over 2,000 points. Throughout the process, I have reviewed more than 1,000 questions and answers. The reviews have taught me ways to ask good questions and write good answers in a concise manner.

Learning never stops

1. ReactJS

Yes. I finally had to learn this framework. It took me long enough to learn, but finally have done so, with the help of my new mates in Singtel. Prior to Vue, React seemed to be a very complicated library for me and I felt myself taking a steep learning curve while trying the hands-on. However, with the help of Vue, I was able to grasp this framework quickly enough and start building projects with it. Our team have written a blog post on how we are going to “Make Front End Dev in Singtel Great Again!” Do check it out!

2. Serverless

Did you mean Serverless Framework? No! Serverless as in cloud computing. In 2018, serverless development became the trend of front-end development where the cloud provider acts as the server and deployment platform instead of the traditional way of firing up a Virtual Private Server (VPS) to host the projects. Since the demand has increased this year, it is time to get started. Right now I am learning the basics of serverless development and will eventually adopt the Serverless Framework in time to come.

3. Amazon Web Services (AWS)

Serverless and AWS are a perfect marriage when talking about front-end and back-end development. It may have taken me quite a long time to start using AWS, but it is never too late. I currently have projects built with Vue, ReactJS and Node.js hosted on a VPS. Late this year, I planned to migrate these projects over to a serverless deployment and AWS is my choice among the many cloud providers. They have really good pricing for personal projects at a low cost! Also, AWS provided a multitude of services that I was able to use:

  • S3 (Static site hosting)
  • Lambda (Function as a Service)
  • Route 53 (Domains and DNS records)
  • API Gateway (Creation of endpoints to call functions in Lambda)
  • CloudFront (CDN distribution)

In fact, I am pleased to have finally migrated my personal website, just recently at the time of this writing, from my VPS to AWS in November 2018. I am also in the midst of migrating my chatbots over to AWS, one of which is the Crypto Helper Bot (Github). Not a simple task, since a code rewrite is inevitable.

4. Other explorations

Throughout the year, I have also briefly explored other programming languages out of curiosity. They are Golang and Rust. They were just something I wanted to play with and try. I have also briefly played around with Docker just to understand what it does.

2019: What’s next?

1. New technologies

In a constantly evolving world of technology, you have probably heard of big terminologies like the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Mixed Reality (MR).

Keep up or become obsolete.

You may have heard of the above phrase in the technology industry. Scary enough, it is. Technology has moved so fast in the past 10 years that you have to keep up to stay relevant constantly. The first iPhone, changed how the way we use our devices. Together with iOS and Android, Facebook, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Instagram, and many other apps would never be a thing of today if not for the major steps both Apple and Google took back in 2007/2008. New things are being added each day and we need to keep up.

New and modern development patterns are important as well. Below is a list of technology, that I hope to complete by 2019:

  1. Typescript
  2. GraphQL
  3. Additional AWS services

2. World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC)

Every year, Apple will host an event for developers (mainly Apple developers) in California to showcase upcoming updates on their latest software.

Since having wished of attending WWDC in person, flying from Singapore to San Jose, California, I hoped to pick up writing in Swift again and to finally attend a WWDC session in my lifetime.

Being an amateur iOS developer who developed hobbyist apps in Swift in 2017, I wrote an ARKit app within 1 week of learning Swift from scratch and demonstrated the AR app at the Millenial 20/20 event in Singapore in my then company. It was a crazy yet fun experience. Since then, I took a hiatus in 2018.

3. Conferences and as a speaker

Attending conferences is one way to learn new things as people from different backgrounds go on stage to talk about their experiences. Sometimes, conferences are talks being held by the tech giants to talk about their products and give an insight into their future developments.

As for being a speaker, I think it is always special to be speaking in front of a crowd and being able to inspire others, especially junior developers or new people who are looking to join the respective industry.

4. Publishing articles

Yes. My Medium account is lacking quite a bit in content and one of the 2019 goals is to publish more articles be it on tech. I always find myself in a situation where I want to write topics that have probably been written by other authors. Going forward, I am taking a different approach.

5. Clean and quality code

As a developer, it is a continued effort to write clean and good-quality code. This ensures that the code is easily readable and easy to understand.


In closing, 2018 was a year of transition. Since graduation, it has been a non-stop learning journey of self-improvement; also a time of up-taking a small leadership role as shown in my previous company. Let 2019 be the year where I continue and grow on the foundation I built. Looking ahead, it is also the time to solidify future plans and also in the hope to take up a full-time management role in years to come.

With that, I would also like to thank everyone who has been onboard with me for 2018.

Thank You!

Till then…