We have finally reached the end of the year 2016. This has been the year where the world, our respective countries, our families and our personal lives have changed. Everybody started the year with many resolutions and expectations, some of which were just extremely overambitious. I am now looking back and trying to put the pieces together. I am trying to learn from what I did wrong, what I did right, who I met and what new thing I did.
I would like to thank each and every person who has supported me in my ventures and offering help and criticism where necessary. This includes my leaders, family, friends, colleagues and many new people I met in various forums and meetings. The 5-10 minutes you use to read my articles enable this blog and give me motivation to work much harder. Thank you!
WARNING >> LONG READ!
The following are some of the things I can count as achievements since the year began as compared to last year. It has been a journey in both my personal and professional life and I would love to share the positive changes culminating from it.
Please note they are not in any particular order of importance! May be chronological 🙂
- Hosting my website
This year I registered and hosted my website, davidngugi.com. I needed a place on the web to showcase my work, let interested people and potential clients know who I am and what I do. The website was built as a single page website. This was intentional to reduce clutter.
- Starting the blog
This blog was set up as a part of my website. It provides me the avenue to voice out my opinion on issues and get to reach a wider audience. I have more goals concerning the blog come next year. It is my year’s resolution to be more regular with my posts. Hope you’ll enjoy.
- 1st Hackathon
This year I participated in my very first Hackathon organized by Booking.com. I was very excited to have had a great team and we managed to be in second place. I wrote a whole article, with photos, about what transpired. Click here to read it.
- Improved on my programming skills
I learnt and now use the Laravel Framework. This is a PHP web framework for building web applications in a clean and more organized manner. It’s a framework for web artisans! I now use it for all my web development work.
I also learnt many new techniques and algorithms from online programming websites which was quite fun and challenging.
- Improved on my professional skills
I learnt how to present my work to clients in a better way. Wrote proposals, presented deliverables and streamlined my methodologies. It has not been easy but I am growing. I am glad to have people to advise me and offer help at any given time.
- Enhanced my portfolio
This year worked on a few client projects and personal projects too. Some may never be put publicly on my website since they are proprietary and I worked on them with a team. It has been a great experience developing websites, apps and solutions for organizations and businesses.
Time! Time! Time! This has been my biggest challenge this year. I have had a lot of workload to finish this year and it seems it will increase next year. Time management was a critical challenge as I try to balance between school work, client projects, personal projects and home life.
I concentrated on some projects more than others and was not as well organized as initially intended. This was a failure on my part and I intend to resolve this as soon as now.
2017 Goals and Expectations
- Improve on work-life balance
I will streamline my schedules to ensure there is time for everything. I.e. Time to build my spirituality more, Time to be with family, Time to visit some friends, time to work on client projects and finish them quickly, time to workout, time to improve on my skill set not only in programming.
- Final school project completion
I will be working on a very challenging final year project. I am building a 2D game engine that will include a drag-and-drop interface for designing levels. My goal is to enable anyone to build a simple but fun platformer game in a simple sequential step-by-step manner with little or no coding involved. Computer graphics is a field that has not been explored in most of the African, particularly Kenyan universities and it has been a hard task convincing my lecturers that I can do it. This holiday has not been a time of rest but a time of experimentation building some components of the engine. I have learnt a great deal and will incorporate this knowledge in the final product.
I believe I am not average and mediocre and just bow to the status quo. I believe I am called to bring a difference in the education sector in this country and beyond and show that we too can do it and do it well.
I can’t wait to finish and show the final product to you and the rest of the world.
- Learn a new skill in a different field
I am excited to learn something new, fresh and physically engaging. I don’t really know what this will be, so let us wait and see.
- Growth of Davidic Labs
Davidic labs is my corporate-facing side in which I am the lead developer. We carry out software development work for clients and provide consulting services too. I intend to be more positively aggressive and outgoing come next year. This will involve the building of various web services, web and mobile apps and taking on of more client projects.
We would like to set up a great online presence and have quality software designed and built from Kenya, Africa.
Finally! The time has come for me to finish my undergraduate. I expect to graduate at the end of 2017 and step into another phase of my life. I don’t know what God has in store for me but I do know it’s going to be great and rewarding in the end.
This year has had ups and downs. Nobody can dispute the fact that we are now at a totally different era in history where the impossible is possible and well held knowledge is disputed and termed null and void. We are in the era of post-truth an era of fulfillment of what our forefathers saw and wrote about. It is now expected that we keep watch over our lives and avoid deception from the world (media, false best-selling books etc.). Commit your plans to God and keep your faith strong. You will be fought for what you believe in. You may lose friends and previously held strong relationships but keep your trust in He who is Eternal.
In the long run, people and resources will come your way and you will be a stronger and more mature person than you were before.
Sorry for the very long read but stay strong and try to keep your sight on those goals you want to achieve.