Going Through Changes In 2019


I haven’t written anything since the 24th of March where I wrote about Compressing Static Webpages With GitLab Pages as I’ve had a lot of things going on. In the time from my last post, I’ve had 3 job interviews (2 at the same company) and I’ve moved back to my home country Zimbabwe due to failing the aforementioned job interviews.

Now that I’m somewhat settled at home (thanks Mum!), I’m ready to get back to maintaining this blog. Here’s what I’m planning to do from now until the end of the year.

Writing

From the beginning of the year up until now, I’ve written 19 blog posts (including this one). I thought that was more than the previous years, but it’s about average. Still, I anticipate that this will be a record-breaking year in terms of how many posts I’ve published.

Here’s what I’m planning to write for the rest of the year.

  • How I Added Search – earlier this year I added a search page which I made with lunr.js. It isn’t the best implementation, but I think it’s cool.
  • The 3 Days I Spent Scraping Data From PDFs – Last year, Zimbabwe held its first election after Mugabe’s 19 years as president. While the results are available online, it isn’t presented well. To fix it (along with learning SQL), I decided to start a data visualization project. The first stage was transforming the raw election data into a friendlier format. It took me 3 days and a bunch of scripts, but i did it. Didn’t really work on it after that through. That’s for a later section.
  • Reflecting on Why I Couldn’t Get A Job Even A Year After Graduation – This is a bit risky to write and I’m not sure I’m ready for the vulnerability. I’m scared that someone will look at it in the future and call me a loser. It’ll probably be for my sake but I’m trying to find a good time to publish it.
  • Getting Gud At Programming and Finding A Job – After my failure to get a job and from the lessons learned in the aforementioned blog post, I feel like giving the job search the seriousness it deserves this time around.
  • Evaluating Grad School – I really didn’t want to go to grad school, but given my “gap year”, it’s now an option. My main reasons for wanting to go to grad school are to deepen my knowledge, critically evaluate industry vs. academia for my next move, credentialism (countries overlook people without master’s degrees for work permits) and wanting to delay growing up. In the post I would write about my grad school search and application process.
  • 5 Years of Programming – I started programming in 2014 when I took CS 120– Intro to Computer Programming With Python. I’ve programmed quite a bit since then and I want to summarize my journey up to now.
  • Creating An iOS Shortcut to Extract RSS Feeds from Mobile YouTube – I wrote some JavaScript to extract RSS feeds from YouTube videos and decided to turn it into an iOS Shortcut. Forgot to write about it.
  • Programming Interviews There were 4 notable interviews I’ve had since graduation. Much like my interview experience at the Des Moines Dev Shop and Goldman Sachs, I hope to write about these 4 as well.

Those are the posts I’ll definitely write. I do have some floating ideas however such as

  • The board games I’ve played and how I’ve gotten into them
  • a retrospective on my life in the 2010 decade
  • Some opinion pieces on content creator responsibility, coding interviews (such as why cramming leetcode won’t be enough and how it’s an unsolved problem), reservations on starting a YouTube channel and community building. Too scared to share my opinion right now.
  • My trip to the UK and
  • The school trip I took around Iowa.

Programming

Since I’m looking to refine my programming experience, I plan on making a few projects such as

  • A Better Way To Present Election Results – I mentioned this in the writing section but I want to finish this out. I expect to learn a lot from this.
  • The RSS Feed Extractor on Web – I want to make a webpage for that iOS shortcut, learning CSS Grid and Flexbox in the process.
  • Stardew Valley Farm Optimizer – I plan on going down a rabbit hole where I implement the knacpsack problem in regards to Stardew Valley.
  • Flight Information Display for Amsterdam’s Schipol Airport – The Schipol Airport has an API to get flight data so I want to make a webpage to show it.

I have so many other programs I want to make, but I doubt I’ll have time for it all.

As for blog-related developement, I’m putting that on hold until the rest of the year to understand what I’m missing. I will add Google Analytics to better track traffic, walking back on my previous walking back on my decision to add it. I initially walked back due to privacy and performance reasons. Regarding privacy, you can block it if you don’t like it until I come up with a better analytics solution. As for performance, lots of sites use it so it’s likely cached In your browser.

Monetizing

I was kinda scared of monetizing since my work wasn’t worthy and I was scared that it would be considered work, causing immigration problems. Now that I’m back in my home country, I’m ready to monetize. Monetization will be in the form of Patreon and affiliate links. Ads are annoying and I doubt anyone will see them given that most people use ad blockers.

Conclusion

Seems really ambitious, but it’s possible. It’s not like I don’t have time or anything. I hope you stick with me as I work on all this great stuff! Here’s a couple of songs to sign you off.

By the way, I haven’t received any feedback emails yet. Plz send one. Kthanxbai 🤗.