2021 in review

Day job#

Early 2021, I was working with Django & Kubernetes a lot. For the record, I’m working with a CDN company on an Over-the-top (OTT) video streaming product. I remember hacking iptables to add rate limiting rules in Kubernetes nodes. It was fun! One of the projects I was involved in was completely redesigning the company’s dashboard using the internal UI kit. I had fun working with several overseas colleagues.

Not going to lie; due to this COVID thing, my life has become dull after one and half years of lockdown. I was no longer excited about my job. That’s when I felt I needed some changes in my life, and I wanted to meet new people and work on new projects. Basically, I want a fresh new start.

In July 2021, I got a new job offer. It was my bravest move. 25th August 2021 was my last day at OnApp. I wrote an article about this in my blog . After all the memories, it was hard to step out of the door and leave everyone, and I was emotional.

In September, I started a new job at Billplz , a Malaysian payment platform company. That’s where I met new excellent colleagues. My tech stack here has completely changed. I’m now working with Rails, React/Next JS, PostgreSQL, and AWS.

In October, I was in charge of building a data warehouse for the company. It was fun, and I hadn’t felt that thrill for months.

Side Job#

In Jan 2021, I built a tax app to manage my tax for the year. I never publish the app to the public, but I still actively use it for my purpose.

In Jan 2021, I learned Elixir and wanted to taste it. After several weeks, I still don’t feel productive working in Elixir. It’s probably because of my background coming from Python, where we’re spoilt with many packages/libraries, but that’s the case in Elixir. Anyway, I’m still a huge fan of Elixir.

In March 2021, I took a part-time Go developer building an e-pharmacy app. After two years of learning Go on the side, I wanted to have a professional experience writing Go, and it was only for three months. After that tenure, I feel more confident to write in Go but I haven’t worked with complex problems in Go yet like concurrency mutexes, semaphores, etc. I wish to work more with Go in the future.

In December, I was working on my SaaS called Asthma Journey , fuelled by enthusiasm for building a SaaS and sympathy for my wife. I launched Asthma Journey on 16th December, and two weeks later, I got great responses . It took me about 20 days to build the app MVP and the landing page.

Overall, I have published five articles last year, which is terrible, and I lost motivation to write more partly because I took a very long time to write one, around 10-20 days. One good thing though, my blog posts have received many good responses from internet citizens. Many have noticed my works and I got some offers because of my blog posts.

What has changed#

Nowadays, I’m no longer actively working with Kubernetes and Linux systems in general. Not much troubleshooting servers & RabbitMQ, and I’m a bit tired of them and wanted to do something else to build web applications. At some point, I feel like I’ve reached the point where I’m overwhelmed and no longer understand the low-level parts of Linux like Linux kernel, io_uring, bpf, epoll, etc. However, during my new day job, I occasionally do DevOps-related tasks like setting up databases, reviewing system architecture, migrating to Docker, setting up AWS services, etc. These days, I prefer managed services whenever possible and avoid Kubernetes. In most cases, Kubernetes is overkill, at least for me.

My tech stack has changed compared to last year. Previously I was using Vue/Nuxt, Django, MySQL, Kubernetes on bare-metal, etc. But today, I’m using React/NextJS, Rails, PostgreSQL, and AWS services. I still like Django and Python though.

Items I’m glad I bought last year#

In 2021, I invested some money in my physical wellness. I can feel my body is aging so I need to act now.

Standing Desk#

Earlier 2021, I had a bad backache. It limits my working time (which means my productivity as well). Recommend this for those who have backache.

Logitech MX Master 3 Mouse#

Earlier 2021, I also had wrist pain due to using an in-ergonomic mouse. Later that year, I bought MX Master 3, and now I no longer have wrist pain. Furthermore, the buttons on the side help me navigate code in my IDEs. I highly recommend this mouse.

© Fadhil Yaacob 2022