December 31st, 2020
Reading time: 5 mins
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We all know how tumultuous this year has been—there's no denying that. This year has been really hard for us all with the pandemic and its effects. It has resulted in so much physical isolation, and uncertainty with constant changes in plans.
I personally have grown so much in really unexpected ways, having had the time to be alone and look inwards. I started going to therapy, tried a form of meditation based on positive intelligence, and thought much more deeply about the path I was going down (career, relationships, and life).
And a lot still happened, even if it felt like time progressed at such a weird rate. I wanted to share a few of the highs and lows I experienced this year, to reflect, connect with others, and look back on in a few years.
Traveled a bit, and then nowhere
The year started off on a really exciting note with a trip I took to Austin and Houston in January. A few friends and I went to explore, and then afterwards, I attended a conference for work. It was around a 10-day trip, and when I got back, it finally felt like I was getting back into work after the holidays.
In February, I went to Vegas for my birthday! I also got to see Steve Aoki perform here, and eat some amazing food.
I had a vision for the rest of 2020 (oh, like we all did 💔), that it was going to be a big year for international travel. Unfortunately, none of that panned out, but I'm still grateful that I got to go where I went this year.
Hypeshot is a project that I had been working on with a group since 2019. It initially began as a Chrome extension that allows people watching sports online to view additional information overlaid on the game. At first, we decided to implement the functionality for viewing your relevant fantasy league/matchup information.
In the first quarter of the year, we were finally ready to launch our MVP for basketball, so we shared our creation with the r/fantasybball community. We got a lot of excitement and interest in the product from the community, and gained hundreds of users from the initial launch day.
This was the second time I fully launched one of my own products to actual users, and it was exhilarating (nearly 6 years after the first... a story for another time). It reminded me of why I decided to enter this industry in the first place, and why I love to build.
Became active on Twitter
In early May, and after hearing some encouraging advice on the power on Twitter from a friend/mentor, I decided to try becoming more active on the platform (since I work here, it was only a matter of time before I at least attempted to become a power user). Turns out, choosing to post instead of lurk on the platform was one of the best moves I made this year.
Especially in a time of isolation, on Twitter I joined communities and made friends. The thing about Twitter compared to the real world is that people I came across most likely had similar interests to me, so we were passionate about common topics and were not limited by lack of proximity.
Twitter not only grew my network and started to build my brand, but it also became an amazing space for me to improve my thinking, writing, and creative output. I learned in public using Twitter, by sharing my thoughts on what I was reading and pursuing, and at some points even showing demos (looking at you, SwiftUI Twitter 👀).
Moved out of SF
Like a lot of people, this year I moved out of San Francisco. However, it was more of a logistical decision for me rather than out of a desire to leave. My lease was ending over the summer, and it just made more sense for me to not sign a new one or find a new place.
This was not an easy decision for me, and I went back and forth a lot—I actually almost secured the renewal of my lease for another year. But in the end, there was no denying that my needs, at least in the short term, had changed. So with that, I left the city. But I am hoping to be back soon.
Started doing some design at work
Thanks to the support of my manager and a few great people from the design and research org, I was able to start working on some projects as a designer, with a bit of my time. This was a really exciting development for me, because I had always wanted to get closer to the users and to understanding the motivations behind what we were building.
You can read more here about why this is important to me, and some of the findings I came to in choosing to pursue both engineering and design.
...and with all this, I also played too much Among Us.
There's one more thing that happened that I didn't include, but you'll be hearing more about that in the new year. 🤫
If you made it this far (and hopefully enjoyed this), THANK YOU. One of my goals for 2021 is to write more often, so it would mean the world if you want to get my future posts directly to your inbox: