2018 in Review

Published 3 weeks ago

2018 was a pretty big year for BLP. (Sorry, just had a Rob Van Dam moment there.)

Home

I moved into my new apartment last December, but this was the first full here and this is the first time I've lived with anyone. It took quite a long time to adjust to not being alone all the time. Luckily, I've found a decent balance and things are going well at home.

Work

On the career front, I finally was able to stop teaching English. For those who've never lived in Japan, the stigma of being an English teacher is quite strong. It's even worse when you're not running your own business. If you're at least satisfied being an English teacher, it can be good, but I had been wanting to get out of being a teacher for quite some time.

Unfortunately, I took a job that I wasn't crazy about just to stop being an English teacher. I can't say 100% is if was a mistake though. It was doing development at a large Japanese corporation and the environment was depressing. It wasn't what I had in mind when I dreamed of getting into programming. I stayed for six months, and while the first couple were okay, the last couple—where I had no freedom with what or how I worked—were pretty brutal.

I was all set to quit—going back to teaching English if need be—but I was lucky enough to find a spot at a company that fit me and my skillset much better. I've been there for three months so far and things are going well.

Learning

I learned two major frameworks this year: Laravel and Vue. You could also throw Tailwind in there as well, but that's a pretty easy one to pick up. This site is built on all three of them. Tangentially, I also learned Nuxt and Gridsome, which are built on top of Vue and a little bit of Adonis, which is a Laravel clone in Node. I never programmed anything in PHP before this year. It was an interesting experience joining the community. The overlap between Laravel, Vue and Tailwind users led me to each one. I can't even remember if it was Laravel that led me to Vue or Vue which led me to Laravel, but the fantastic members in each community made learning both technologies much easier than learning Rails or Ember ever was for me in the past.

I also realized that JavaScript is actually my favorite language now. I used to swear up and down that Ruby was my favorite and that JS was awful, but after learning all the ways that JS has improved in recent years, I really came around on it. Once Adonis and its community come along a bit more (here's hoping), I could see moving away from Laravel to Adonis—to be able to do everything in JavaScript. I love Laravel. I just don't love PHP. PHP isn't as bad as all the Rubyists and Rails people would lead you to believe, but without Laravel, I wouldn't touch PHP.

Favorite Things from this Year

  • Red Dead Redemption 2 (not quite finished yet though)
  • Reliving 90's pro-wrestling through YouTube, podcasts and the WWE archives
  • Buying a proper Christmas tree for the first time in Japan
  • Biking to work
  • Coming home for lunch on workdays