January 27, 2023

2022; A Retrospective

This post is dedicated to 2022. I will try to summarize all the important events, changes, content I consumed, and things I learned. Happy new year everyone!

The year of the Ukraine invasion 🇺🇦☮️

I normally don’t like political discussion on my blog, but it’s hard to keep yourself detached from reality shocks like this. Especially, when you’re on a call with your colleagues and you hear the sirens.

I had my convictions to believe that here in Europe we overcame the idea of starting wars. That we learned through the process of making wars that the consequences are far more severe than potential gains.

I was wrong.

And I’m wondering what gains exactly could justify life loss?

These conflicts between nations never helped. It’s training new generations of hate. It destroys the harmony in the area. It makes people’s lives miserable. It damages the environment. It brings political instability. It just pushes us backwards.

I’m standing with the people who lost their homes. Sending them my best thoughts, love and prayers. I wish for this heartbreaking tragedy to end soon.

The year AI became a thing 🤖

Remember NFTs and cryptocurrencies? Yeah, nobody talks about those anymore.

2022 was all about AI. Whether we like it or not.

For many years we were hearing about AI’s superpowers, but only recently we had the chance to see it in action. Suddenly, a lot of people have started paying more attention to machine learning.

ChatGPT managed to impress the world with its capabilities of producing close to perfection end results. ChatGPT can be your friend, your coworker, your tutor, your financial instructor, your personal chef, your lawyer, your co-writer, your co-scientist, your co-developer, and everything in between. It’s the Siri we never had.

DALL·E 2 on the other side can be your personal Leonardo da Vinci. The day we could watch and share our dreams with our virtual friends on Metaverse is not far away.

AI can eventually be creative. And creative workers have started wondering whether AI will replace their jobs.

And what kind of world would that be if everything was made by AI?

Imagine movies produced by AI, released on streaming services built by AI, rated by AI, and eventually sponsored by AI. I mean, who else will have the money to pay them. We will all be without jobs, remember?

In other news, the situation with the chip shortage for consumer devices became way better. People can finally buy a Playstation now. But now they don’t want to. You see, people are not willing to play video games anymore. They can now go outside and enjoy their lives! How cool is that?

At least until another pandemic knocks on our doors. Or a missile. Or an alien spaceship. You can’t be sure what is fiction and what is reality anymore. 🤔

We also had a drama with Elon Musk buying Twitter and firing thousands of employees. Which kinda opened Pandora’s box. Big tech companies are laying off hundreds of employees, they are killing departments, and discontinuing products. And yet their profits are growing.

Ah, and how could I forget?

Avatars in Metaverse have legs now! You should definitely read an essay about this.

What did you say? There are not any essays written? No worries, we can ask ChatGPT to write one for us.

Another one with great technologies 🔭

Full-stack technologies are gaining followers. Frameworks like Next.js and Remix gained a lot of popularity last year and they are continuously growing. React is still the king, followed by Vue.js and AngularJS. A lot of people are switching to Svelte though. Some of the most promising frameworks are Astro and Qwik.

A lot of cool new technologies were being discussed among the JavaScript devs. Vite stole our hearts. Tools like esbuild, Bun, Deno and Fresh were also highly appreciated. And of course, Rust was one of the clear winners.

AI tools definitely increased their popularity in 2022. ChatGPT was definitely the biggest hit, With GitHub Copilot causing frustration about its high price and the quality of results. Synk Code is damn good too.

In regards to IDEs, Visual Studio Code is still on top. We had the debut of JetBrains Fleet which brings some cool new features. Most importantly, it integrates with Space, a all-new development platform that provides everything you need to build apps. For another year, everybody’s talking about Vercel, with Netlify and Gatsby Cloud being great alternatives.

The year I started my TypeScript course 🖥️

Last year I announced my YouTube channel. Since then I’ve been working on a TypeScript series. Each video covers a separate feature of the language.

I decided to take it a step further. To create my own TypeScript course.

The course is currently in progress. Making such a course takes much more time than I initially planned, but it gives me so much joy. I’m so excited about it.

You can enroll for free.

I’m about to announce more exciting new features soon. Feel free to suggest ideas and I will take them into consideration.

The year I gave my first conference talk 📢

This is something I have wanted to try for many years and I finally had the chance. My talk at Front Conference Zurich was titled “You Don’t Know TS”, and it was a brief introduction to TypeScript.

I mean, what else? 😊

I want to thank the awesome team of volunteers who made this journey great for all the participants. I also thank my awesome colleagues at EPAM for their support.

Another one, with good reads 📚

Here, I want to list some of the books I’ve read in 2021.

Starting with one of the year’s best sellers, the book “Building A Second Brain” by Tiago Forte. It gives you practical ways to improve the art of taking notes, and getting the most out of them. People consider this the next big thing after the popular “Getting Things Done” by David Allen. I had the chance to be in one of the workshops Tiago gave when he was promoting his book. I have a lot to talk about it and I will save it for another article.

Tiago’s approach has influenced me to start a research on note taking. I found the Zettelkasten technique extremely helpful. I recommend reading the short read “Digital Zettelkasten” by David Kadavy. It’s a more pragmatic approach on the concepts described in the book “How to Take Smart Notes” by Sönke Ahrens. It explains the methodology and it gives you practical ideas on how to use Obsidian to organize your notes.

On productivity, I would also recommend the book “Atomic Habits” by James Clear. It explains the importance of habit building and how they can help you accomplish your goals. This book will teach you how to train yourself to embrace positive habits over bad ones. How to make them attractive and how to encourage yourself to maintain them by making your progress visible.

One of my most anticipated book launches of the year was the ”Engineering Management For The Rest Of Us” by Sarah Drasner. Although I haven’t finished the book yet, since I only got a copy at the end of the year, one thing I can tell you for sure. If you’re aiming to become a Tech Lead, or you’re already one and you want to improve on that, this book is a great resource. It may change your perception of certain things you’re considering as standards. It’s written for technical people, and that’s what it makes it an easy read.

This year I also discovered the book “Dare To Lead” by Brené Brown, who has dedicated her life to studying leadership. I can’t address how influential and inspirational this book is. It helped me realize the most important skill for a leader; vulnerability. It will open your eyes and lead you in the right direction.

The book “Thinking, Fast and Slow” by Daniel Kahneman was one of the most interesting books I have ever read. It helped me understand why our brains often misjudge things. He explains the two different systems of cognition that we have, and how we are biased about how we understand the world around us. We are prone to ignoring information that doesn’t coincide with our worldview. That’s why algorithms can make better predictions than experts. If you want to understand cognitive biases better, look no further.

Thanks to my colleague Iurii, I discovered “The Back of the Napkin” by Dan Roam. Dan teaches you how to use diagrams and sketches to tell a story. A must for better presentations and lectures. And the best part of it? You don’t have to be good at sketching.

Another one, with great games 🎮

The titles I enjoyed in 2022 were the Twelve Minutes, Stray, Deathloop, the remake of Mafia, Prey, Thomas was alone, The Quarry, Children of Morta, Ghost of Tsushima, and Stray.

But the best game I played was The Stanley Parable Ultra Deluxe. This is by far the most influential indie game I’ve ever played in years. Lots of humor and irony. It’s a game that instead of playing it, it plays with your brain.

Another one, with the best music 🎧

Check out my playlist Sound of 2022 on Spotify. It’s a mixtape with the most influential music of the year, curated by me.

Some of the albums I recommend “Into The Blue” by Broken Bells, the surprising return of Roÿksopp with “Stay Awhile”, the new album of Jungle “Talk About It”, and the singles from DRAMA, Roosevelt, Telenova, Bob Moses, Oscar and the Wolf, Winona Oak, BLOW, and Warhaus kept me busy listening for hours.

Always open for music recommendation. 🤗

And here we are. It’s true that 2023 didn’t start with the best intentions. But this won’t stop us from getting the most out of it. Until next year, stay safe, stay curious. 🙂

Read my last year’s retrospective here.

Many thanks to Vernon Raineil Cenzon for his amazing cover photo.