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2020 — Year in Review

Onur Şuyalçınkaya

Onur Şuyalçınkaya

6 mins read

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2020 is probably the best and the worst year I've ever had. I'll try to summarize my notions about it.

An unexpected COVID-19 pandemic caught our lives unawares. Some of us lost our family, friends, and familiars, some of us couldn't accomplish our goals.

I still remember the day that my company at that time sent us to our homes for an unknown date. We were all laughing and making jokes about it and thinking that people are just exaggerating it. Well, it turns out we all got mistaken. People started to get sick and die every day and we never left our homes at least for 3 months. Scary, right? Who would believe that kind of sh*t? It's like we are living in a post-apocalyptic world or a movie scene but we all had it. And now, we learned to live with it.

Lots of things changed. Even though the pandemic was the worst part of my year indeed, the best part was setting sail for a new life.

I moved to Berlin, Germany! 🥳 I've always dreamed of living and working in Europe and I was finding myself literally crying at the airport every time going back to Turkey. I couldn't even imagine such a thing. And there is fact that I never lived outside of Turkey, not even by myself in Turkey. So, that's the biggest accomplishment I've had this year. You can read my blog post about it in Turkish. I also feel so lucky to get started with my current company in my new life. Their ambition and values that they care about are aligning perfectly with my expectations. Hopefully, I'll get better every day and keep contributing more.

Me in front of the Berlin Wall
Me in front of the Berlin Wall

I was around ~97 kgs at my heaviest at the beginning of the pandemic (middle of March). Since we were all stuck in our homes, I thought it will be a great opportunity for me to get in shape. Then I started to eat healthy (like extremely) and do my bodybuilding workouts at least 5 times per week. At the end of 3 months around the middle of June, I finally down to ~80 kgs, got much healthier, stronger, and muscled. Since then, I'm still eating healthy (not extremely) and doing my workouts at least 4 times per week plus abs.

I rebuilt my website from scratch. My website has transformed over the years from a static HTML site; to Create React App, to GatsbyJS, and finally to the "Next.js + MDX + Chakra UI" combo. I hope you are enjoying it. Feel free to drop your thoughts or feedbacks via e-mail or Twitter. Also, I'm thinking about switching Chakra UI with Tailwind CSS. I always followed and enjoyed using Tailwind CSS since it came out. There are some advantages and disadvantages in terms of performance and clean code. I'll evaluate and make a decision about it soon.

I published 6 blog posts this year. Not too much but I still see it as a great accomplishment. 3 of them draw quite nice attention from you.

When the first lockdown hit, I kept occupied myself by building things mostly in and around Next.js and JavaScript. Here are some of the small just-for-fun weekend open-source projects/works I've created this year:

  • Nextailwind — Fully optimized Next.js + Tailwind CSS starter kit.
  • Karussel — A minimal React based carousel/slider component.
  • styled-cra-system — React Boilerplate with CRA and styled-system.
  • Browsefy — A lightweight browser detector.
  • a11y.css — A CSS file emphasizing possible improvements and errors that exist in HTML semantic elements.
  • Koalazily — Loading images lazily in a modern way using Intersection Observer API.

Also, my GitHub contributions for 2020:

My Github contributions
My Github contributions

I'm always enjoying developing myself with the new and latest technologies. Next.js and React Native are the ones that I've enjoyed most this year. By 2021, my biggest wishes are to learn Figma and German.

I produced 2 mixtapes this year. It's been a while (I mean years) since I created my last mixtape. I couldn't find enough time and motivation due to my work-life, unfortunately. But thanks to pandemic (what?), I bought a DJM-450 and at least had the time and energy to contribute myself to creating 2 delicious mixtapes. I'll definitely produce more in 2021.

Well, it's not really my cup of tea describing resolutions but I'll try this year. Here are the things I'm looking forward to achieving next year:

  • Continuing to do my bodybuilding workouts at least 4 times per week
  • Learning Figma and German
  • Contributing to the backend in my team
  • Buying a car and exploring Europe —if the pandemic would let me—
  • Visiting my family and friends in Turkey
  • Writing at least 1 blog post per month
  • Actualizing some apps on my mind

In the future, I hope to achieve all of my resolutions. If not, I really hope to be as mentally happy as I can be. Because I believe happiness is beyond everything for me. And it's not easy as it looks, especially when you're far away from your loved ones. I have a lot of optimism and excitement for 2021. Let's see what's gonna happen.

Thanks for reading.

Happy new year!

Mutlu yıllar!

Frohes neues Jahr!