I haven't written anything here for a while now, so I thought doing a recap of my year would be a good idea.
2014 was one of the best years I've had yet. Despite all the downs, the ups made it a really special year on all aspects of my life. I've learned a lot, met new people and I have tons of stuff going for me that will certainly help me out a lot in the future.
I'll do my best to write a similar article every year so I have a way of going back in time in the future. That should be interesting..
This was THE year for my career. I started taking freelancing seriously and it has been a remarkable experience. I've worked with great clients, built stuff that I'm excited to talk about and I'm learning new things every day.
Back in 2013 I stumbled upon Laravel 3, when Jeffrey Way was still on NetTuts. In 2014 I turned it up a notch and learned new software design patterns and methodologies that made me a better developer.
My clients seem to agree that my work is top-notch (obviously with a lot of room for improvement).
I was on vacation when I heard that Vehikl, an agency from Canada, had one ticket for LaraconEU, in Amsterdam, for the first person to reply to a tweet they made.
I was lucky enough to get that ticket and fortunately I had been saving some money, so I had enough to pay for the flight and the stay in Amsterdam.
LaraconEU was the first conference I've ever been at.
The venue was absolutely amazing, with a super friendly staff and a view that would take your breath away.
I've also met really interesting people - shoutout to Matt Cannon to whom I owe a dinner - and had a blast with all the talks. The free drinks in the evening were also a nice touch :)
Ruby on Rails
On the closing months of the year I've asked a question on HN that resulted in tons of feedback, a #11 spot at the front page and lots of people interested to work with me.
Out of all those people, I chose to work with the CTO of a big company, developing some of his side-projects. One of those projects is a web app related to music that is right up my alley (hopefully next year I'll be able to tell you about how succesfull it was). Despite being a Ruby on Rails gig, which I usually disregard, this seemed so interesting I had to give it a shot. So far so good! Rails is certainly a framework that lives up to its name.
I'm also working on a new side project: a part-time job board, which should be ready in Q1 2015.
To finish up this career section, I've been to my first hackathon, Porto Summer of Code, with some friends and we got the first place. It was nerve wrecking, really intense, but in the end it was well worth it!
I'm pretty much a standard guy when it comes to health. I have no major chronic diseases or pain, so this section will hopefully be fitness only for many years to come.
That being said, it's been a couple months now that I haven't hit the gym and it's getting noticeable. I'll have to get back to it soon enough!
Friends, Family and Relationships
I like to think that I'm an easy guy to hang out with so I have made a lot of friends over the course of my life.
In 2014 I met a lot of people. Business people through my freelacing contracts, friends in college, friends of friends, you name it. Friend-wise, 2014 was great.
On the other hand, my love life was kind of a let down this year. Me and my (now ex-)girlfriend spent the first half of the year (plus all 2013) together and we broke up. It was really stressful to deal with everything that comes with a relationship breakdown but it was obvious by the end that it had to be done.
Despite the fact that it didn't work out, it was still a great experience and it certainly made me a better person in the end. It takes a lot out of you to be in a relationship but it's very worth it when it works! Keep that in mind future self!
Aside from that my love life has since been nothing more than a few dates but nothing serious, which begs the question: will 2015 be the year that I find my soulmate? Stay tunned to find out! I'm honestly not too worried about it, I'm still in my early twenties - in fact I'm exactly 20 at the time of this writing - with a truck load of time ahead of me, but you never know.
On a more familiar note, I'm still living with my parents for the time being and the situation should remain the same for 2 more years, when I should have my Masters degree and start looking for full-time jobs or take a shot at starting my own business.
Goals for 2015
Now that I've gone through my year, I'll set the bars for 2015!
These are some of the things I want to do/achieve in the next year:
Travel to a new country
Staying in Amsterdam by myself for a week was one of the most rewarding experiences ever. It gives you time to think, explore, do things you wouldn't otherwise do and as cliché as it sounds, it definitely widens your horizons.
Travelling to the USA or some country in Eastern Europe/Southeast Asia is certainly a thing I want to do in 2015! Maybe try the nomad lifestyle for the whole summer vacations, who knows?
Launch 2 new side-projects
I've had stuff in the drawer waiting to launch for the whole year and guess what? I've launched nothing. This makes me feel a bit sad so I want to launch 2 products this year, whether they're successful or not.
Make new business connections
Over the course of the year I've met really interesting people. I've been offered a full-time job in the UK by a client of mine, I've worked with a startup in the USA and I'm now working with the CTO of a big company on his side-projects.
I want to keep making new connections and maintain the ones I have! That's a simple goal that will keep me focused throughout the year.
Live my life
In 2014 I've wasted tons of opportunities to do stuff I would like to do, whether it was because of my girlfriend, my friends, my family or just because I felt like staying home.
In 2015 I'm planning to start doing stuff outside my comfort zone and that is my last but also the most ambitious goal.
See you in 2015!