2023 : Year in review

Published at Dec 31, 2023

The very existence of this article highlights one of my changes in 2023. I haven't done a review before so this will be an interesting exercise. I'm also going to have to take a tiny leap into the past.

2021 and 2022

I'll keep this brief. In 2021, I quit my job and left my hometown. I bought a van, converted it into a camper van, and have been traveling around Europe for the past two years. At that time, I was simply exhausted and depressed, so I barely did any coding for a full year – something that hadn't happened since I was 11.

I was even concerned that I might never return to coding. But now, I can confidently say that it will always be a part of me. It's just one of my favorite things to do in this world.

First half: Travelling and enjoying life

2023 began at an Airbnb with lot of friends, celebrating with a massive party! Further into January, I went skiing with another group of friends for the first time in 15 years. That was awesome, and I intend to go every year from now on!

I traveled back to my parents home and spent some family time with my brother. While he was working, I upgraded my van for my next big trip. When he returned, we tinkered until late at night on his car or building an awesome racing simulator.

Then February arrived, and it was time for what would become the most memorable adventure of my life. I traveled from France all the way to North Cape in Norway and back! I could write an entire blog post about it and still think daily about those times. In fact, I've kind of started writing a book. I don't know if it will ever see the light of day, but I enjoy putting my thoughts on paper.

April, May, and June were relaxed times, mostly spent gardening and building on weekdays and partying on weekends. I spent a full week in Berlin with some good friends. As spring approached, we attended more festivals.

In July, I fulfilled one of my wishes: walking an entire week in the countryside and only camping in a hammock with a map and my phone shut off! I did this with a longtime friend, and it's an experience I want to renew this year.

Second half: Back to code!

From September to December, I traveled from the north to the south of France, journeyed through Spain, stayed in Portugal, and returned for the holidays. If you want to see more about my travels, I have a French Instagram account you can follow.

In the meantime, I took my developer life and got it back on track.

Here's a list of some things I've done in the last four months to prepare for 2024:

  • Resurrected srwiez.com and really started writing a lot
  • Discontinued the old eserdeniz.fr French blog that was no longer maintained
  • Launched checkbimi.com
  • Launched geneploy.com
  • Published 4 open source projects
  • Started writing 2 NativePHP apps
  • Learned a bit of SwiftUI and began an iOS app
  • Rewrote some old blogs I maintain for my family and friends using Statamic
  • Transitioned entirely from Google Analytics to Fathom

I've learned that publishing is the most important step. I launched two websites that have fewer than 500 views per month. They are not successful at all, but I'm still proud of what I created and learned many things in the process.

  1. I thought I had a great idea for checkbimi.com, but it turned out to be not as great after some tinkering. So I published it anyway, in a simpler form. It also helped me create two open source projects. I could extract one more if someday I feel it's worthwhile.
  2. I had many ideas for geneploy.com, but I can barely convince my own friends to use it. I consider it a failure, but that's okay; it's also a great lesson and a platform where I can try things in production that will help me with future products.

I wrote a lot of articles, and there are many more in the pipeline. It's hard because I rarely speak English, but I try really hard by participating more in Twitter, YouTube live, and GitHub issues. Sometimes I overdo it a little, but that's fine because I'm learning to communicate properly in English.

I also started an iOS app, but I'm having a hard time pushing it to the finish line. My two desktop apps written in NativePHP will go live in early 2024.

Goals for 2024

As Aaron puts it, this is my Maximum Effort Era. 2024 will be the year of coding daily. I have a Trello board full of ideas, and I intend to release as many of them as possible throughout the year!

I believe I have what could be THE idea, but I don't yet have the audience for it.

Building an audience is really challenging; it feels like marketing, which I'm not fond of. I want to remain the genuine guy who loves to code and share what he's doing, but I also want people to show more interest in my work. We'll see how it goes.

Here is a non-exhaustive list of my goals:

  • More open source projects: I feel great when publishing code and I want to do it more.
  • Attend PHP/Laravel conferences. For now, I only have my seat at Laracon EU, but I'm considering others too
  • Learn to fly, either paragliding or paramotoring.
  • Travel around France on my bike
  • Launch my SaaS product

I'm not really sure who is reading my articles. If you've read this far, please say hi on Twitter/Threads; it will make my day 😄

See you in 2024!


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