Not huge enough? - A reflection on my 2018 goals

December 31, 2018

Tags: dev, goals, reflection

With the 2018 year coming to a close, I figured it’d be appropriate to reflect on my progress of the goals I set myself in the beginning of this year with a Medium post titled “Let’s make 2018 HUGE!”. It’s been a long while since I viewed this article, and a lot has happened over the course of the year, so this will be an interesting experience in reflection.

I should probably make a note here that I’m not necessarily the best at reflections. I apologize if some parts of this feel cut and dry rather than a full reflection.

Goal 1: More Medium posts

Medium’s a great platform for finding good content that isn’t necessarily easy to find in one place. I often read articles from the elementary OS team, Riot.im, Sayonika team, and all sorts of developer articles. I initially resolved to be more active on Medium with new posts like a blog, except more thoughtful.

Literacy narrative

To an extent, I did meet this goal. In September, I released my literacy narrative to Medium after completing the final draft in my college writing class. The quality matches my previous posts overall, and I’m not all that disappointed with it. I tried to make my narrative a bit different from most typical ones so that programmers don’t feel pressured to make their narratives about reading and writing in their spoken language.

However, I think my biggest issue lied in trying to come up with ideas and thoughtful views to really publish to Medium. I did start a few drafts regarding my thoughts on this year’s WWDC and an address to better enable creativity in schools, but I never fully went through with them. In a way, I ended up setting my expectations too high for publishing onto a platform like Medium, and I am aware of it (after all, I did write a research paper on why writing sucks). Though I do intend to try again some time in the future, I don’t think I really made it work out this year.

Goal 2: Moar Python!

Python library for French spelling

I intended for 2018 to be the “year of Python” for me; I wanted to learn a lot more about Python and how to program with it. Suffice to say, a good portion of my year has been built around Python, both versions 2 and 3! I still use Python in some tasks and projects on a regular basis, and I’m grateful to learn about the diverse ecosystem built around it.

Failed robotics Python project

In January, I intended to “Pythonize” my robotics team and start implementing Python into the programming department. I got started with creating configurations and made an experiment UI in QML for managing the robot (codenamed “Kalaupapa”). Unfortunately, due to some circumstances, I couldn’t complete the projects or even test them. Tensions rose, so I decided to resign and abandon the Python projects before anything got worse. Although my robotics career had ended, I learned a lot more about integrating Qt with Python and other Python basics.

Project Alice

My big move into Python didn’t really happen after robotics until May 2018 when I started working on Doki Doki: The Angel Returns!, a mod for Doki Doki Literature Club!, written in Ren’Py (based on Python 2). I learned a lot more about how Ren’py works and all the advanced tricks Dan used to get effects working, as well as how to use Python to achieve a few other things. I also started working on a framework for any Ren’Py user to implement called AliceOS. The projects, hosted under Project Alice, still live on today and are being improved upon.

Besides these two milestones, I use Python sometimes to create small scripts to accomplish tasks. While I took the introductory French course Goucher offered, I wrote up a script to create phoenetic spellings (in French) of any given string to help me memorize the Frnech way of spelling. At other times, I use Python to create hashed strings or to iterate through lists.

Goal 3: Contol Alt Delete

Because of how January went for me with Robotics and Python, I never really got around to making Contol Alt Delete work out. However, I did create a whole new community (Project Alice) and have built up my programming presence this way.

BraveSail screenshot

For a while, I also tried to contribute to the Sayonika team as a VN writer for codename BraveSail. In the end, this didn’t work out; in my research paper, I discuss what went wrong:

Because of the disagreements and my futile attempts at making better suggestions, I forced myself to resign from the project entirely, knowing that I couldn’t work in that collaborative space. - (“Writing Sucks: Common Pitfalls of Writing”)

Eventually, my contributions to the project were removed to create a “vanilla” DDLC mod.

Other 2018 highlights

2018 still remains an interesting year for me. There’s been a lot that’s happened besides attempting to meet these goals:

In conclusion

Overall, 2018’s goals were met to an extent, though I could have better worked on a couple of them. Now that I have this new site, I can push ideas out and publish the good ones to Medium. As for Contol Alt Delete, I don’t think I can quite return to that just yet. That is, until a few of my projects are finished up.

Though I am unsure of what 2019 will bring, I can’t wait to see how it rolls out. I’ll most likely post my goals for next year tomorrow so that I can start working on goals again.

Oh, and this is the last post for 2018.