This is a review of what I've been mostly doing during 2019, this has been a pretty important year for me, I left the city I had been living on for the last ten years, switched jobs, switched technologies and even switched the language I speak the most on a daily basis.

One year ago when 2018 was coming to its end I spent some time thinking on my situation back then and what to do in order to change my life for the better. I set some goals in order to get there, and started to work on the very first day of 2019. One thing that helped me a lot was being specially focused on not having "zero days". It is better to study half an hour, or do half an hour of exercise than doing nothing at all. Some days I really wasn't in the mood but I just forced myself a little bit to do at least something small that could get me closer to my goals.

Having the ultimate goal of getting a new job on an international English speaking company I started working on my personal brand and trying to get some visibility. I had spent a bunch of years feeling that I was working really hard on software that just a bunch of people knew it existed so stepped up my contributions on Github.

I ended up having 460 contributions! I collaborated with 6 organizations and published a buch of new stuff and open sourced some of the old things I made in the past that were kept in private.

Here is the ones that I spent the most time working on:

PHP SDK for accessing the Fitbit HTTP API. Contribute to namelivia/fitbit-http-php development by creating an account on GitHub.
Laravel wrapper for namelivia/fitbit-http-php. Contribute to namelivia/laravel-fitbit development by creating an account on GitHub.
Command line application for transforming XLS files from CaixaBank into QIF files for Homebank - namelivia/caixabank-homebank

New repositories I created:
like-and-share-twitter-bot, movie-quote-twitter-bot, push-notifications-laravel, cellular-automaton, simple-mood-tracker, ruby-gtk-test, flask-gpio, wallapophp

Repositories I contributed to (mostly in the context of 2019 Hacktoberfest):
qmk_firmware, Knowledgebase, fatsecret-laravel

Revamped old repositories or open sourced:
la-liga-official-scrapper, cryptopool, pig-game,open-planet-racer, nightcityride-server, flappysonic

Apart from coding, I was aware on how modern companies interviewsing process is, specially since I had the experience of going through the full process for a SDE position on Amazon, so I spent quite a lot of time sharping my algorithm problem skills practicing every day on Hackerrank during aproximately three months:

From zero to roughly 290 submissions doing at least one problem a day until I got the 5 star rating on problem solving. That made me feel ready to confront most of the blackboard algorithm tests.

I started consistenly answering questions on stack overflow, I had a pretty advanced knowledge and experience of Laravel so getting the right answers was not that hard most of the times.

From almost zero, to 110 answers that took me to the top 4% on 2019, reaching 41k people and earning almost 2k of reputation and some medals (including a gold one!).

To avoid forgetting how to study a book on paper I bought this Pyhon book and started reading, re-reading and carefully studying it in order to push up my Python knowledge trying to get it on pair with PHP skills, as I was already writing Python but I didn't have much professional experience. The book is pretty big so I'm currently studying parts of it.

I completely revamped the look and feel of the web, and during this year I wrote the following posts (plus a handful of drafts that are still stored here but I'm not sure I'll end up publishing):

Microservice for Raspberry PI GPIO control
Once I had connected my Raspberry Pi to the LAN network, and the heating system was driven by a Raspberry Pi’s GPIO [], the way to turn it on/off was by logging into the Pi through ssh, and manually executing the Python control scripts from the comman…
Watching Japanese TV using a Raspberry Pi
I started studying Japanese two years ago, however this last year was terrible for my Japanese knowledge, I have spent very little time reading or listening to Japanese as I have no contact with the language on my daily routine and had no time nor motivation during the last twelve months for studyin…
PHP-FPM optimization on AWS
We had the following problem at work that was causing lot of trouble and stress, sometimes, apparently out of nowhere back-end response times started to grow on every request until they reached the timeout value and all requests started to fail with a 504 response code causing chaos, mayhem and mana…
Plotting data from the command line
This is a short post on how can you plot some data in a simple and fast way from your unix terminal using gnuplot []. Usually people tend to generate plots using office suites that are tools designed to many pruposes apart from just drawing tabular data in a a plot and waste the…

I also Dockerized and migrated some parts of my website to made them cloud agnostic using Terraform, so half of the website is now running on AWS and half on Digital Ocean, but this is something I'm still learning so its still in progress.

Last but not least, I did a couple of favors for familiy and friends that materialized on my father serverless website and an NGO one:

José Ignacio Amelivia García
Sitio del pintor José Ignacio Amelivia García.

All these efforts together paid off when my girlfriend had to move to Barcelona, I got the chance to get the interest of some of the international companies stablished there and was invited to participate on their interviewing process, ultimately I ended up suceeding and getting hired as a Software Engineer by Travelperk, one of the companies that really choses their candidates, which is also has been named as the world's fastest growing SaaS company in 2019. Currently I'm pretty happy so I can say that it was an honor and that my 2019 years resolution is fulfilled now.

For this 2020, I'll probably say that my goal is going to really have an impact on such an impressive Engineering team, to grow as an Engineer myself and to hopefully keep doing open source contributions, but in a more relaxed fashion. Anyway the "non-zero" days idea really helped me through this last year so I will probably try stick to it.

Best wishes for 2020! I'm hoping 2019 was a good year for you too, and whether if it was or not, really looking forward for you to have an amazing 2020.