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2017: A Look Back

2017 was a year full of challenges and stressful moments, but also joyful celebrations at a personal level and tiny wins at a professional level. These are some of the highlights.

Bought a House and Moved

My wife (fiancee at the time), and I decided to buy a house ahead of our wedding so we could have a place of our own to call home after the wedding. After many months of searching and going through the motions of home buying, we finally closed escrow the second week of January. Which means we started the year with a wonderful event, but also with all the stresses related to buying a house, which of course also included moving. And with our wedding date set for August, we had many months of wedding planning stress ahead of us. Anyone reading this who is married surely knows what I mean.

Attended Laracon Online

I’ve never been able to attend Laracon (Laravel Conference), so I was excited to be able to attend the first Laracon Online back in March. All the talks where interesting. It was fun to be part of it and learn from people I like and follow in the Laravel community. I already got my ticket and looking forward to Laracon Online 2018.

Joined MegaMaker Club

It’s been a great experience to be part of the MegaMaker Club, formerly known as the Product People Club. It’s an online community for indie makers that provides a friendly environment to learn, help, ask, bounce ideas, and just overall interact with other fellow makers in our quest for indie entrepreneurship. Especially for a solopreneur like myself, having access to this community has been great. It’s given me the opportunity to interact with other like-minded people, and not work in a vacuum.

Got Married

And before we knew it, the big day had arrived. So had many relatives traveling to California from out of State and out of the country to join us for our wedding. We had relatives traveling from Canada, Germany, Austria, and from Oregon, North Carolina, Alabama and Arizona. The weeks leading to the wedding were filled with a rollercoaster of emotions. Being surrounded by loved ones, some of whom we had not seen in a long time was very special. We were blessed to have everything go according to plan. We had the perfect weather for an outdoor ceremony and reception. The happiest day of our lives!

Launched Level Up With Markdown

I managed to finish and launch my free video course Level Up With Markdown. This was my first time creating a video course (or any course). Working on this course took me outside of my comfort zone, but I really enjoyed the process. Although challenging at times, it allowed me to learn a few things about planning the course, screencasting, sound quality, video quality, and more. But the most valuable thing for me –aside from the fact that it will hopefully help some people– is that I was able to break free from the fear of recording and putting myself out there. And by the way, about 110 people have signed up for the course to date. So, if you’ve always wanted to do something similar but have been afraid or hesitant because you’re shy, just do it. Or in @mijustin’s words, just fucking do it! It’s a great learning and empowering experience. It may be a little difficult in the beginning but it gets easier with practice.

Launched a Landing Page for Conferify

I had this project idea to create a community around the topic of tech conferences. I call it Conferify. The original idea has been to create a space (features) for three audiences: attendees, speakers, and organizers. I created a landing page to validate this idea before writing a single line of code. There seems to be some very limited interest in this idea, but not nearly enough to consider it successfully validated. As of right now I’m considering reducing the scope of the project to focus only on conference speakers. Besides making it so much easier to work with, it may generate more interest that way. So, that’s something I’m planning to tackle in 2018.

Launched BarcodeThis.io

BarcodeThis.io is an HTTP API for web and native app developers, that allows you to add barcode generation capabilities to any app in no time. I thought it would be a nice little challenge. The goal was to create an API that allows you to easily generate a barcode image by simply providing the necessary values in the API request. Working on this little side project was fun but it took a little longer than I anticipated. It was about three and a half months from idea to launch. So far, no subscribers yet.

Looking back at 2017 also makes me look forward to 2018 and the things I’d like to accomplish. So many decisions to be made, and I haven’t figured out anything yet. But one thing I know, is that I want to continue chasing my dream of becoming an indie entrepreneur. I don’t have everything flushed out yet, but I think my plan is to focus on three important areas: community (helping others), education (creating courses), and product development (creating apps/services).