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2020 Check-In

29th February, 2020

Time to read: 3 mins.


It has been quite some time since I’ve written about my progress. As per the last post I wrote five months ago, Lifestyle vs Career, I have fully embraced the four day work week Ninetyblack provides. For me, this meant finally splurging out and purchasing a new mountain bike to maximize riding on the captivating Taupo tracks. I also feel less conducive to burnout and have been getting into open source more recently. This is a quick check-in where I talk about my goals of 2019 and where I am now.

Scott Spark 950


My 2019 goals were to become an intermediate developer by the end of 2019 and to contribute to three or more open source Laravel projects.

I didn’t meet these goals.

As you know, I have changed companies and positions from when I wrote those targets. I am now a Full Stack Developer at NinetyBlack. Although NinetyBlack does not have the structure of junior, intermediate and senior developer roles, I think intermediate by the end of 2019 was a bit too ambitious. I’m not afraid to admit I still have a lot to learn and jumping into a role I’m not ready for would likely increase stress and slow down my development.

This is by no means saying I have given up on progressing to the next level. I am still trying to learn and gain experience in all areas of web development, and I know I still need to aim to become an intermediate developer in the near future and continue to work towards that goal. This is where I believe open source comes into play.

Open Source

I participated in the 2019 Hacktoberfest and in doing so it gave me a better idea of what the communities are like, what you can learn and how much control you have in extending someone’s codebase. Provided of course they have at least documentation or support for contributing.

Hacktoberfest T-shirt

I am grateful I work with Wordpress, Laravel and React Native at NinetyBlack, but open source projects allow you to tap into any technology and to continue to expand your knowledge on what is our there and what use cases these technologies provide. It’s not always the best idea to do this at work when everyone is already familiar with a technology that fulfills your requirements.

I really am making an effect to dive deep into open source lately. Opening around 15 Pull Requests in the last month. These have mostly been in Ruby, Node and React-Native projects. This has been a fulfilling use of my time and I plan to keep it up for as long as I can.


4 day work weeks are great and allow me to spend more time doing the things I love while still keeping me motivated to code. I didn’t hit my 2019 goals but still aspire to become an intermediate developer as soon as possible. Hacktoberfest gave me the initial taste of open source I didn’t know I needed. Open source is a great resource to further my technical development and confidence as a programmer. These are the summary aspects of my life as a developer in the last 7 months!

Thank you for reading. Any comments or feedback would be greatly appreciated. Have a great day.

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