Seeing others sharing their 2018 year in the review made me want to write my own summary of 2018. It's always interesting to look back and reflect on the past year. It's also a good opportunity to document the things you've accomplished throughout the year and set some loose goals for the next year.
In my personal life, there haven’t been any drastic changes. I still live in Jersey City, NJ and work remotely mostly from home and co-working spaces in New York. Because of that flexibility, Ani (my wife) and I were able to travel this year while working. We traveled to Canada (Toronto), Mexico (Cancun), Indonesia (Bali) and Singapore. We spent a month in our homeland Armenia. It’s always fun to spend time with family and friends.
This year was the year when I started to actively pay attention to my health. I started doing weight training every weekday and closely watch my diet. I read and learned quite a lot about nutrition and weight lifting. For the past year, I’ve been following ”Bigger Leaner Stronger” book program and it’s the best bodybuilding book I read. It helped me to become a healthy person by teaching me some of the fundamentals of food dieting and weightlifting. I started to use Strong app for tracking all my workouts. It’s the only workout app that really stuck with me for a long time.
In addition to weightlifting, I also played soccer quite a lot. I played in 4-5 soccer leagues (outdoor turf and indoor) this year and made some good friends who I’m still in touch with. Group sports are really awesome and I love them.
I also got into writing. Writing is magical and in a way, it’s a meditation for me when I collect all my thoughts and direct them to a single purpose - writing down my thoughts. It really shaped me as a person and expanded my professional network. I wrote around 10 long articles from which ”Reflections on being a remote developer” had the most positive response from my readers. I plan to write more next year.
I started working on Buffer Analyze this year with an incredible group of people. It’s still an early product but has a huge potential. It does feel like working in an early-stage startup where every decision we make has a huge impact. Being a product engineer really helped me to shape my product mindset and think about different aspects of a business.
I got promoted to a Senior Engineer at Buffer. I’m very grateful to my teammates and manager for helping me to hit this milestone. It’s a big responsibility but I’m excited more. I wrote an interesting article about how your work evolves over time as you grow into a senior engineering position.
Probably the biggest accomplishment for me this year was discovering my true professional passion - developer productivity. I just love helping developers to be more productive. I can think of different ways of achieving this goal. The one that I’m more focused on right now is building great tools for developers. I’m really excited to explore how much my passion fits in my current work environment.
In 2018 I started a new online side-business. I launched Cronhub on March 20, 2018, and it’s been a crazy ride full of learnings and challenges. I’m so happy I get to work on a product that I built from scratch. Cronhub is the first product that I created for developers. Currently, it has around 1500 registered users and 34 paying customers. Here is a screenshot from my Stripe account.
The growth is slow but It doesn't discourage me. I'm excited about the future.
I've always been very open with Cronhub numbers and shared articles with my learnings. With Cronhub I learned a lot about growing a business, marketing, and product. It gave me a multidisciplinary skill set. I'm also thankful to all the people who supported and encouraged me along the way.
Plans for 2019
I don't have strict goals or resolutions for the next year. However, there are a couple of things I hope to do next year.
I want to travel more with my wife. We already have a rough idea where we want to visit next year but nothing set on stone yet.
I want to write more. Mainly I want to write more technical content for developers. I'm very passionate about developer tools, systems, and micro-services so I'll probably write on these topics. You can subscribe to my mailing list if you don't want to miss my future writings.
This one is a big one for me. I do want to get into public speaking. It's scary but I'm willing to eradicate my fears and speak at a conference. I already signed up for Toastmasters so that's a good first step, isn't it?
I want to continue working on Cronhub and accelerate the growth by finding more growth channels. I want to improve the product and find a product market fit. I'll definitely continue sharing my journey with anyone who is interested in building an online software business.