A lot happened in 2022

  • — 3 min. read

  • — 1/1/2023

Guy overlooking the ocean on a high point
End of year reflections personified. Photo by Clément Falize / Unsplash

2022 was one of my wildest years on paper. I graduated college, launched a startup, broke an ankle, and joined a team as a fulltime frontend engineer.

Just a year ago, I was blindly stepping foot into the CS industry, not sure of where'd I'd end up. All I knew was I wanted to be a frontend engineer and do development as a career.

And a year before that, I was planning on taking the MCAT and submitting applications to med school.

I think of 2022 as the "wrap up" to a two-year long episode of me transitioning out of premed studies and career I'm really passionate about: web development.

Graduating college

So I went to UW-Madison where I studied biochemistry and neurobiology as part of the premed track. I took the capstone biochemistry class and one of the hardest chemistry classes ever: physical chemistry. I don't remember much from those classes (mainly because during class I'd be Googling stuff about Linux or ReScript), by this point I already knew I was going to focus full-time on CS (this was a choice I made back in 2021 around summer time).

I think one of the smartest/dumbest things I did during my last year at college was to get a computer sciences certificate (basically a minor). This was for two reasons:

  1. It added a lot of extra course-work on top of already hard classes in biochemistry/neurobiology
  2. I didn't really need it as a frontend engineer, but learning data structures was kinda cool

I'll talk more about my experience with studying CS in college in another post.

Anyways, in May I graduated as double-major in the life sciences with a cert in CS and with honors.

Launching a startup

I launched my first startup/MVP in August! I'd been working on it since summer on a day-by-day basis, built a solid team, and was really excited to see it take off.

It was called Syncore and it offered a novel service that I coined "frontend-as-a-service" or FaaS. Basically a pay-as-you-go model for all things you needed for your online presence. At Syncore, we used only the latest technologies to build our websites (we really stressed performance, developer experience, and good design). Our stack actually consisted of Astro, TailwindCSS, and Directus. The ATD stack if you will.

I'll also talk way more about Syncore as its a worthy story in of itself.

So yeah, I launched the MVP in August and promptly exited because I...

Got hired as a fulltime frontend engineer

My absolute highlight of the year was joining Bitfo as a frontend engineer! Bitfo is a cryptocurrency media company that focuses on building and curating content in the space.

I was elated to join a team where I can work alongside seasoned engineers and grow both as a young professional and engineer. At this point I felt like I was on top of the world: I had just accomplished a 2 year long aspiritation, I was finally a real frontend engineer at a company.

Then... something unfortunate happened.

I broke my ankle

As I'm writing this post, my left ankle still pulses with a bit of pain.

I injured my ankle in a bad fall on my second day at Bitfo and I was devastated.

At first, I didn't actually know I broke it. I just got up, walked a bit, with a lot of pain, and hampered down on a couch. I had meetings that day and was super scared of telling anyone - even my mom.

After my meetings I went to the ER and there it was confirmed: lateral malleolus fracture (they actually thought it was bimalleolar at first and recommended surgery but thankfully an orthopedic specialist downgraded the injury after taking more detailed x-rays).

My ankle break was a lowlight for sure, I kind of remember it as a blur really - I was either on the couch or in bed all day long. I had a laptop so I could still do work but outside of that it was just pure boredom, regret, and... yeah it just sucked. I have no witty remarks or lessons learned from this, it was a dark time and I'm glad I got passed it.

Also, physical therapy was kinda nice I guess.

Going into 2023

So... a lot happened this year and I think 2022 is going to be one of those "special" years for me. It's going to be hard for 2023 to top 2022 but nonetheless I'm looking forward to growing as a software engineer and growing as a blogger/youtuber/content creator for creative web development.

I already talked about what I'll be using in 2023 but here are a few other things outside of coding that I'm looking forward to:

  • Living on my own
  • Getting better at cooking (especially Indo-Pak stuff, my briyani needs some work)
  • Meeting new people in the tech and startup space
  • Launching a side project on ProductHunt
  • Getting more involved in open source and such
  • I really didn't keep this outside of coding... oh well that's what I do
Shaun Chander

hey, I'm shaun

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