Funny Side Up

Looking back at 2018

December 31, 2018

Yelo and welcome to yet another episode in the “looking back at” series. This time it’s 2018 and boy does it look positive. Last year, backstreet dogs inaugurated the new year. 2k18 began with a piss drunk gentleman hanging off a parapet wall. He was shouting “Happy New Year” while his friends were begging him not to drop dead.

Notable things -

  • Moved to a new house

    This year saw me leaving my old house and moving into a new house with one of my closest college friends, Kate. For the uninitiated, he’s a Marathi guy.

  • Got closer to the family

    Familial struggles became a general topic of discussion. Also group-calling the sister’s kid.

  • Started getting fitter

    My close friend Achyuth and I are in the process on going back to college first-year/freshman sizes. 95 => 81.5.

  • Started cooking

    In order to achieve my continuos goal of becoming fitter, I had to start cooking on my own. And man do I love cooking. I hate doing the dishes, tho (gotten used to it).

  • Got my head dunked in water on stage in a serious play

    As part of Creashakthi Bangalore’s 2nd production, this serious play ‘The Undertrials’ was a whole new experience. For those who don’t know, Creashakthi is a Chennai based theater group. I got to work with new people from different backgrounds (college kid, marketing manager, nano-chip designer, lawyer-turned-actor, and a full-time actor). Dushyanth (founder of Creashakthi) liked my performance and got head dunked in water on stage & beaten to a pulp. I guess I could check off two things of my bucket list.

  • Highly recommend Hemingwayapp and Grammarly for content writing

  • Fell in love with Twitter’s mobile site, it’s tweet thread & bookmarks features

  • Discovered a beautiful platform called dev.to through Twitter

  • Marketing is hard, especially in the B2C space

    Last year I was enthusiastic in building Footyfollowr. My main pitch point was sOmE tEcHy ThInG tHaT aDdS nO tAnGiBlE vAlUe To A nOrMaL uSeR. Yes I am a fan of Spongebob memes. TODO - Have to read more about marketing.

  • Code review is easy if done in smaller chunks

    In the last couple of years, I have felt that reviewing code is easy if done in smaller chunks or commits if you will. When you look at the large diff(erence) after you’ve reviewed the smaller ones, you will get the big picture. This is not an intuition alone. I have implemented it with my mentor and it works.

  • “Any fool can write code that a computer can understand. Good programmers write code that humans can understand.”

    That was quoted by Martin Fowler, in “Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code”. A solo developer in a team full of developers becomes that ‘fool’. Incoherent documentation, broken setup scripts, improper dependency versioning, etc is a common theme. It could be worse - single line readme and unmaintable hacky “legacy” codebase that some poor soul has to inherit. It takes a toll on the other employees (mental) and the company (financial) to inherit and maintain such codebases with large technical debt.

  • Email communication is underrated

  • Built a type-checker in Python

  • Built a hackernews app using Google’s Flutter SDK

  • Wrote a Spongebob mocking meme text converter in Typescript

    It converts “Spongebob mocking meme” into “sPoNgEbOb MoCkInG mEmE”.

  • Started learning golang

  • Built a Twitter thread extractor

  • Fixing performance bottleneck

    This particular performance bottleneck came to be because of the architecture. An infinite horizontal content view became slow via notifications. Had to figure out how, how much, and why using analytics (fun aspect).

  • Got my feet wet in native Android development by building a custom notification layout

    Had to build a custom notification layout (with image, icon, ability to share, etc) for an app I am building. Coming from the background of React Native, paying the abstraction tax was hard. The native world is different.

  • Stay away from unethical peeps coz they will pull you down eventually

TODO -

  • Lots
  • of
  • things

2019 has a lot in store and I am looking forward to this Christian concept of New Year (thanks Yeshua).


Santosh Venkatraman

Personal blog by Santosh Venkatraman.
Technology, life, and such.