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2022 in Review

Would you believe me if I said that this year has been the most pivotal for me in every way possible?

How It Started

I started my 2022 feeling disillusioned. I had gone into the year with a lot of plans already set in motion that I had no control over. A significant amount of time had gone by, and my anticipation had started to turn into a feeling like I had only heard of my plans from some movie that had long been forgotten.

A Taste of Open-Source

At the time, I was working on a single-page web management application that collects a large amount of user input, so it was naturally full of forms. Being in the state of mind I was in, I refused to implement those forms in the way I had been doing it for years: using Formik to control form inputs and Yup to validate the said input's values. There's nothing wrong with this approach; it's a solid, battle-tested way to build React forms. It's just that it felt "old" to me, and I was desperate to fill the void by diving into researching new ways to manage the form's state. This might not be the best developer trait when it comes to actual business, but I want to believe that the software I've built this way is not just another product, but software that makes a difference.

My main requirement for a new form management solution was to keep it as close as possible to the native Web forms API; there's no reason to dismiss the HTML5 forms API when building a Web application. After completing my convoluted research process (might give a break down of it if there's some demand), I set up a sandbox to try out the React Hook Form library, which had caught my attention with a few words in its description: "Leverage existing HTML markup." This mindset perfectly aligned with my goals and views of what form management should look like. In short, React Hook Form has a somewhat steep learning curve as it challenges the official React advice and what we have been taught about React state and embraces the HTML5 API and its uncontrolled inputs nature. Naturally, I had to seek advice in the React Hook Form Github discussions, which led me down the path of answering a few already existing questions about form management while I waited for my answer. Little did I know, that would be my first significant open-source contribution and the catalyst for me becoming a part of the great React Hook Form team!

A big shout-out to Bill: a hard-working creator of React Hook Form and a great developer who took me into his team and helped me find my passion for open-source! Much love, Bill 🖤

When History Hit

The world had just started to settle into the new normal of taking better care of our health and implementing the necessary changes to our lifestyles. What happened next in Europe changed millions of lives in the scariest way imaginable. It's not my place to narrate or evaluate what happened; I can only say this is the point where all the plans from the year before and the events of 2022 had collided and created the timeline I'm currently living.

I won't go into detail of what the whole journey from that point on was as this was supposed to be a technical blog, not my memoirs. Instead here's what was the result of the toughest part of my life yet.

I'm now across the world from where I started, and no longer work remotely for the company that supported me from the beginning. I can physically go to the office that I spent days looking at inside Photoshop, making quirky video chat backgrounds before work calls. The plans from the past met their logical conclusion and spawned new ones that are already set in motion, and I'm in control of most of them.

What Now

I could never put into words what is it I'm going to do next. The best I can say is that I'm going to finish this blog post and maybe deploy it to - my new corner of the Internet I feel very passionate about. If you read this, it means I went through with the idea of putting a part of myself out there and now refuse to look at the comments section in case someone has anything to say about it.. But I would genuinely love to come back to this post and hear from you: maybe you want to share your 2022 journey or maybe there're just a few words you have to say - I would love to read them.

As I don't possess the power of planning, here's what I think might be a part of my new 2023 year. I'm hopeful that I'll get the time to finish the drafts of the blog posts that I have started sketching out about React Hook Form. Becoming more open to interacting with the tech community is what I want for my "professional" life next year. I got a follow from Theo - "talking nonsense" - on Twitter, and had the pleasure of interacting with Dominik The Writer. People have even suggested me as a candidate to teach Jason the React Hook Form way; I can't turn back now! There's also the opportunity to improve life in communities by working hard on the next product at my company. And possibly, wearing the DevOps badge: an old passion of mine that I had stopped pursuing since I became a full-time web application developer.

Despite what is there in store for me, I think I have a vague idea of what I need to work on in order to make the start of 2023 a slightly better experience than 2022. I hope you are able to take it one step at a time like me and happy New Year 🎄