Diona Rodrigues

Retrospective 2023

2023 is coming to an end and there is nothing better than reviewing what I produced this year and writing down some plans for next year.

Posted on Dec 24, 2023 3 min to read
Diona Rodrigues
Diona Rodrigues - they/she
Front-end designer
Retrospective 2023

Tonight is the evening of December 24th, Christmas Eve, and I'm sitting in the common area of a hostel in Edinburgh, Scotland, just relaxing while watching some development videos on YouTube and drinking a nice cup of tea after a long day of sightseeing in this beautiful city. And so I thought I'd write a retrospective article covering some posts I created in 2023, what I learned and what I hope for next year. Let's go?

What a fantastic year!

I really want to start this article by highlighting that this was a very important year for me, not only because I learned a lot about development in general, but also because it marks my life as a transgender person in the IT field. I'm very happy with how smooth this process is going not only at the company I work for, but also here and in other channels I use to engage with the front-end community. So I strongly want to say “Thank You” to all of you, thank you for supporting and making space for me and other trans people. This really matters and saves lives. Let's continue, together, to make our IT area a very diverse place for everyone.

Studies retrospective

Just take a look at my articles to see how much I've been studying React. At the end of 2022 this library released new documentation that really changed the way React explains itself by focusing only on functional components and one thing I learned from it is how to use states better. Most of the time we tend to create unnecessary states and at other times a simple useRef() could easily do the job we needed. States should only be used when we need to trigger new renders.

2023 was also the year of the React Documentary that explained how this library was created within Facebook and here I came across the name Sophie Alpert, a well-known developer who went through her gender transition in the IT field, who inspired me to do this also professionally. Last but not least, I started studying React Server Components and decided to write an article about it.

Still plugged into React, I migrated this personal site from Gatsby to Next.js 13 to not only do a code review, but also to use the latest versions of React. This way I was able to learn new things, like server components, and also use things I really love, like Typescript. Then I did some small improvements like custom follower cursor and automating the creation of components and pages with Plop.

Learning JavaScript is always a priority to make me a better software engineer. So vanilla JS and its concepts and environment in general are things that I focus on in my day-to-day studies and I'm sure I will continue to do so next year. In 2023 I wrote two specific articles, one related to two JS design patterns (Observer and Pub-Sub) that I like and use in the company where I work and another about how to handle errors when using the Fetch API. And it's no surprise that this latest article and another called "Fetch API is new old version of AJAX" have been a big hit with developers, which is great because it shows how committed we are to improving our skills with API requests. :)

What I hope for 2024

As a front-end developer, JavaScript will always be at the top of my studies, no matter what framework I'm using at the moment. I also don't see myself getting rid of React next year, so I hope to continue improving my skills in React and its entire environment for sure. But there's one thing I've been thinking about a lot, which is being more involved with design and UX, because I think I miss the creative side of IT. So I would like to think about how to use all my design experience along with my dev skills, which could be developing courses, YouTube videos or even consultancy. We will see. I also want to improve my people management skills, as I would like to have opportunities to help bring diversity to companies.

And you? What did you learn in 2023 and what do you hope for in 2024?

Thank you so much for being in this together. See you next year! 😁