Happy Holidays! 2010: Year in Review

Not much to update these days, but I wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays into the new year. Seems 2010 passed by pretty fast; the new decade is now upon us. At the end of every year, I do a yearly review of the highlights and low points of that year for me, and so this will be for 2010.

Highlights:
-Made more connections this year and expanded my network more than any other year.
-Experienced my first ‘real’ job (working more than one year in related industry) as a software developer working for the government.
-Raised my GPA by more than 0.4
-Became a member of AIESEC!
-Had my first taste of entrepreneurship at Startup Weekend
-Had my first taste of the joys and sorrows of a relationship
-Played in a cool rock band
-Never smoked or drank this year

Low points:
-Got rejected by Code for America
-Got denied entry to the Rotman Commerce program
-Applied for ECO major too late and couldn’t get into the courses I wanted
-Lost over 8k on the stock market mostly due to my own bad judgment and misfortune
-Sold my car for half what I paid for it.
-Got scammed $2200 by a website contractor who refused to refund me

Summary:

2010 was quite the contrast to 2009. The biggest thing that kept me going this year was when a Silicon Valley recruiter contacted me through Linked In saying he saw potential in me to become a valuable developer. Up until this point, I had never considered Silicon Valley thinking it was wishful thinking to work there, but his words sparked a drive in me to achieve what I thought was previously not possible. No longer were my sights confined to Canada; it gave me a set medium term ambition to work towards.

However this year was tarnished by financial and emotional upheaval. I was suddenly $20,000 in debt, took too many risks for me to handle, made some awful short-sighted decisions, wasn’t sure who my real friends and fake friends were, and at one point wasn’t sure whether or not I could graduate in time. I was goal-driven, single-minded in achieving my goals no matter what the costs were financially or emotionally; for every time that I gained, Karma hit me back with an equal or greater loss, but I didn’t care because I focused on the end, not the means.

This year was a year of ambition; thoughts of going to grad school, being bigger than who I really was (at one time I even thought I could buy a house in Florida!),
my ideologies turning more conservative and individualistic, those are all quite drastic changes that I haven’t had before.

2009: Year in Review

Every year I’m going to make a year in review highlighting my accomplishments and failures. This is to keep a track record of what I’ve achieved and what mistakes I’ve made. I’ll make one for 2010 at the end of this year, this note is a bit overdue for 2009.

2009:

Highlights:

-Got my first A in a CS course

-Invested and made over 3k in the stock market

-Purchased my first vehicle, an Acura RSX

-Secured a 16 month internship working with the government as a software developer

-Became a Toastmasters speaker!

-Went to Cuba; first vacation in 4 years!

-Smoked my first cuban cigar!

-Started my first blog since 2006

-New amplifier, new guitar, new laptop, new glasses, new phone, the works!

Low points:

-Got rejected by Google summer of code and Season of usability

-Got charged $560 of NSF fees for not paying attention to my bank account and Paypal

-GPA wasn’t high enough to secure any internships in US or Japan

Summary:

2009 was a good year overall; there was a sense of optimism in me that things would keep going well for me. I had family and friends supporting me, was working two jobs, and doing well in my one course at university, overall I was financially stable and a feeling that the US economy was recovering well and that a bright path lay ahead. Little did I know that 2010 would completely reverse this situation for me.