Year in Review

2021: Year in Review

A quick note on 2020

Just like many, 2020 was a complete blur. A global pandemic hit the world that we will all remember. Most of the year went by fast, and I completely forgot to write my review for that year at the beginning of 2021. Thus, this review will thus cover 2020 as well.

What a crazy couple of years, right? Adjustments to work from home full-time, hyper-focus on work, and limited social interactions. Despite this new reality, significant progress and learnings these past two years.


  • Speakbox joined the Techstars Boston 2021 promotion!
  • I became more comfortable at work with Kubernetes and Openshift.
  • I started playing with incredible tools for the future of Speakbox: Hasura, GraphQL, Postgres.
  • I published my first NFT, Codebits, on OpenSea.


I have been working for almost three years now at Telus, and I am grateful for my team and the progress we make every day. I learned a ton about Google Cloud, Kubernetes and Openshift and got more comfortable taking on more significant projects.


Speakbox joined Techstars Boston! I repeat: Speakbox joined Techstars Boston! It's fantastic to be a part of this adventure! It is an incredible opportunity for us, and since the program started in November, the Speakbox team has been more focused and united than ever. I can't wait for 2022 to witness Speakbox reach another level!

On the technical side, we are starting to see the limitations of our No-SQL database. While developing the minimum viable product was convenient with Firestore, it is now beginning to be a blocker to deliver features quickly. Due to the minimal development capacity (I am still the only developer on the team!), we needed a solution that would allow me to focus on the various front-end applications with limited backend requirements. I discovered Hasura this year, which generates a fully functional GraphQL API on top of a Postgres database, allowing direct CRUD capabilities and allowing me to focus on particular business logic components on the backend. I am looking forward to discovering more about Hasura, GraphQL and Postgres this year!


On a personal level, it's pretty much stagnant.

At the beginning of 2020, I started hitting the gym three times a week, but when March and the pandemic happened, I let the bad habits creep back in, and my trips to the gym became more sporadic. However, I did enjoy working out, geeking out on new strength exercises, and I am looking forward to getting this habit back on track—something to work on in 2022, once the gyms finally re-open again.

I also experienced a leak in my shower in October this year, forcing me to leave the apartment for a month. However, I was lucky to find friends ready to host me for the month and make the whole experience less stressful.

On the experimentation side, I decided to try and launch my first NFT on OpenSea. I didn't expect much of it; I wanted to learn more about the blockchain ecosystem. This NFT pays tribute to the beloved Github contribution graph. It contains 625 variations of 2x2 grids, each block representing one of the following levels:

  • N: Newbie, barely any contribution
  • J: Junior, some contributions
  • I: Intermediate, frequent contributions
  • S: Senior, regular contributions
  • X: 10x, a shout out to the Twitter craze about the "10x developer"


  • Aidan & Benjamin, we accomplished so much this past year, and I am excited for our future at Speakbox.
  • My team at Telus. They support my irregular work schedule and are always eager to learn in an inclusive environment.
  • Tom & Heidi for hosting Allison and me for a month!


  • Google Cloud: I learned to manage logs better and keep the cost manageable in the process.
  • Hasura & Postgres; I am new to Postgres, I've only worked with MySQL in the past, but I enjoy it quite a bit!
  • As a fun experiment, I launched my first NFT on OpenSea: Codebits. It's still a lot to learn and figure out, but I am glad I finally managed to do it!

Looking ahead to 2022

Things I am looking forward to in 2022:

  • Exciting Speakbox partnerships and growth
  • Another trip to Boston with Speakbox in February
  • My sister and niece are visiting me in Vancouver in the spring.
  • Hopefully, the gyms will re-open, and I will resume my program.
  • My Canadian citizenship should finally reach the final step; 2022 should be the year I become a Canadian citizen!

Come on, 2022, bring it!

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