My 2020 year reviewed πŸ₯³

Jumping from 2020 to 2021
Jumping from 2020 to 2021

This is my first blog post after a lot of procrastination, (exactly, it has been 3 years since I wanted to start my personal blog). Beside surviving 2020, I will be going through the headlines of the year; starting by a brief description of my work environment, the soft and hard skills I learnt and I will finish by stuff I learnt outside work.


This year started quite well; 7 months after being recruited by Decade, I had my first internal evaluation meeting. It went well, both me and my managers were satisfied with the output. Shortly after, the pandemic hit us in Tunisia and the lockdown was imposed by the authorities. This is when things got interesting. I had to adjust to working remotely and I brought my work setup at home. We had to adapt.

During those hard times, I'd been noticing how people lose their jobs everywhere. At Decade, the attitude was the exact opposite: not a single job was lost due to the COVID-19, new recruitments were made, online animation events were planned and took place remotely, we took the opportunity to sharpen and learn new skills and projects were running. This was quite satisfying and refreshing πŸ‘.

Skills I learnt at Decade:

Soft skills

1- Communication: yes you read that right. As a fresh recruit at Decade, I recognize myself as an average if not a bad communicator, and this was caused by the lack of exposure and communication where I worked before. Practice makes perfect and with more exposure to clients, meetings and presentations, I evaluate myself as twice a better communicator as before. I feel it everyday.
2- I had the opportunity to be a mentor: This was my first mentor-ship ever. New experiences are always good, especially a remote one. What I realized is that everyone, no matter his experience level, knows something that you don't know. I learnt to be more patient with myself and with others.

Hard skills:

Being a Magento team member, I had the opportunity to sharpen my Magento 1.x skills, dive deep into its ecosystem, and learning Magento 2 along the way since the later was deprecated by the end of June 2020. Not a big fan of the e-commerce framework, I just wanted to mention it here because it's the main framework used by the team I'm a member of. Nevertheless, I had the opportunity to deepen my understanding of how does the web operates at different levels, and I leveled up my software release's skills and knowledge. This was the achievement that I'm the happiest with.

I've been involved in multiple challenging projects: wore the full stack's hat despite being in love with servers, devops and the cloud ecosystem. I had the opportunity to work with multiple tools and frameworks that I already used before but now with more depth and mastery. I'm not going to mention them here since they might get jealous if I forget to mention any of them. Sharpening my php/js/scripting skills is the only detail that I want to mention here because it all goes down to bare languages.

Side journey

Having a 40-hour workweek, a football addiction, a fiancΓ©e, a family, a band of demanding friends and a body that needs rest, it was not easy to find time for exploration and personal improvement. I'm proud of the below list, as short as it is.1- Started my personal blog: started at December 31, -3 month after buying the domain name-, this is most recent, the less effort demanding and yet the most that I'm proud of. Let's hope that P R O C R A S T I N A T I O N's era is over πŸ˜€

2- Learning web automation: fan of nodejs/JavaScript and looking for something with which I can build cross platform desktop apps; I found electron, somehow along the way, I came across nightmarejs. Compared to Selenium and phantomjs, I highly liked how easy and pick-able nightmare was. Played with it until I found google's puppeteer. Since then, I've been using it for multiple hobby projects hosted both locally and on Heroku.

3- Learning Google App Script: I was passively browsing I came across GAS and how it improves productivity. Searched the term and it was a google product. It's a platform that makes it so easy (easy for people who have a JavaScript knowledge) to build add-ons for google products to automate mundane tasks, and I used it to implement multiple personal workflows.

4- Bought a new personal setup: this is the new setup that I built and bought, I gave it "Borni" as a name and will be the subject of a future post.

5- Learning android app network sniffing: Finding myself doing the task of checking if there is a flash 4G gift on my sim card provider ( Orange ) android app over and over again, I decided to somehow automate it. Searched for android app sniffing and there were a lot of misleading articles and tutorials all over the internet, either deprecated, not working with ssl encryption, paid stuff or simply not working. After multiple trial and error I managed to get it to work. Found the request, params, got the response and I automated the http request invocation using nodeJs initially and then using the tool mentioned below. This is the only project that my father could understand and I deserved "Good job son, can we have dinner now? I will publish the details as a separate blog post soon.

6- Learning n8n: Thanks to, I stumbled upon n8n. Searched the term and I'm glad I did. It is the most simple-installation, ease-of-use, automation framework I tested. For the non tech-savvy guys, it's a software that let's you build automated workflows without writing a single line of code and its main strength is connecting APIs and internet web services all togethers. For the tech-savvy guys, think of it as a light Talend, but based on nodejs, a lot simpler and yet more powerful in orchestrating APIs and web services.

This was my 2020 year's review, and this is the first official blog post I ever wrote. Since it's 2021's second day, I could think and prepare my roadmap for the new year ( I have things in mind like learning TypeScript, consistent blogging and moving azaytek to gatsby + aws since I've just activated my 12-months free trial 😻 to refresh and sharpen my devops knowledge ) but I prefer going with the flow. I'm a software engineer, i.e I procrastinate by default.