My 2019 in Review

My 2019 in Review

With another year almost gone, it's time for those endless retrospectives lists! But for this year I wanted to make something different. After all, there is much more to look back in 12 months than a 100 song Spotify playlist. So, I will go through the most important points of my work and my life during 2019.

Me at Whitesmith summer retreat
Stock photo of an young person typing on a computer at Whitesmith summer retreat. June 2019


2019 was my third year on Whitesmith, the first and only place to date where I worked so far. Everything I know about UX/UI, Front-end development and even project managment I own to them. This year in particular I grown on an unexpected way, on something that was (and still is) one of my biggest flaws: Communication. I was put into test several times, leading directly with different clients instead of being just closed in my bubble.

The real test of fire was when I was sent alone on a trip to London to meet with a client. I had been there before, but never alone. I not only managed to survive (effusive celebration) but to actually do what I had to with relative success.

On a more design side related, as a company, this summer we managed to do a so ambitioned redesign and refactor to Whitesmith website. Now we have something that reflects quite better what we are and what we can do.

As an individual, I managed to improve my knowledge of UI and Front-end, naturally. Vue.js became my Javascript framework of election, as I worked with it on a few projects, and as consequence forgot completely React meanwhile.

Overall, with all the ups and downs, it was probably the year I grown up more since 2016.

Me at Kikk Festival
The same young person now holding a belgian beer at Kikk Festival lounge area. November 2019


Oh boy, where to start. 2019 was a massive rollercoaster of everything. I think never had a so polarizing year.

For the first time, I went to live alone with my girlfriend. While it was a decision that made total sense, it didn't come without a truck of headaches. Finding a house on the budget and filling all our needs in an overly inflated market, signing contracts, pack things, unpack things, a classic.

In terms of trips, I did some. The most remarkable of all was the one to Belgium. I went to Kikk Festival in Namur, which was awesome (really good talks and exhibitions) and still had time to visit Brussels, which was not so awesome to be honest. Other trips and activities worth of mention: Zigurfest in Lamego on the second consecutive year (good music as usual, not so good camping park), a Gus Dapperton concert in Lisbon (very enjoyable), the Pixels Camp Hackathon (also a usual trip, at least for me) and finally, WebSummit (not worth it).

I was also on the organization of ENEMM'19 helping on the branding and decoration of the event and more recently on GDG Coimbra's Devfest as a late time addition to the team, helping on the decoration as well.

Looking back, I managed to do a lot of stuff in quite few time, but that led to the thing I hated the most this year: the constant pressure of not having time to stop - there's always something to do, some shit that needs to be done or solved and if it's not, it would become a bigger problem later. All of this made me frustrated, irritated or sad more frequently than I used to.

It's quite difficult to say what I've could done better to avoid this, probably better time or expectations managment.