2017 was an interesting year in my life. I achieved a lot during this time despite starting off on a low note. It started off on a low note because following my graduation(2016), I was abit confused with my life. Things however became better as the year progressed.
I got my first job as a systems engineer at Koko Networks. I learnt a lot while I was there: circuit design, firmware development, managing and motivating teams and engineering operations in general. The team at Koko was really helpful and great. For that, I am grateful.
I also made my first production circuits this year. The first was a simple LED multiplexing array that was used to display various texts. The second was a simple auto-agriculture kit for Aura Engineering. These projects made me learn a lot about Kicad and how to deal with PCB manufacturers.
I was also an active contributor in the GrabCad community. I uploaded a total of 20 models in 2017. I have learnt a lot about using Solidworks and Inventor for design. I've experimented on using FreeCAD in doing some design work and I'm impressed by the many features it has. I want to do a lot more using FreeCAD because I'm a huge open source enthusiast.
In development, my first ever "serious" open source contribution was accepted and merged to the main source tree. It was to add support for rstcheck to vim-ale. Vim-ale is a vimscript linting engine. I also made a comic site system in django that currently runs on my server at comics.jnduli.co.ke. For big projects, I started on Mradi (an organisation system) which is still incomplete. Mradi's tech stack uses: VueJS, ansible, django in the process.
As far as infrastracture is concerned, I got to learn and use ansible. Writing playbooks is fun, and automating steps is an interesting challenge. Most of my projects currently have an ansible config that helps in set up and configuration of various tasks.
Reading this year has been fruitful. The highlight of my year in reading was completing the Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov. It taught me a lot about politics, economics and society. I also have a huge catalog of unfinished books: Learn Vimscript the Hard Way, The Art of Unix Programming and Thinking in Systems. These are really great books that I should have completed.
My participation in Urban Perspective (a bookclub) and Nailug (Linux User Group) was also encouraging. I got to know so many interesting people, learn from them, critique some ideas and socialize.
Finally, I got the PAUSTI scholarship. This was a pretty trying moment for me because it meant I had to stop working and leave my colleagues at Koko. This was a tough decision to make and leaving Koko was a low point for me in 2017.
2017 was a great year. That was my summary of the year, and now I can see through 2018.