2018 In Review: My journey to becoming a developer so far

Mike Attara
3 min readDec 31, 2018


This is my first medium post and my first ever review of a year in my life. I believe this is the beginning of many amazing years to come. This year has been one of my best years as far as I can remember in terms of personal growth and development.

My journey in programming actually started somewhere in 2010 in St. Thomas Aquinas Senior High School. I wrote my first line of code in Adobe Dreamweaver and became fascinated about programming but did not continue after the instructor left the school after his National service. Since that is not in 2018, I will leave that to another post talking about my whole journey, do look out to that.

2018 Highlights

Fast forward it is 31st December again and everyone taking stock of the year. Reflecting on how I spent my life in the past 12 months growing as a software developer, I realized that my progress has not been linear, but had my own share of successes and failures (and learned some important life lessons). Below are some major highlights of my life in 2018 as I look forward to a better 2018.

Joining the Microsoft AppFactory

So this year I applied to the Microsoft AppFactory after learning to programme from books and other tutorials online. After the interview, I was selected for the programme together with five others. After a month or so our number fell to three. Unfortunately, we did not finish the programme as scheduled. However, I learned first hand how to collaborate with other developers on a team and what it really means to be a developer.

Teaching programming at a cohort

I also volunteered and taught introduction to programming using python at the Yielding Accomplished African Women 2018 cohort. This has stretched me to really break down complex topics in easily understandable forms.

This required a deeper understanding of programming concepts. I must say It has been very insightful for me. By the way, there was a computer science graduate and current computer science students in the cohort.

The Google Africa Challenge Scholarship

Before the Microsoft AppFactory, I was also selected for the Google Africa Challenge Scholarship in the Mobile Web Specialist Track. I was privileged to be selected among the top 100 in over 1500 learners in my track for the Mobile Web Specialist Nanodegree on Udacity after the first part of the programme.

I have successfully completed the nanodegree arming myself with skills for building responsive and performant web applications.

Attending and volunteering at tech meetups

This year, I attended my first ever tech meetup organized by Facebook Developer Circles: Accra and a couple others. I also volunteered as an usher at DevCongress meetup in Accra. Through that, I got to meet some amazing guys in the tech ecosystem in Ghana namely Francis Addai, Edem Kumodzi, @johnotu, Oliver Mensah and many others.

I also gave my first conference talk on Developing a Progressive Web App at DevFest18 Accra. This has been very fulfilling for me because I love sharing ideas with others.

Contribution to open source

I have been yearning to contribute to open source but did not know how and where to start since learning programming. After some research, I have participated in this years #Hacktoberfest (and happy my t-shirt is on its way). I am also proud to have code merged in freeCodeCamp and Docusaurus and an open pull request at create-react-app. The feeling of seeing your pull request being merged is just rapturous more especially the first time.

Lessons and resolutions for 2019

I all these I have learned to be confident in my skills and also reach out to others for help when needed.

Looking into 2019, I look forward to:

  1. Writing at least once a week
  2. Contribute more to open source
  3. Join Andela as a software developer
  4. Learn GraphQL
  5. Speak more at tech conferences

Thank you so much for reading, and would love to hear from you.

You can follow me on twitter @mikeattara for more updates on my journey and also suggest topics you would like to see me write on.



Mike Attara

JavaScript/Typescript Engineer | Passionate about mentoring and solving problems