If anyone were to ask me on New Years Eve how my year was, I would probably give a generic response that would take no more than 3 seconds to formulate.

However, thinking a little harder, looking back at 2015 in its entirety, 2015 had a lot to offer to me. Between making new friends, working on awesome projects, traveling across the country, and getting into the routine of working out daily, I have sure learned and lived a lot.

To be able to reflect on not only how much my life has changed over this year, but also what I have learned about myself and setting goals for the future is an important process that I believe everyone should engage in before thinking about what 2016 will bring.

Friends

Over the course of 2015, I met a lot of people and made lots of friends. In particular, a group of friends that really stood out in 2015 was the people I met in CSE 312. Through the duration of 312, there were many late nights down at the CS building struggling to finish homework the night before it was due and I don’t think I could have stayed sane without them. Thanks to everyone who powered through 312 with me and I hope to get to know all of you better throughout 2016.

Projects

Not only did I end up making new friends this year, but I also got to work of a lot of great projects with old ones. The most notable one this year that I had the pleasure to work on was LineCut, a service to attempt to reduce line wait times for the night market for the Taiwanese Student Association annual Night Market.

Although it wasn’t widely used among the vendors, it was a great experience to work on the front-end of the application especially to optimize it for mobile devices. Special thanks to Daniel Fang for teaching me about front-end as well as how to build secure web applications.

Traveling

Throughout this year, I also had the pleasure to travel with not only my family, but also to other cities to interview with companies. I ended up going to Texas twice, once for Indeed and again for AT&T’s Experience Weekend. Though I didn’t end up in either of those companies, regardless it was a fantastic experience to see their headquarters.

Hitting the Gym

At the beginning of this year I made it a priority to go to the gym 6 days a week for at least 2 hours a day. Since then, I have made significant progress with my lifts. For my own records, this year I hit 190 lbs on bench, 315 lbs on squat, and 375 lbs on deadlift.

Special thanks to Josh Lo for teaching me proper form and motivating me to go to the gym. My lifts would be nowhere without your training.

Future goals

With regards to my goals, there are a couple that come to mind:

  • Work on even more interesting projects. Truly become a ‘full-stack’ developer
  • Learn at least one new language or technology and absolutely master it
  • Continue to go to the gym 6 days a week and make progress on all of my lifts
  • Go outside even more and continue to meet new people. Have a life outside of computers
  • Strengthen relationships and keep in touch with old friends

Just as I accomplished my goals for this year, I believe that these goals are that realistic enough and attainable, but we’ll see at the end of next year.

Additional Thanks

Without a doubt, this year was indeed one that I will remember. This year wouldn’t have been made possible though without a couple people.

I first would like to give special thanks to Daniel Fang (the king of DDJ). Thank you for working with me on projects and always showing me new things.

I’d also like to give thanks to Chris Shin. Thanks for being my first friend in CS and struggling together through classes. From 311 to algorithms, we’ve been through a lot in the department together.

Lastly, I would like to thank my both parents, especially my dad. Thank you for providing me career advice and help when I needed it. I don’t think I would be here without your help or support.

2015 and beyond

2015 has been a wild year of growth. I’ve learned so much in this year alone not from only school, but from other people and especially from just doing.

I am incredibly excited to see what adventures lay ahead in 2016. I’m proud to announce that I will interning Redfin next summer and Microsoft next autumn as a software engineer. I’m optimistic about what the future has in store for me, and I hope I can be sure to embrace those experiences for the better.

So on New Years Eve set aside sometime to ask yourself, how was your year? What did you learn about yourself? Did X, Y, and Z at the beginning of the year turn out well for you? Did you meet your goals if you set any?

By answering these questions and honestly reflecting on your 2015, you can be sure to plan an even better 2016.

CS @ UW • SDE @ Amazon • http://www.justinharjanto.com

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