I started this blog last September with the idea of sharing learnings and having a journal where to track my steps in web3. I'm glad to take a moment to recap some of the things that happened during the year and reflect on what's next.
What went well?
TL;DR; - NFTs, Hackathons, InterplanetaryFonts!
Learning about GameFi and NFTs
Last year started with my first NFT. I didn't know much about non-fungible tokens, and I blindly decided to invest some money in a GameFi community (Ethlas.com) to check out how things worked. Some crazy 2022 resolutions!
I've set a time and fund limit for myself before jumping in, taking the experience as a sort of fast hands-on course where I wanted to learn a few things: what's a layer 2 (Polygon), cross-chain swaps, and of course NFTs minting, all things I've never done or barely touched before.
Choosing a young GameFi platform proved to be a good choice as I had the chance to mingle with newbies like me, figuring out stuff together, and I appreciated how genuine the community in Discord was. Although I'm not sure how things are going for Ethlas right now, it was a great starting point and I'm thankful for that.
Participating in IRL events
Attending ETHPrague was a kickstart for web3 IRL events. I haven't been to Paralelni Polis since 2013 and I'm glad I gave it another chance. During the hackathon, I listened to some amazing speakers that got me more excited about the potential application of NFTs utilities and blockchain technology.
I decided to push myself to go out more and through some meetups I got to know other learners like me, establishing a little "Ethereum Study Group". Since Summer we share a personal weekly manifesto (a list of things we want to achieve during the week) and this kind of "learning in public" has been a great motivation booster.
The last IRL event I participated in in 2022 was ETHBrno, where I had the chance to join the Censorship Game team and explore key topics around privacy, security, zero-knowledge proofs and quadratic voting. So much I still have to learn!
Getting back to coding
My first job as a developer was in 2005, and since then I moved quite a bit inside and outside web development. People are usually surprised when I mention I went from front-end dev to product manager. Coding remains one of the things I do enjoy the most so I'm glad that last year I managed to make the time to get back into it.
I challenged myself and applied for the #30DaysOfWeb3 (by Women Build Web3) where I got the chance to learn a bunch of new technologies (IPFS, the Graph, Infura, Lens Protocol...) while also starting to write some lines in Solidity and deploying my first dapp on Vercel. Overall it was an extremely rewarding experience and a turning point in 2022.
Because of WBW3 community support and encouragement, I decided to sign up for ETHOnline 2022. Here I met my current teammates (Lalo, Miguel and JP) and together we started building the Interplanetary Fonts project idea.
During the hackathon, I put into action my rusty dev skills but also product management experience, realizing that soft skills are important at hackathons events. Probably the biggest "ah-ha" moment of the year.
Together with InterplanetaryFonts, we decided we wanted to continue building after ETHOnline (we were finalists!), so I started to apply for grants and accelerators to support our effort. Finally, we were selected to take part in the BUIDL Accelerator by Encode Club and Women Build Web3 where we've built for three months getting to expand our network by joining other amazing projects and builders in web3.
While there are so many initiatives going on out there, sometimes the only thing that matters is to reach out and get involved. One community that I'm extremely excited about is DeveloperDAO. The first time I heard of it was through a WBW3 workshop with Camila Ramos and Nader Dabit during the #30DayOfWeb3. I kept following closely on Twitter and Lens, learning about it and realizing how many people I was already learning from were part of the dao! Eventually, thanks to Tony Olendo and Manny I had a chance to join, and I'm looking forward to contributing further to this community.
What a year!
What can be improved?
When I look at the technical skills I would like to improve the list is very long... It is almost impossible to see the end of it. The ever-present impostor syndrome doesn't make it easy to decide which one should be tackled first. If only I could have more time! This was the mantra of most of my days, especially at the end of last year. To the point that some priorities magically shifted, sacrificing health/physical activity for example, for an hour more in front of the laptop.
I think this year would be important to set boundaries from the beginning and focus on what matters. Bringing forward the practice of the weekly manifesto I would like to add my expectations and overall goals to it. It's ok to adjust the aim along the way when there are time constraints, it's a bit less productive to do something just because it's on the list of things we said we would do.
Lastly, I have a feeling we're growing far from many out there seeing blockchain just as crypto. Somehow people trust centralized corporations to do what they want with their data but they don't trust blockchain as they don't understand what web3 and decentralization mean. I would like to find a better way to communicate and translate what we're doing. Explaining technology to technical people might be just one of the hardest things, but #wagmi.
Action points for 2023
🛠 Continue learning & building
🪐 Expand the fonts universe with InterplanetaryFonts
📣 Join more IRL events and hackathons
✍️ Write consistently
🎯 Update CV and land that web3 job!
Let's go!!! 🚀
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