2020 — The End of A Decade But Beginning of A’s Dawn.

Michelle Aniuchi
7 min readDec 31, 2020
Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

For the longest time, I swore (well swore is a strong word 😬), more like promised, not to write a year-in-review article for myself because I felt that my years haven’t been review worthy. However, this is the end of a decade and the beginning of a new dawn for me. The various things that happened to me this year set the tone for that for me. Therefore, here I am documenting it for posterity sake. So without further ado, here are highlights of the year 2020 for me:

New Job, Who Dis?

Technically, I got it in November 2019. My first dev job. I worked with the best team ever. When Chimeremeze reached out to me on my Twitter account to chat, it came as the most pleasant surprise ever. I was surprised to know someone had actually been seeing the work I put in during 2019 in writing all those articles and doing all those projects and was considering working with me.

I was rough around the edges but he gave me a task to work on and I did it with all my best. My best turned out to be good enough and I joined his team. I learned a lot during the process and it smoothened out the rough edges a bit. Not only that, when a concurrent phase of my life started in January 2020 as you’ll see in the next session, they supported me all the way through. I’ll always be grateful to him for the opportunity and for granting me my first break.

Microsoft LEAP Apprenticeship Program

I joined this program on the 13th of January 2020. I had to move out of my parents’ place to my aunt’s to be able to participate fully within the limits my health allows for. I should give you a back story. You see, I was staying with my parents at Ojokoro and the office I was supposed to undergo the program at was in Lekki. If you are familiar with Lagos terrain and traffic, you will know that that is not an easy journey to make twice a day, 5 days a week especially if you have peculiar health challenges.

My dad (one of my biggest cheerleaders) called in a favor with his cousin and that was how I found my way on the 12th of October headed to my aunt’s place — a place I would call home for the rest of the year. Home because one day, I came back to my parent’s place and my brother jokingly called out how I said I was going back home when I was asked when I was returning. So yes it is home. I had a whole family who was supportive every step of the way. From my aunt who treats me like one of her own to my cousins who have supported me in one way or the other. Special shout out to Michael who used to let me hitch a ride to the office with him and sometimes waited for me to finish breakfast first.

If you followed my articles from the beginning of the year, you’ll see that that was all I talked about. I chronicled my time in the program in a series of articles which I will link below so I won’t spend much time talking about it. I would however like to acknowledge the group of code sisters I made at the program. Sarah, Pelumi, Lolade, Funmi, Sandra, ND, Fatima, Chidimma (the Japa Queen), and Emike — y’all were awesome. I know I haven’t really been pulling my weight with the whole Algo thing we were supposed to have had going on and I am sorry. I’ll do better.

Job after LEAP

This period was pretty short due to extenuating circumstances but it was not without its own stories and challenges. I learned a lot during this period. It was also really tough especially towards the end but we scaled through. At times, I wondered if I was supposed to be doing this coding thing at all. The feeling was fleeting however once I was back on track and with the encouragement of my team.

The department head, Ibrahim was also amazing and he had so much faith in me I was wondering whether it was the same me. Imagine seeing me as Busayo’s protegee — the same Busayo that everyone had sterling reviews about when she was leaving. Ngl, it was a boost to my waning confidence then. I can only but imagine how I must have disappointed everyone when I left so abruptly eventually. It was a wonderful experience overall and I’d do it all over again if I had to.

Something Something I cannot Talk About Fully Yet.

So I took on a challenge later on in the year and I am not gonna lie, there were times when I faltered. I spent many a time staring into space wonder wtf I was doing and whether I was worthy of even doing it at all. I think I even cried a little once.

However, I looked back at what I did this year and pulled myself by the bootstraps, and continued. The journey still continues and I cannot wait till I can finally share explicit details with you guys.

Writing for a Living.

While doing my new thing, I had to find another source of income. I had had this Upwork account for about 2 years now but I had only written 5 $5 articles then for some content company. Before quitting, I started sending proposals to jobs I liked. I decided my niche was going to be technical writing. So I sent out tons of proposals. At a time I think I had sent out 25+ or so. Most were ignored, one got back to me to politely decline but promised that if an opening came up, I would be informed and two responded.

Out of those two, one hired me and for a while, I wrote articles under the Stack Abuse name. That was until this fateful article I wrote was said to be ‘plagiarized’ because of the code snippets I included which were plug and play functions of the package I was explaining. The accusation took me aback and was insulting to my person because I had even changed the parameters and objects passed to the functions to mine.

However, it was a learning experience for me. If someone is going to accuse you of shit, stand your ground and don’t let them take you for a ride. I passed my discontent across as politely as I could and the client ended things and we moved on.

I subsequently got other people I write for one and it has been interesting so far. Some of the talks of 5G, telecommunication, and the world of IoT, which I have had to convert into articles have been eye opening and I have really learned new stuff from them. Also, the thrill of researching new topics never gets old.

Friendships, Love and Relationships

The countless proposals, engagements, and weddings everywhere in these final days of 2020 have had people saying that they are as a result of all the times we spent lockdown in the early part of the year. I’d say they are not wrong.

I spent quite some time this year making new friends, meeting new people, rekindling friendships, restoring broken ties, and considering the pros and cons of a love interest. Some of my Twitter fams became closer (ish). I recall AsinCole making out time out of his busy schedule ish to get me out of a fix and navigate some corporate brouhaha during those my LEAP retainment days. I and Uche don’t interact a lot but I really appreciate the few hours he took to help me with that nagging Java issue I had one day. Then Homer, my gist partner for days. I wonder what happened to that flow. Anyway, those talks were really nice.

I know this section was probably not what you were expecting it to be. Lol. Chill. I saved the best for the last I guess. However, no there is no relationship yet. I just finally figured out what it means for someone to have your mumu button. It’s sweet and ticklish on the inside. Your head is warning and threatening fire and brimstone but there’s nothing it can do to stop that big grin from spreading across your faces when you guys are talking.

I always knew though well, somehow but the lockdown period — the prolonged calls and texts and video chats — made it obvious. As the ‘progressive’ woman that I am, I once almost slipped up and tried to profess my feeling but that didn’t happen and here we are. I look back and a tiny bit of me is glad I didn’t act on it because money must be made first — as nwa Igbo m bu — and certain ideological differences cannot be overlooked. Plus, e be like say the person no too rate me sef. The other part stares on into space and just wonders ‘what-if’.

Well, I cannot really say what will happen but I am glad I let myself feel for a bit this period and I have to lock down to thank for that.

In summary, 2020 was a pretty iconic year. While it did not turn out to be all I hoped for, I am grateful for the lessons learned, the tears shed, the laughter shared, feelings felt and the friends made. Looking forward to the new dawn lying on the horizon for me.

Cheers to y’all!


Forgot to add all the links I promised earlier:

  1. https://aadaobi.medium.com/my-microsoft-leap-apprenticeship-program-journey-the-beginning-a3c3753ba7ab
  2. https://aadaobi.medium.com/my-microsoft-leap-apprenticeship-program-journey-au-revoir-classroom-training-hello-field-work-d3d93f68cb55
  3. https://aadaobi.medium.com/my-microsoft-leap-apprenticeship-program-journey-lessons-on-communication-personal-brand-d02ca0d78cfa
  4. https://aadaobi.medium.com/my-microsoft-leap-apprenticeship-program-journey-the-end-in-sight-717a0c355c26

Two of the articles from freelancing that are in my name. I am open for more. Thanks.

  1. https://stackabuse.com/generating-pdf-files-in-node-js-with-pdfkit/
  2. https://stackabuse.com/working-with-images-in-node-js-graphicsmagick-and-imagemagick/