Year 2018 Review from Freelance Web Developer Perspective

Year 2018 Review from Freelance Web Developer Perspective

I have written a couple of retrospectives in the previous years and this year is no different. The retrospectives have been from freelancing perspective, but this time I wanted to try adding a bit more random things that were interesting.


There are still few working days left as I am writing this, but at the moment the hour counter is showing 1099 hours which is a bit more than in 2017 (1034 hours). I have done four years four day work weeks and I think there is no coming back

Almost 90% of the time I worked remotely either from Finland or from abroad (Hungary). More on that later.

I didn't have many client's as I had a wonderful client and it was, and still is, pleasant to work with them. It should not be taken granted that you find always a client with whom you have mutual trust, the trust allows remote work and in my case that will lead to more time and happiness.

From technical perspective, I went deeper into the .NET Core, EF Core and React. The term full-stack developer has been always vague, but in my case that means JavaScript frontend with .NET backend. Keeping the backend language and framework unchanged, allows me to keep up with the always changing frontend technologies.

Remote work

Due to the quite dramatic events on wife's side of the family, I worked quite much remotely from Hungary. I was already working remotely in Finland, so the change wasn't big workwise. Hungary has only one hour time difference to Finland.

I think the remote work experiences are worth of it's own blog post, but I'll try to summarize this year's experience in a few bullet points:

  • it is valuable to meet your team members at some point, preferably at the beginning of the project
  • discussion on Slack (or similar service) is also part of the searchable information, unlike "water cooler chat"
  • I get more done in the home office than in the actual office


The 2018 was really bad from a blogging perspective. I guess I momentarily lost interest on writing and getting back to the "writing mode" was hard.

But, I am very happy to see that the visitor count almost doubled from 2017. Also, my blog appeared in the search engine a lot. Thank you, Google!

Google Analytics screenshot showing audience size
Google Analytics screenshot showing organic search increasing 157.31%

Interesting things from 2018



  • OzCode, C# debugging on steroids, I have tested few times, but based on the tutorials there is so much wonderful features that I am eagerly waiting for a bug that would require going deep into debugging mode.
  • Dependency injection in general, this might seem a bit boring topic, but dependencies are big part of software development. I try to remember that it's not about tools as you could do everything without any IoC (Inversion of Control frameworks), but it is more about the software design. If you have a problem with the IoC/DI tool then very likely you have software design problem.
  • Pulumi, "infrastructure as code". I have only read documentation and listened a podcast about the topic, but probably worth checking out when you need to think about infrastructure related topics.

Web development/JavaScript

  •, I actually had quite fun writing UI tests with this tool
  • Jest, hasn't let me down, solid test runner
  • Visual Studio Code, I was a bit worried that VS Code will get slower or they change something making it less perfect, but I am glad to inform that VS Code has just gone better in 2018 and I am not the only one saying it

I've learned new things about functional programming, especially, from a book called Functional Programming in C# - How to write better C# code by Enrico Buonanno. Highly recommended!


I picked three podcasts that were either new for me or those were produced this year making it new for everyone.

The Edgelands from the Telegraph

On the far eastern edge of Europe there is a border, 3,500 miles in length and spanning eight countries. In Edgelands, a brand new six-part podcast from The Telegraph, we explore the remote communities uniquely shaped by decades of living in the shadow of the former Soviet Union.

Darknet Diaries

True stories from the dark side of the Internet.

Happy Face

For Melissa Moore, 1995 was a nightmare. That’s the year the teenager learned her father, Keith Hunter Jesperson, was a serial killer. It’s also the year Melissa Moore’s doubt spiral began: When you look like your father, and you share his intelligence and charisma, how do you know you’re not a psychopath, too? Happy Face is the story of Keith Hunter Jesperson, his brutal crimes, and the cat and mouse game he played with detectives and the media. But it’s also the story of the horrific legacy he gifted his children. Join Melissa Moore as she investigates her father’s crimes, reckons with the past, and wades through her darkest fears as she hunts for a better future.

What's next?

Here are some random thoughts on what 2019 could bring.

I find freelancing still interesting, but the product business is something I would like to try at some point.

Tickets for React Finland 2019 conference has been bought, so I will be there on April.

Talking at meetups has been always fun and exciting, so I guess that's something I could do more.

I need to create (again) a habit of writing.

F# would interesting to learn, but I am the kind of person who needs an actual project (slightly bigger than a Hello World) to be motivated enough to continue the learning process more than a day. If you have a F# project, let's talk!

I did few pull requests to open-source projects, contributing to a good cause always brings joy, so that's something I would like to continue.

There is no need to plan everything, so I'll keep the list relatively short.

Have a pleasant 2019 and thanks for reading!