New Year, New PRs
I started 2018 by contributing to open-source in the worst way you could think of: PRing license year updates to literally every repo I found (I'm still getting occasional notifications on some of that PRs).
A code community for teenagers
Then, on January 5, I started working on a project that would change my life. It was a community for teen coders, and I called it CoderYouth. Discourse was kind enough to support my idea by providing free hosting for a forum, and I built a basic landing for it.
Everything was ready for the launch, so I wrote a small article and published it on Medium, where it went viral. Then, another teenager called Jip found the article shared with me a Discord community called code(), a Discord code community formed mostly by teenagers. I felt like I had finally found my place in the world, with friends interested in code and my projects.
A SaaS product
But let's put CoderYouth on pause for a moment (we'll come back to it later), because at that time I was also working on a project I had started in the summer of 2017. What started as playing with less and UI components when I was bored and had no wifi turned first into a documentation template and later into a Laravel app that pulled markdown from a GitHub repository and rendered it using a customized engine with custom expressions. It was called UnMarkDocs, and it was my first real product, and the one I've worked on for the most. I finally launched it in June 2018 with this article, and it got me my first dollar on the internet (more on that later).
Building with others
In February, I decided to start another project (while still working on the other two). For this one, I wanted to work with someone else (all my projects had been solo before), so I got in touch with Dominic, another teenager, and we decided to build a code automation platform, inspired by Laravel Shift and called it Snaptier. We ended up getting another teenager on board, called Niklas, who fixed my old crappy designs and made our app look good. I live-streamed a lot of Snaptier coding, and we also recorded some podcast episodes we didn't end up publishing.
Thought I had enough projects? WRONG
In March, I thought that I didn't have enough projects, so I started working with three other people in Borrow My Topic, a platform to reuse other people's decks for your meetups.
Open Source FTW
During all this time (and the rest of the year), I was consistently contributing to open-source. I'm not gonna list all the contributions I made (It'd take me a lot of time to go through my GitHub profile and find all the links), but the total number of commits were: 186 commits on January, 301 in February, 227 in March, 143 in April, 279 in May, 323 in June, 143 in July, 205 in August, 170 in September, 151 in October, 307 in November and GitHub won't let me see the ones on December. I also started mantaining two awesome lists (yup, they're called like that), an organization for Laravel Presets, an organization for Socialite Drivers and some other big OSS projects.
The CoderYouth Refresh
Let's go back to CoderYouth. In the summer, I realized almost all the CoderYouth activity was being done on the code() Discord, and the forum was kind of dead. So I started working in what I called the CoderYouth Refresh. I made a new logo, made seven websites in five days and prepared an online keynote in which I'd unveil everything that was new. It was a lot of fun. On the keynote, I announced the forum would be shutting down, and that I had got a partnership with code() to make it the official CoderYouth meeting place. I also announced weekly calls for the members, a mob service to help each other with promoting and a bunch of other things.
My first dollar online
I also made my first dollar on the internet around that time! Someone subscribed to the UnMarkDocs Premium plan, and I got an email from Stripe, it was awesome!
September came, and school started again, which meant less time for projects and fun. I started focusing more on my personal brand and redesigned my website again (fun fact: I did that like five times this year) to be more like a blog (inspired by Justin Jackson's website). I started blogging every week about random topics that came to my mind.
People supporting me!!!
Then, one day, I had the random idea of creating a Patreon page. I wrote an article as an announcement and then tweeted it. In the next week, I got three patrons, and two of them were some of my "heroes", people I admired. I can't even describe how awesome it felt to have people you admire supporting your work. Seriously, thank you to everyone who believed in me and decided to pledge some money to a random teenager on the internet. THANK YOU.
October was mostly dedicated to writing and contributing to open-source (with Hacktoberfest and Google CodeIn), and to schoolwork.
In November, I started working on a new project with a friend, which remained secret until we announced it on the last days of November. Called Maker Army, is, and I quote, a modern platform built to provide makers with financial stability and overall, better the future of digital creativity. You should definitely check it out (and maybe leave your email)!
Becoming a Maker
Then, the 24hrstartup event happened. This was my introduction to the maker movement. I discovered MakerLog, the Makers Kitchen Slack community and lots of good friends, like Ethan or Sergio. I started to focus less on year-long projects and more on shipping consistently every day. I also joined the 200 words a day challenge (which you can read here).
As I was saying, I started focusing on short projects and built a chrome extension in less than an hour. Then, I did it again but this time I live-tweeted it. And a third time, but logging it live to MakerLog. I also contributed to the MakerAds project, and probably did more things I don't even remember now.
I did a lot of stuff and it felt great. I look forward to doing more stuff in 2019.
Remember you can help me keep working on the things that I do by supporting me. 😉