Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan

Software Developer's 2019 Review and New Year Resolution

January 01, 2020

Since everybody is doing it, let me give it a try too! My new year resolutions based on my mistakes and wrong turns in 2019, 2018 and more years.

I am about to be a decade old in software development, and open source communities. I have had the honor to collaborate with some of the finest in the industry, and write articles, and do courses with a few of the best in the market. But, there are some things that not everyone says in the market. But, those who know me, know that I enjoy saying what I feel any time of the day.

2019 was not an amazing year for me, and I do not hold any grudges against 2019 for that, I was a bit lazy throughout the year, and I missed a lot of interesting opportunities because of my laziness. I was also busy in a couple of important things; family-related.


Over the previous year as well as 2018, I explored several languages, tools and sometimes I went out of my field and studied some history, science and photography concepts. I tried to post some of the work that I had done online on my community profiles but as fate had it, I was a lot busy so it was not sure what I was doing. Most of the communities and organizations (especially Microsoft) had to remove my from their MVP Award lists due to lack of online activities.

Here are the top 5 topics I want to learn in 2020:

  1. .NET Core (I have little depth-knowledge of framework)
  2. Data structures, algorithms (I would read research papers on these topics)
  3. JavaScript as a language (React as a front-end framework)
  4. Mathematics of Data Science and Machine Learning
  5. Quantum Physics (for Quantum Computations)

Overall my 2020 would be spend rock-soliding the concepts I already know. It is my bad habit of leaving the framework in the middle and exploring something new.

Family and friends

I feel (believe, and I know) that for a software engineer, friends and their family members are always avoided, no matter what. I tried to spend maximum time with my friends and family. I tried to check my friends every month (if not every two weeks) and trust me, it has been amazing spending time with them each time.

I decided to go on a foreign trip with my family. I was with my mother and brother, and we decided to go to Malaysia to meet relatives. Although, it was hardly a 10 day trip, it was a trip to cherish.

Here is me and my brother (Daniyal Ahmad Rizwan) at Batu Caves temple:

Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan and Daniyal Ahmad Rizwan at Batu Caves temple, Malaysia

I am planning our next trip, but before that, I need a good contract to pay my monthly bills. :sigh:

To our friends and families: We do not do that intentionally. It is a part of our firmware.

Community and Open Source

I have explored a bunch of new software and communities that are used by open source communities. GitLab has been on the top of my list. Fortunately, I was able to use GitLab for several of my own projects as well as recommend it to my friends. The software has a great potential for future. You can check out my GitLab profile and maybe collaborate on a few of the open source boilerplate code that I am working on.

GitLab account of Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan

Alibaba Cloud also has a great set of open source projects on their cloud platform as well as their eCommerce platforms. Check out the project catalouge on their website.

I am currently focused on Kubernetes, Cloud-Native and Mobile development as of 2020 . I have explored a bunch of frameworks and runtimes and I feel like this much of exploration has only made my grip on .NET (and .NET Core) a lot weaker. I read many articles about C#, .NET Core, Xamarin and other of my all time favorite languages and frameworks, and I feel so outdated and out of touch with them. So, I plan to work more on .NET Core, ASP.NET Core, and SQL Server — going old school!

I am currently working on a book for DevSecOps enthusiasts for .NET Core, keep an eye out and I will post as soon as the book becomes available.

I plan to write about the challenges that DevSecOps solves and the tools that you can use to perform automated security, performance and compliance checks on your software packages.

If you are working on an open source project, maybe we can collaborate! :smiley:

Games and Entertainment

I spent 2019 playing games and enjoying movies, songs and travelling across country as well as outside Pakistan. I will add my travel experience about Qatar and Malaysia in their own respective posts, but for the time being, let us just enlist the moments that I enjoyed.

Here is my hand (my watch, and my FIFA band) in Khalifa International Stadium, Doha, Qatar, for the FIFA Clubs World Cup 2019.

My hand with the FIFA band on it, with a watch in Khalifa International Stadium.

Here I am in the lobby, looking for food:

Afzaal Ahmad Zeeshan looking for food at Khalifa International Stadium during
final match.

If I would like to present my 2019 in a nutshell, it would be this:

My 2019 in a nutshell!

New hobby still not found

I am still looking for a new hobby. I have tried:

  1. Technical and non-technical writing.
  2. Sports.
  3. Travel and adventure.
  4. Sleeping throughout the day.

None of the activities have so far helped me in any way. I have worked with some publishers in the past, and authoring was not that much interesting. Plus, the place where I live in extra-noisy. There is a lot of traffic, and construction going on that prevents me from doing a video course (on time). Packt is a highly recommended publisher in my opinion, everyone should collaborate with them, at least once.

Right now, I am planning on studies, do my MS, then PhD and then get a job. If nothing works, I might just join a company as a software engineer.