A Busy 2022 in Review: Conferences, Interviews, and New Adventures

A Busy 2022 in Review: Conferences, Interviews, and New Adventures

Hi lovely readers,

As the year 2022 comes to a close, I wanted to reflect on how wild this year has been for me. It's no secret that it has been a standout year, as I received many compliments, questions, and expressions of interest in my work through social media and public speaking. I am grateful for all the support and interaction I received this year and wanted to take a moment to say thank you to everyone who supported me.

Now, let me tell you all about this crazy year.

Let's backtrack to 2021

Before the summer of 2021, I was a typical Computer Science student. I attended online classes and didn't stand out with particularly impressive grades. I wasn't part of any groups or working on anything significant alongside my studies. I just did what was required of me and moved on.

The COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult to make friends at my uni, as I spent most of my time in my room and lockdowns began during the second semester of my first year, preventing me from getting to know anyone in my class. I had no one to share the ups and downs of coding with, and no outlet for the happiness or frustration I experienced when working on projects or code exercises. It sometimes felt very lonely.

This changed when I started my Twitter account. Someone I met online recommended it to me, saying that the developer community was active there. I was bored during summer break, so I decided to give it a try. That's how I started sharing coding topics that interested me, my experiences with programming, and, of course, dad jokes. By the end of the year, I had made many more friends, people I could turn to when I was frustrated with school or celebrate with when my code worked. I ended 2021 with 13K followers on Twitter.

Lou Creemers first tweet. Posted on June 17th, 2021. It says 'Hello World''

Last tweet of Lou Creemers in 2021. It says 'Ending this year with almost 13k of you is amazing! Thank you all!''

Getting sponsored through Twitter

My goal is always to make all of the educational content I create free, because I believe that everyone should have the opportunity to learn and that it should be as accessible as possible.

However, I received my first income from Twitter thanks to a paid advertisement! At the beginning of the year, ClickUp reached out to me to promote their new podcast. Since I use ClickUp frequently, I agreed without hesitation. I was amazed that this was even possible.

Ad tweet from Lou Creemers for ClickUps podcast when it clicked. It says 'Clickup told me today about their new podcast that's launching tomorrow, and I'm very excited! I love their platform. Are you curious too? Follow the podcast on your favorite podcast'

Somewhere around summer, I received a free Lumina webcam through Twitter, which I use for all of my recorded content. I still really like it and will continue using it until I decide to go for a 'real' camera.

Ad tweet by Lou Creemers for Lumina. There's a picture of the box of a gray webcam, with the actual webcam next to it. The text says 'Look at what I got! It's a webcam from Lumina that makes your picture look even beter with depth sensing and color correction thanks to their AI software. It's really cool,'

Finally, I received donations through Buy Me a Coffee totaling around 200 EUR this year. This is just enough for a Rode Microphone and a microphone arm, which I plan to purchase soon. If you would like to donate as well, be sure to check out my page!

Buy Me A Coffee - Lovelacecoding

Getting started with public speaking

I've always been the type who is good but nervous when it comes to giving presentations. In the past, I would even pretend to be sick to avoid giving a presentation at school.

At the beginning of 2022, WeAreDevelopers reached out to me and asked if I wanted to speak at their huge WeAreDevelopers World Congress event in Berlin. I've always looked up to the people who speak at tech events online, and I knew it would be scary, but I didn't want to pass up such a great opportunity to overcome my fear of public speaking and try something I've always wanted to do. So, I said yes and we agreed on a C# 10 talk.

The night before the talk, I barely slept. I practiced before going to sleep and again as soon as my alarm went off. I also arrived at the venue way too early to check out the room. It was huge, with about 400 seats.

Spoiler alert: I survived. I started very nervous, but it went very well once I got started. It was an amazing opportunity to have my first-time speaker session be in front of 400 people. I enjoyed my time, met a lot of people I've only talked to online, and had a lot of laughs.

The thing that made it even more special was that I flew back to the Netherlands on the day that I officially had been on Twitter for a year. Crazy progress, isn't it?

Lou speaking on stage. Lou is using her hands while clearly talking. You can see Lou from the side, but the background is dark.

Group picture of 7 different tech twitter creators, including me. With the WeAreDevelopers logo on the background.

Letting my voice be heard

From the moment I left Berlin, I decided to become more active with my voice, instead of just only tweeting. Up until that point, I had only joined a Twitter Space twice to speak, and I was very nervous about it. So, I started going to Twitter Spaces more and more, which helped me a lot. I am no longer nervous at all when joining a Discord call or Twitter Space.

I also did 3 interviews this year: 2 video interviews and 1 podcast interview about C#, WeAreDevelopers, my public speaking experience, studying while working, and more. It felt a bit awkward at times to talk about myself, but I enjoy giving people who want to know more about me something to listen to. I think it will also definitely be fun for me to listen back to it 10 years from now.

See/listen to my interviews here:
Betabit Podcast (Audio)
Interview with Marc from WeAreDevelopers (Video)
Interview with Francesco Ciulla (Video)

More conferences and meetups!

WeAreDevelopers Congress was the first professional conference I ever attended. It was great, but I didn't get to see many talks because I was busy networking. However, I loved it so much that I went on to attend more meetups and conferences as a visitor.

Thanks to the Techorama team, I was able to attend Techorama NL in October. Techorama is a .NET-focused conference in the Netherlands with many different speakers. I got to meet so many speakers in the .NET community and learned a lot from the speaker sessions.

I also went to JFall, a big Java conference in the Netherlands. I have to admit that I'm not a Java developer, but I still enjoyed it. Once again, I got to meet many new faces. I shared some ideas, made small talk, and enjoyed the food.

In addition to large conferences, I also attended some meetups, such as a tech night in Rotterdam, a recap event of .NET Conf at a cinema, and a recap event of Microsoft Ignite at the Microsoft office in The Netherlands.

If I have to give you one piece of advice, it's to NETWORK IN 2023. Go to meetups and conferences. It's a lot of fun, and the people you meet who you think are much smarter than you can be interesting to talk to and may even be able to help you out later on in your career.

My professional life

This year was also a year of education, as I am still studying at university. During the first semester, I focused the first half on UX Design and the second half on AI.

For UX Design, I focused particularly on accessible design. I designed a forum system for people with visual impairments who want to leave reviews of websites. I did this for an actual client and gave multiple presentations on our progress and the final result.

For AI, I made a License Plate Recognition System that could predict whether a car was turning left or right at the next intersection based on past data. It was a challenge, but I passed, so I can't complain. I just don't think AI will be a part of my professional career anytime soon.

Since this summer, I have also been teaching pre-university students (around 16 years old) about IT, focusing mainly on the basics of hardware and networking. I also did several Python classes, which were a lot of fun.

Lou teaching in front of a smart board

Finally, I have also been working as a web developer throughout the year, usually working 1 or 2 days a week. I see growth in myself and can solve Jira tickets more easily each time.

Now what?

In 2023, I'm planning to take things to the next level. I want to do more interviews, participate in more Twitter Spaces, and get more involved in public speaking at conferences. I also have some exciting content ideas, such as starting my video content journey and creating a free C# course on GitHub.

Career-wise, it's a bit more difficult. If everything goes according to plan, I will graduate this summer with a research thesis done at a sister company of the company where I currently work as a web developer. I'm still not sure what I want to do after, as I have the "luxury problem" of having too many options to choose from. We'll see what happens.

Most importantly, I hope to stay healthy, happy, and safe.

That’s a wrap!

Thank you for reading about my 2022. I hope you enjoyed this very personal blog post because I did. Happy new year everybody!

Do you have any comments or feedback? Be sure to reach out to me on Twitter at @lovelacecoding.