A Serendipitous Stroke of Events

Ignatius Bagussuputra #life

What a delightful year it has been

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luck that takes the form of finding valuable or pleasant things that are not looked for

Last year, I

In the following, chronological order

Joined Svelte as a core maintainer

Cybernetically Enhanced Web Apps

A user ever since v3 was released, Svelte has been the breath of fresh air I need in the frontend world of web development. Everything you’ve always wanted to exist or be fixed, the optimal experience of working as a developer, the full power of frontend at the palm of your hand, all in Svelte. Which also makes me really passionate in using and contributing here, in case I haven’t made that part clear yet.

I started with plain JavaScript and immersed myself deeply into it, to the point that I almost built my own web framework at the time when I realized that stuff like React was a thing. I struggled with React for more than a year, before moving on to Vue for a couple of months, and finally settling on Svelte a couple of weeks after it launched v3.

Honestly, it wasn’t even Svelte that made me fell in love, it was actually Sapper. I built a lot of projects and applications with it, and I got really hooked into developing with it. It’s probably one way or the other, but the only thing that needs improvement was the DX while we’re developing. The build and startup time becomes linearly longer as the project grows in size, it was unbearable for big applications at the time as I didn’t have a good enough computer to handle it.

When SvelteKit was first announced, I was ecstatic. It took quite a while until it reached public beta, even that was because the org’s private GitHub Actions minutes per month ran out. I waited for a bit until it was somewhat stable to try out because there was a lot of errors, especially on Windows. As expected, I couldn’t help myself and dived in to try it out sooner than I thought.

To my surprise, it was pretty usable with some caveats that has temporary workarounds. Since I use TypeScript eminently, I wanted (and expect) the tools I use to have TS (even better if it was first-class) support. Maybe this was because it’s the first time the team uses plain JavaScript + JSDoc to develop an open-source project, or it was just because there’s a lot of other stuff to do than this, but alas it was lacking. Nonetheless, I can’t expect these to be prioritized as there’s a lot more important issues at the time, but I also can’t go back to Sapper ever since I’ve got a taste of the niceties of SvelteKit. So, I decided to delve in to the codebase and fix them myself.

I needed to cut this story short as it’s taking a lot more space than I expect it to be, but that was the start of how and why I got to be here with the team. There’s not a lot of exposure for maintainers as we’re basically volunteers and really just do it (mostly) for fun and on our free time, but for a quick recap of the Svelte as a whole in the past couple of years, you can read https://svelte.dev/blog/accelerating-sveltes-development.

Joined Wingback as a core team member

A pricing plan management for SaaS products

A company that has been such a pleasure to work with, from the people to the work culture, mostly people though. I’m sure some of you would understand this feeling, but I have a really hard time interacting with people in general. So for me and Wingback to have found each other might have been nothing short of a miracle.

It wasn’t a smooth ride at first, especially for our first meeting, our connection was really unstable and we didn’t even show our faces. I really thought that would be the end of our interaction, but we kept on going, surprisingly, and did better to the point that everyone was really happy with each other.

I continued forward and joined their core team as the first engineer out of 240 candidates. What I thought was magical is the fact that we both got to connect early on before (relatively) much of a struggle and wasted time. To me, I found the perfect place to “rest” for a couple of years, a state that my younger self could’ve only imagined back then. For Wingback, they’ve found the perfect candidate to work on their frontend, which matches their attitude, work style and motivation, all within a short amount of time.

For more in-depth story from different perspectives, see these references below

Graduated from the most prestigious, reputable, and renowned university in the country

Yes, that wasn’t an exaggeration as they claimed it themselves at one point, some time ago. It was honestly frustrating to have missed the chance of experiencing your once in a lifetime graduation ceremony. So let me make this section, at least, somewhat special and memorable to myself.

Veritas, Probitas, Iustitia

It took lots of commuting and sleepless nights to prepare myself for the national test that has been standardized for the whole country. To have passed that initial battle and become the selected ~300 out of tens of thousands of students, as well as undergo another 4 years successfully, I feel the end of all that deserved a proper closing. The conclusion to my first phase in life, the end of the beginning and the beginning of the end.

The present to the future

I’d like to believe that everything I’ve done, every decision that was made, every action that was taken (and not) has lead me to this particular moment in life. There is undoubtedly some luck involved and maybe otherworldly phenomenon that plays into action, but it is definitely a combination of all of those that made it possible.

Thinking back, I went through a lot of stuff back then and struggled through lots of things, some were even stuff that was considered “easy” for a lot of people. I was not a child prodigy and I learned that early in life, thankfully. To have achieved something or be successful at certain things, I must’ve spend a lot of time and effort into it. The results were usually satisfying because it felt like all the hard work that was exerted paid itself off, but I am also a forgetful person and would not realize that I’ve suffered through some stuff to get there. That being said, I might’ve used a couple of years worth of luck last year.

Be present. Forgive yourself. Be happy.

I always exercises prudence with everything that I’m confident or interested in, which is a lot, and it can be quite tiring at times because I’d like to do that for everything. Hence, I usually delegate some stuff to people I trust, which is usually my Dad. Combining that with me being an INTJ, dealing with people has been a nightmare for me. My sister also recently told me about the natal chart, which was terrifyingly accurate for the minimal information you give to generate the report, but we’ll save that story for another day.

Even after learning about myself, I still struggled a lot in this particular section, which is best described as social frustration. Trying to reclaim the life I once had to no avail, I didn’t stop to wonder and think if I’d actually like to go back to that state. Social constructs (see societal pressures) are the bane of my existence, which I’ve slowly purge from my life from quite a while now.

These type of attitude and behaviour are generally avoided because most people are uncomfortable hanging out or even being related, and that is totally fine, really! It’s in our nature to gather around like-minded people, to conform with societal pressures and avoid being the unpleasant topic of discussion, trying hard to fit in with the group even if it costs another one’s reputation.

Knowing all of those, I purged a lot of things from my life. Focusing on what I know best and the people I love and cared for me. To ignore the world and live in the moment has been one of the best decisions I’ve made so far. Spending time with my families, quality time to be exact, and being present for them, making them aware that I care about them, I am there for them, I’m present right there, right here, right now. (1)

I’ve come to love myself today and it was one of the hardest thing I did. You won’t realize it, it’ll take a long time to learn this, and by the time you do, you might’ve lost several years already. I have messed up, and I will mess up again. I have hurt some people, and I will hurt again. I have failed, and I will fail again. That’s all okay, everyone does, it’s part of us, it’s what makes us human. The key is to learn from all of those experiences and move forward. Recognize your mistakes, and forgive yourself. (2)

Letting what other people think affect you and your decisions is one of the worst way to live your life. You cannot please everyone in the world, someone will always complain no matter what you do, so cherish your time and do what anything you want as long as it doesn’t affect others negatively. You are the only one that will be by your side until the very end, remember to rest enough, take good care and treat yourself well, be happy. (3)

Tomorrow is never a guarantee, one day we’ll leave this world behind, so do the things you’ve always wanted to do and pick the choices you won’t regret when confronted by yourself later on.

Live your life to your fullest, a life you will remember

See something to improve or fix? In the spirit of open-source, you can create a new issue or contribute directly to this article by sending a Pull Request on GitHub!