2020 year in review

Joao Garin

Joao Garin / December 30, 2020

6 min read––– views


2020 was a strange year, no doubt about it. But all in all I have to say I am pretty happy looking back here at the end and seeing that despite all the challenging situations the year turned out to be not bad at all from a personal and professional point of view.


I will start with personal because this year, strange as it might seem, was way more challenging on a personal level than on a professional level.

New year, new home

In 2019 we started doing construction on a house to move to in the beginning of 2020, this was a serious underestimation and we are only now moving in. December 31 is the official day we move in (I am already writing this from our new house). Everything that could have gone wrong in this project did go wrong, it costed more time, more money and a LOT of worry and stress. From floor problems, to roof problems, having to switch contractors and a lot more I am just so relieved to see us finally moving in and getting this project finished. Moving in means that we now have our own place, as home-people that we are this means we can do little changes to our house and all kinds of things that in a rented house we just never felt comfortable doing. And this is a family house and not just a house we bought on the market so that makes it even more special!


Our kids keep growing super healthy, funny, and happy and it's just a tremendous privilege to be surrounded by them and my lovely partner every day. We did have a lot of family issues but they are a little too personal for my blog so let's just leave it at that there were a lot of ups and a lot of downs as well (corona related and not) in our family. But so is life, we must go on and cherish every time we have with every single person in our family (which is a lot of people fortunately).

Public speaking

I could consider this work, but I guess I don't. This was a milestone of me personally and even though it is a bit “workish” I will put it here as a personal moment. I did a talk in DrupalCon Europe on visual regression testing, a topic I have fallen a bit in love with the last year or so, and was really excited. This was my first ever real talk in a conference (of course this year remote), and very fitting that this conference was Drupal related, a technology / framework / CMS that has given me so much. I hope I get to do more soon, hopefully also some in-person when they get back.


Professionally my year was quite busy but I think it went pretty smooth mostly due to my awesome employer jobiqo. I really can’t be grateful enough , especially in a year like this one, to have the incredible team and people who work with me at jobiqo. It looked like this was just a regular busy year for us. We launched a lot of projects, new markets, new hires, you name it. All during a pandemic year, cheers to all of you!

New technology in next gen jobiqo

I have been working a lot in jobiqo in a future version of our job boards which has new technology, new methodologies, it's just been a lot of fun working with some of the things I absolutely love to work with such as React, Nextjs, Design systems and storybook, visual testing and of course, Drupal.

New company

My tax was getting complicated and with my partner also starting to do her own work independently I opened my second company (first was Wezards in around 2010) this time with her and it is called “NEVIN” (Neves + Garin our last names, super original). This is not huge and doesn’t change a lot our normal lives, for her she can work a bit more freely and for me it's really nothing new, I work exclusively for jobiqo but being remote I do have my tax in Portugal and this opens up some possibilities.

Side projects

I have been doing a project with my sister for a management solution for ambulatory vets called Haynet and even though it's not “My” project I do some work on it and it is a great opportunity for experimenting with new technology, or play around with ideas I might have that if work well I can then pitch to jobiqo. I have always had side projects at least since 2014 or so, and even though I don’t think they are a necessity for Developers it's nice to have something “real” and do some experimentation but also really do real business that then you can apply some of those learnings in your main work (being that support, client communication or just pitching ideas and projects). It just has been a great asset and even though in terms of side projects 2020 was not super active (I did most of the year not do any side work due to the house) I plan to do more in 2021.


I know we have all been hearing that 2020 is horrible please just end it etc etc, I am naturally quite happy going into 2021 but also looking back at 2020 I feel like if we did this much in a year like this one we are going into next years stronger than ever.

I totally empathise with everyone who had a challenging year and where things did indeed go very horrible, but for me personally I think this was an interesting year, at the very least, because it pushed some new boundaries on us as Humans, friends, family, and as coworkers and I feel on my circle at least we did rise to the occasion, exceptionally well I might add.

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