March 4, 2021

Co-Authored Book: How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin

The book I have co-authored, How to Build Android Apps with Kotlin, has finally beeen published last month. I have been writing blogs and tech articles for a while now but this is the first time for me to write a book. We have worked on this for months and it's feels great that it's now out for everyone to read and learn from.

With the book, you can build your knowledge, skills, and confidence by working on realistic examples, practical exercises, and challenging activities. If you want to learn Android app development with Kotlin, you can check out our book which is available on Packt and on Amazon.

December 31, 2020

Top 20 for 2020

It has been a very challenging year. The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot of things. We've been fortunate that Celine and I still have our jobs and that we continue working from home. There has been some losses and gains that are actually losses but I always look on the bright side of things. Here are 20 of my personal highlights for 2020.

Tigcal Apps and Projects

* In June, we released Sweldong Pinoy for Self-Employed Individuals. Now, self-employed users can choose "Self-Employed Individual" in the employment type and the app will compute the contributions for SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG Fund, tax, and other contributions, and your net pay.


sweldongpinoy.com updated with computations for Self-Employed

* We have updated Budget Pinoy for Everyone. Users can now choose their employment type and the app will update the deductions and asking rate based on their selection.


budgetpinoy.com on mobile browser with the employment type drop-down<

* The new Thirteenth Month was released in time for the holiday season. Users can now input their salaries from January to December to compute their thirteenth month pay. If they have the same salary for the year, they can select "My salary is the same for the whole year" and provide the salary, starting/ending week/month.


You can now provide your salaries per month or select My salary is the same for the whole year

* Contributions for SSS and PhilHealth will be increasing for 2021. Sweldong Pinoy and Budget Pinoy were updated to use the new contribution rates for 2021. In the initial release, we added a dropdown so you can choose the current (2020) or upcoming (2021) rates.


Sweldong Pinoy for 2021

* A new update to the Google Chrome Extension for Google Developer Group (GDG) Philippines (version 3.1) was released. This includes adding events tab to display events from the Meetup Page, updating GDG logo, updating links, and removing blog and video tabs.

* I spent some time updating the Android app. The new version has 100% Kotlin and Dark Theme. I also used Retrofit, Coroutines, and ViewModel to fetch the events from the Meetup API. Other changes include the Dark Theme and updates to chapter links.

Tech Writing

* I continued working on the Android writing gig I started year. I was assigned two more chapters and worked on revisions and other feedback.

* I started writing technical stuff again and published three new posts on Medium. Two of them, Opting in Existing Apps to Google Play App Signing and Managing Android Studio with the Toolbox App were accepted on the ProAndroidDev publication.

* The Opting in Existing Apps to Google Play App Signing post also got featured in Medium's Android Development page

Continuous Learning

* I have created a Google Developer (google.dev) Profile this year. With the profile, developers can learn about Google technologies through various pathways. A pathway contains an ordered collection of videos, codelabs, and articles about a specific topic. Finishing pathways can sometimes give you a badge. Since June, I have earned 28 badges.

* I've been learning some French using the Duolingo app for a while. I'm already on a 1290-day streak and 740 crowns.

* I discovered French in Action. It was old but it teaches French in a very different way so I watched all 52 episodes.

* I registered and joined Kotlin Heroes: Episode 4 on May 29. Kotlin Heroes is a programming competition from JetBrains (creator of Kotlin) and CodeForces. I solved 2 of the 9 problems.



* Kotlin Heroes 5: ICPC Round was held on November 12. I joined again and managed to solve 3 of the 10 problems this time. Kotlin Heroes is a programming competition from JetBrains (creator of Kotlin) and CodeForces.

* I have been listening on some podcasts like Developer Tea, Soft Skills Engineering, and Android Backstage. For these three, I have already listened to more than half of their episodes. There are also some other podcasts I listen to but I only choose the episodes that sounds relevant to me.

* Last January, I joined the Flutter Clock Challenge. Flutter Clock is a skills-based contest offered by Google, including participation by the Flutter, Google Assistant, and Lenovo teams that challenges you to use Flutter to build a clock face application. I am not that familiar with Flutter but I spent a few hours making a very simple clock.

Personal

* GDG Philippines invited me as the speaker for their Android 11 Meetup. The event, streamed live on YouTube and Facebook, was the first time for me to do an online talk.



* I was hoping to run more this year but I have not been able to do that. However, I ran at least once a month, with a minimum of 10 kilometers per run.

* I received a new badge on Github called Arctic Code Vault Contributor. Some of the repositories I contributed to have been included in the 2020 Github Archive Program.

* Doing nothing during the early days of staying at homw was tiring! I was watching a few clips from Just for Laughs and discovered their official channel. I set a goal of watching all of their best gags. After accomplishing that, I became motivated to work on my personal projects again.

To 2021 and beyond!

I'm looking forward to next year! It's going to be a great year.

November 14, 2020

Kotlin Heroes 5

Last May, I joined Kotlin Heroes: Episode 4. Kotlin Heroes is a programming competition from JetBrains (creator of Kotlin) and CodeForces. The challenge is to use Kotlin in solving as many problems in two and a half hours.

The next edition of Kotlin Heroes, Kotlin Heroes 5: ICPC Round, was held on November 12. I registered again for this round. My goal was to solve at least two problems like my previous result. I solved 3 of the 10 problems.