2017 in Retrospect…

Olúwafúnmitọ́ Blessed O.
5 min readJan 4, 2018
Random pictures from the year. Top-Left: Me during a recruitment exercise in Nasarawa State. Top-Right: During a recruitment exercise in Kwali, FCT. Bottom-Left: In Gusau, Zamfara state during the International Youth Day event. Bottom-Middle: One of those work days upgrading office workstations. Bottom-Right: During GDGFest North Central 2017 in Abuja.

Since 2011, I have consistently done a retrospective review at the end of each year, though I have kept them off the net in the last 5 years. I tend to consider myself as a very private person and hardly ever see the need to share my experiences with people even though I always write about them. Publishing this year’s writing was largely inspired by Amarachi’s review post a few days ago. So if you are interested, here goes my 2017.

Generally speaking, 2017 was a really exciting and interesting year. Considering I really did not set out at the beginning of the year with any vivid plans in mind (I was new to Abuja and to my work and was more or less open to whatever life threw at me), it turned our way better than I ever imagined.


This was undeniably one of the best part of my year. I started out in the first week of January as an ICT support personnel on VSO Nigeria’s Improving Market Access for the Poor (IMA4P) project, facilitating digital literacy training to some of our primary actors and supporting office staff and volunteers with all their technical and IT related issues. My role later expanded to include monitoring and evaluation, project data management and leading the implementation of mechanization on the project. I was exposed, learnt a lot about life and was challenged to find new ways of getting things done.


As a Tech Enthusiast, it was only natural for me to be a part to the Tech ecosystem. I learnt about and worked with new technologies I only knew about at the start of the year.

Python: Applying to Andela forced me to learn and even though I couldn’t complete the home study, it was great learning.

Android/Java: I learnt to build basic android applications, thanks to Andela and Google.

Git/Github: I got to understand repositories and made my first contribution to open source.

Courses & Community.

I took a number of courses this year which opened my eyes to a lot of new things.

  • Andela Android Learning Community 1.0 powered by Google and Udacity.
  • YALI’s Understanding Human Rights
  • GenderHub’s Moving beyond stereotyping.
  • LinkedIn Learning’s IT security foundations.
  • freeCodeCamp: Joined the FCC community and started the front-end web development certification course.

Reading and Learning.


I read a lot of books this year, spanning very different genres and themes: business and finance, entrepreneurship, IT, psychology, and even some fiction. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Blue — Nick Page
  • Slipstream Time Hacking — Benjamin P. Hardy
  • Man’s search for meaning — Victor Frankl
  • The Richest man in Babylon — George S. Clason
  • The 5 second rule — Mel Robbins
  • Who moved my cheese — Spencer Johnson
  • Millennium Trilogy (The Girl series Novel) — Stieg Larsson


I accidentally stumbled on Medium early in the year and it literally changed my way of thinking. I just had to make it a part of my daily routine. Some of my favorite articles this year were from Quincy Larson, Benjamin P. Hardy, Darius Foroux, Thomas Oppong, Todd Brison to name a few.


I found and downloaded the Free Dictionary App which I think is a really great app everyone should have on their phone. I reached a 200-day learning streak on this app in 2017 and do hope to continue this way in 2018.


I had no aim of writing this year (aside from my daily journaling routine) but I was able to write and publish 3 articles.

I had a lot more in drafts which didn’t get published.

Life and Travel.

Life was quite good as I had to travel almost every other week due to the nature of my work. I travelled to Niger, Plateau, Sokoto, Zamfara, Kaduna, Nasarawa, and Lagos states, most of them for the first time. I also met with a lot of awesome inspiring people and made new friends.


2018 is here. One of the most astounding truths I learnt last year is that setting goals can be counter productive if the goals aren’t backed by related habits. So this new year, I am hoping to develop habits that will enable me learn as much as I can, develop professionally and do the things I am most passionate about. Some ideas I have:

  • Learn and Master new technologies. I’m looking forward to being a part of the Andela Learning Community powdered by Microsoft and contributing more to the tech ecosystem through writing, speaking and contributing to open source projects.
  • Read more books than I did last year by reading everyday.
  • Travel more.
  • Continue to give back to my society.
  • Possibly get started with that PhD.
  • Be excellent. Every. Single. Day.
  • Remain my humble self.
  • Last but not the least, Walk with God.

P.S: Big hugs to my family, all my friends and some special persons who made 2017 what it was — awesome. I do pray this new year will bring us all closer to one another and to our dreams. Oluwatobiloba, Lucia, Olubamise, Jennifer, K.C., Amanda, henrietta, Preye, Amarachi, Soibifaa, Promise, Mariam, thank you for making 2017 great for me. Let us rock 2018 together!



Olúwafúnmitọ́ Blessed O.

Educator || Youth Development Advocate || Technology Solutions Provider. I train, teach, mentor, and consult on making the best of technology.