Mark Hernandez

Year in Review - 2018


Gatsby JS

I moved my personal site to Gatsby around February. There’s been plenty of design changes since then, but the framework still worked all the same to me. It’s been incredibly insightful in how I should organize my other projects. It’s also been a great introduction to tools like GraphQL. I’ve made a couple of mini projects with this framework with very little trouble!


Since Gatsby had a pleasant development experience, I decided to implement a GraphQL server and front-end portion using Apollo-Server and Apollo-Client, respectively. This was for a synthetic biology group to create safety diagrams. I built the whole application in less than 6 weeks!

VS Code

I moved from Atom to VS Code almost exactly a year ago. Throughout this year, I’ve enjoyed VS Code more and more. I used a lot less extensions compared to what I used in Atom, but I got way more productive afterwards with this. The Intellisense and TypeScript checking built-in made me enjoy documenting functions and methods since they provide helpful tooltips. It’d also helped with git commits and syncing with a slim git diff interface.


This is more of a recent find, for me. This has quite easily replaced LESS for my use cases. I tried to do a similar file organization with LESS, but it was tedious to go back-and-forth between that and the related React component. Styled-Components has the nesting styles feature that’s also found in LESS and SASS. With that, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else since I usually stick with React. Cascading styles have never been an issue for me, since I make sure class names are unique, but this does make it less time-consuming for solo-/mini-projects.

First Conference Attendance: NebraskaJS

I’ve watched plenty of conference talks posted on YouTube, but there’s something special about seeing the talks live. However, feelings of imposter syndrome crept up on me as the day went on. I’m pretty sure I was one of the youngest in the audience. Despite that, I did get a glimpse of where I should move my focus for future projects.

Move to Omaha

For years, I lived in Lincoln on the UNL campus. My graduation was coming up later in mid-December, so I moved in with some friends in Omaha. I was always expecting to go to Omaha, since it’s more lively and active.

Future Goals in 2019

Working Out

This isn’t a surprising goal, but it’s always good to be active. I’ve been meaning to go back to the gym, but I keep feeling so self-conscious when I arrive. I need to stop that. Who cares about whatever I’m doing there (so long as I’m not putting myself in danger)? I'm definitely going to ease that anxiety with some Discover Weekly playlists on Spotify.

More Blog Posts

Would you be surprised that I filled out at least two journals within the last four years? The entries are more for myself when I re-read them in the future. I’m going to try to write at least 1-2 posts per month with either things I’m learning or some slice of life entries. I'll find a better voice for these entries as time goes on.


I have plenty of sketchbooks, ink pens, and markers on my shelves. It’s been a long time since I used them, but I really love coming back to them every now and again. I’d like to revisit this hobby more often. At least create something beyond a sketch once a month.

Side Projects

I've made a JavaScript project generator, two gift websites for some friends, and this blog all on my free time throughout this year. That's not including development and contributions to the year-long senior design project or the safety diagram project. These side projects and other open-ended projects allow me to freely experiment with tools and formats! I'd like to continue doing so more often. There are new libraries and releases being developed, and I would like to at least play around with them.