I can scratch the surface on many topics, but I'm hardly an expert on anything. People have complimented my English writing skills though! And I'm also an expert on bugging people when I get stuck, but is that really a skill?
I don't think of "hacking" the way most people do. People say "I spent the weekend coding for my Raspberry Pi". Arduinos? Raspberry Pis? What are those, ice cream flavors?
No, I prefer simpler stuff but that still keeps me motivated. I maintain an open source project called Node Cognitive Services, which is nothing else but a wrapper over an API. It's kind of a funny story, actually, how I became a maintainer of it. You can read the details in my blog post. But in short, I went from submitting a PR, to becoming a contributor, to seeing the library being used by Microsoft :)
I also maintain a smaller library that came to be when an mobile app I used to develop had a massive production bug.
My Stack Overflow reputation! 8600 and counting ;) - Actually, I'm in the top 50 of my country - Argentina!. It's actually not that hard to reach that number... you give a couple of good answers and people will vote on it every now and then. Fun fact, my top three answers all contain drawings. I guess people do prefer visual over text!
Since I'm allowed to brag here, I can say I also feel very proud of myself. I worked for a startup that failed, became unemployed, and was rejected by many renowned companies (one even after the first interview...). But then, after a stroke of good luck (it was definitely not because of my interviewing skills), I was offered a job as an SDE in Amazon and moved to Vancouver, and ever since I arrived here I've been... how do I put this? Living the dream!
I love the feeling of "a-ha" that you get when you've been banging your head against the wall for an hour and finally figure out what is wrong with your code. I also love it when people appreciate your work, and giving back to the community just feels awesome.
Work-wise, I admire Scott Hanselman because he's an awesome speaker, I like his blog, and he just seems like a very nice guy. I also admire my old and current coworkers because I learn from them every day.
Music-wise, I admire Shania Twain. I love her music, she's beautiful, and her story is so sad yet so inspiring. I cannot wait to see her live in two months!
Everything-else wise, I admire anyone who takes a risk.
- Don't be discouraged if companies reject you. It's just a sign that you need to keep learning.
- Contribute to open source. Even if your pull request is just fixing a typo, it matters.
- Enjoy life! You don't have to code after work. So don't feel that you "have to" work on side projects. Coding is a mentally draining activity and if you do it too much you'll begin to hate it. Go outside during the weekends, read a book, ride your bike.