The path foward: 2020 to 2021

This is my first time writing a blog in retrospect. As much as I want to look back and reflect on the year before. I also want to look forward and have some sort of goals for the year ahead.

2020

Travel

I like to travel. While this was one of the worst years to do so, I had my share of travel.

I started the year with a trip to Thailand, which was part of the yearly offsite we had at my previous company Springboard. While it was technically a work trip, we did end up taking a few days off to explore.

I was pleasantly surprised by what Thailand had to offer. Coming from the tech capital of India (Bangalore), I found Bangkok miles ahead in terms of infrastructure and development.

The city was vibrant and clean, with scenic beaches and nature at a short distance from the capital.

Thailand picture

Germany

At the start of the year, my wife and I were living on our own. Increased restrictions and imposed lockdowns led us to move in with our parents and periodically living with both sides of the family.

Germany picture

After a long wait, we finally got our VISA to move to Berlin towards the end of September. We moved in October, moving in between the pandemic brought with it a lot of uncertainty, but we decided to make the best of the situation and took the plunge.

Germany has been in a lockdown ever since we’ve landed which means, apart from groceries and occasional visits to the bank and government offices, we haven’t been able to explore the city much.

Job

One of our goals - my wife and I - was to move out of India, explore and experience different countries and cultures, and have some fun while we are at it.

I was working at Springboard at that moment. I applied to a few companies in Singapore, Berlin, and Amsterdam. We finally zeroed in on Delivery Hero in Berlin and I have been working for them since July 2020.

It was a great change of environment for me. I loved the team at Springboard and really enjoyed my time there. But I also got a bit too comfortable and settled into the job.

The job change provided new challenges and learning opportunities for me which would only help me grow as a developer. The hardest part though was being onboarded remotely. Due to the lockdown and restrictions, I still haven’t met my team. It’s sometimes hard to relate that there are real people behind those virtual faces.

Personal Development

On a whole, there wasn’t much on the side of personal development this year. I think I spent a lot of time/energy on changing countries and jobs. Which didn’t leave me with a lot to work on the personal front.

However, I’ve made a promise to myself to blog more frequently managed to keep it. I hope to take this forward into this year, seek feedback, and improve on my blogging skills.

2021 Looking forward

The goal for this year, in a nutshell, would be

See projects to fruition and double down on having a strong knowledge base.

Travel

Travel goals for the year:

  1. Explore Berlin and all that it has to offer
  2. Cycle outside the city and venture into the rural zones
  3. Explore at least one other city in Germany
  4. Travel to at least two other countries in Europe. Currently, I’m thinking about Croatia and Greece.

Job

I must admit being a Senior Developer in a company such as Delivery Hero has caused me to face some sort of imposter syndrome. I’m overwhelmed by the interactions I have with people here and at times feel like I am an imposter amidst a group of very talented developers.

My plan for working around this is to perhaps set some goals for myself corresponding to the role and if I can achieve those targets it would mean that I am worthy of the role.

I also want to be involved in discussions a lot more, may it be within my sub-team or outside of it.

Personal Development

There’s a bunch of things I want to work on. First priority being the completion of projects started. Additionally, I want to get out of my comfort zone and involve myself in the community.

  1. Continue to be consistent with my blog posts
  2. Finish the Eudyptula challenge. The challenge consists of 20 exercises to get an introduction to Linux kernel development. I’m on task 20, which is the last task in the challenge, I’ve been putting it off for around a year now. I think it’s time to complete it. Deadline: Jan 21.
  3. Finish the Matasano challenge. The challenge consists of 8 sets of challenges each with a list of tasks to help understand and learn cryptography. I had completed set 6 the last time I attempted it. But this was a while ago and I plan to redo the entire challenge to refresh my memory. Deadline: Mar 21.
  4. Give 1 talk at a local meetup or conference. Deadline: July 21.
  5. Give 1 talk at a regional conference. Deadline: Dec 21

All in all, I’m really excited to start this year!