2022: Pain, growth and programming

2022 was tough but in a good way. 2022 was all about growth. I was fortunate enough to find support and help when I needed it the most. 2022 was also the year I decided to pursue programming after a very traumatic experience with a startup left me with a fear of failure. 2022 was the year of taking the leap of faith.

I did my CS in 2018. Due to health reasons and clinical depression, I couldn't work in an intense environment. I already had a poor experience with a toxic startup. So, I started my career as an implementation analyst. After losing my father in Dec 2020, and being responsible for the household for almost 1 year, last year in April I went through burnout and got my diagnosis after 8 years of struggle with anxiety, osteoporosis and depression. I was dead from the inside. I turned into a zombie. It was bad. My mother and doctor were worried.

My current organisation is pretty open and has a healthy culture. I reached out to the HR in my company and asked to switch to an SE role in April 2022. Considering my track record, they were kind enough to let me take this step. I started my training in Python and Django which lasted for the next 6 months. Amazing experience. Quite satisfying compared to implementation and customer success.

Python is probably the easiest programming language of modern times. I have had the privilege of programming in MIPS, C/C++, Java and JavaScript along with Python. Out of all the languages, Python has probably the most linear learning curve. Python also does a good job of being eloquent and to the point. Maybe that's not how other people see it.

I still remember to this day what I studied in my first programming class back in 2014. Formal parameters get replaced by actual parameters when a function is called. I had the privilege of studying with great teachers. Some of them have now moved on from my university and settled abroad due to a lack of focus on improving the Computer Science program at the university and overall infrastructure.

I am most inspired by Tron: Legacy.

"The Grid: A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they moved through the computer. What do they look like? Ships, motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I'd never see."

One of the best intros ever.

And then the most powerful line in the movie drops, "In there is a new world. In there is our destiny."

I get goosebumps when I hear that line.

After my training, I was told to look for an SE role within the current organisation. My current TL approved of the decision and involved HR. In the meantime, I spent a lot of time on the r/cscareerquestions sub, Blind and Discord, trying to understand how to pitch myself. These communities are kind of toxic but not for those who have seen the absolute bottom. I was at rock bottom. All the mean comments did not matter.

I started doing Leetcode and Hackerank. I made a list of important posts from this sub and followed the Blind 75 author for designing my study guide. I am currently going through it but it seems like I don't need it now.

On the Open Source front, I am quite active in Python's community and have a small PR to my name. I also did Advent of Code which improved my problem-solving skills and familiarity with Python.

I got a message from HR last month that they found a position for me in a small team that's working on an LMS based on Moodle. While it's a position for PHP and JavaScript, I am quite excited. I started on 16th January 2023 with the new team.