Looking back at the year that went by…
2017 has been interesting for more reasons than one! If I had to summarise the year in the shortest way possible, it would be “Visited 13 Indian cities and a few cities in a foreign country; Gave 32 talks on 8 different topics; 10 leisure trips with family; attended around 5 weddings; above all, watched innumerable number of movies in the theatre along with many outings with friends”.
Waking up in the morning to go to work always seemed enriching this year whether it was my previous organisation or the current one. One thing that was consistent this year was the love for the work I was doing through the day. The impact my work had for the society at large gave me a sense of gratification. Of course, work seemed less serious and more fun given that I was given the opportunity to do something that I always wanted to do and something that I loved doing.. Connecting people with technology!
Work wouldn’t have been awesome even with the most stressful days if not for my support system that I have built for myself. That includes my spouse, my family and extended family, colleagues at work and a few good old friends to share some joys and pains! They were there to give me that push when I was low, to share my highs and to twist my ear when I thought I was doing all right but I clearly had greater potential to impact.
The foreign trip was my first at work and was special for more reasons than one! Meeting Sheryl Sandberg— A moonshot dream, but sometimes dreams really do come true(Remember Shah Rukh’s Om Shanti Om dialogue?); Driving a Tesla — Did not think I would have the time to go to a showroom and drive. But it’s always a bonus when your friend owns one! Loved the feel of the vehicle while driving; Ben & Jerry’s Ice cream — This wasn’t on the list for sure but always wondered what Preity Zinta was talking about in Salaam Namaste. I am so glad that I tried it. It’s one of the BEST ice creams I have ever eaten; Meeting and talking to some amazing people whom I could have never met sitting back home; Visiting some visual treats(Yosemite National Park and the 17 mile drive) with my best pals from college; Seeing the cockpit for the first time of the biggest airplane, Airbus 380 at Dubai. That said, nothing beats ghar ke log aur khaana!
As a part of work, I got to be a part of the team’s ‘Solve for India’ campaign which gave us the opportunity to travel to some amazing cities talking to the developers on various Google technologies, meeting them and listening to their experiences and above all getting to know the realities and constraints of technology in many Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in India. The talks and meets helped me reach out to many many developers to inspire a few, educate a few and learn from many of them.
Learning various technologies for myself in the domain of my choice was something I felt really empowered about this year. There was variety and there was depth. It was fun to learn to leverage Apps Script, Pandas, Machine Learning and Tensorflow, Cloud ML and Cloud Overview, Dialogflow and Actions on Google. There is more depth to attain but the start was satisfying where I built multiple POCs on most of these technologies.
The year was a dream come true, both personally and professionally. I am not sure if that should be attributed to numerology with it being the Number ‘1’ year(2+0+1+7=1 syncs with my birthdate being 10th). But this is something for which I may wake up on January 1st 2018, pinch myself and smile that it happened :)