I've been meaning to write this piece for a while, and today, I am finally making time to turn my thoughts into words. Call it procrastination if you want, but I needed a clear mind to write this particular article.
Yes, 2022 was another year of massive change! 2022 taught me a lot of things. I experienced failure and success, learned about myself, learned about humans, made new friends, and changed jobs. The list is inexhaustive. I'll try to cover most of it as a memoir for my future self.
Do you remember the feeling of leaving your first job? I still remember I was terrified. Working at n8n as a Junior Developer Advocate was my first full-time job! It was an opportunity that helped me get into Developer Relations, relocate to a new continent, and grow.
I enjoyed working with the team at n8n. I loved (and still do!) the product. But it was time to move on.
In mid-April, I joined Contentful as a Developer Advocate. Moving from a small startup to a bigger one was a different adventure altogether! I got to learn so much, and it wasn't just about the product or DevRel, but about how big startups function. I will not get into it in this article. I'll save it for some other time.
However, one thing I learned is that vacations are very powerful. Taking a break helps in clearing your mind and recharging yourself. Before joining Contentful, I took a short vacation and went on a hiking trip. It was one of the best decisions I've made. The time away from my machines, out in nature, with a few strangers - was just what I needed before starting a new adventure.
Making new friends
If you ever plan to move to a new country or even a city where you hardly know anyone, let me tell you this - making new friends is HARD. 2022 was the year when I completed a year of living in Berlin, and I hardly made new friends.
But things changed on that hiking trip! I made some amazing friends with whom I share the same energy (although they're older than me :P). I also made friends at work!
2022 was the year when one of my closest friends from India moved to Berlin. Berlin started to feel more like home and didn't feel like the strange city it did when I first moved in 2021.
It was also the year when I got to travel a lot! Although most of the travel was for work, I am still grateful. It allowed me to meet my internet friends in person and make new friends too. It didn't matter if I was at a conference or exploring a city on a guided tour, I met some great folks and made friends in different cities.
All I ask from 2023 is to allow me to continue this journey of meeting people!
Getting back on the stage and delivering my first keynote
In-person conferences, events, and meetups returned in 2022. And with in-person conferences returning to life, my speaking opportunities got a life back as well!
I got the opportunity to share my knowledge with the community. I shared my experience and some new ideas and talked about the projects I've built and the lessons I've learned from them. The most memorable was the opportunity to deliver a keynote at GitHub Field Day UK. Thanks to Juan Pa for recommending me, and the Field Day team for trusting me and giving me the opportunity. Maybe I should add "Keynote Speaker" in my resume now!
Learning more about myself
2022 became the year when I decided to move out of my old apartment and live alone. It was a decision I made for various reason, and I am glad that I did!
When people learn that I live alone, I always get the question - do you not feel lonely? I honestly have not found an answer to that. Yes, at times it feels lonely. But most of the time, I am occupied with something or other - working on a side project, cooking, hanging out with friends, or volunteering as a teacher.
The alone time has taught me a lot of things about myself. It is helping me become a better version of myself. I am using this time to work on myself, try out new things, and learn from my failures.
While 2022 was full of small and big wins, there were some lessons along the way. Like everyone, I experienced rejection. I applied to various organizations for the role of Developer Advocate and got rejected. Yes, it was upsetting. But the support from my parents and friends helped me a lot.
I also got rejections for my CFP application from various conferences. There were a few conferences that I really wanted to attend, but my call for paper/proposal (CFP) didn't get accepted. However, this experience helped me get better at CFP writing and made me more confident.
Well, 2022 was a joyful ride. There were challenges and failures, but they just made me stronger. And I enjoyed every bit of it. I am grateful that I got to travel and explore various cities and cultures, meet people, and help make a little impact on society. I have stepped in 2023 with a lot of positive energy, and I hope you have a wonderful 2023.
Some useless, but mandatory 2022 stats:
- Gave talk at 6 conferences
- Explored 24 cities
- Hosted my first Twitter Space (check it out here)
- Got back to Live Streaming
- Got invited to my first podcast - Creating GitHub Wrap with n8n, Cloudflare and Cloudinary - DevJams Episode #10
- Delivered my first non-technical talk - Am I ready for the professional world?
- Got my first GitHub Sponsor
- Collaborated for the Learn with Jason live stream - What Can You Automate With n8n?