2016 year, saved me. 2016 year also dug its fingers hard into my shoulders and jolted me with unexpected events. 2016, gave me friends and mentors I’d cherish for life, friends who made it fun to indulge in a 9 - 6 job, mentors who’d make it worthwhile of the effort.

I guess 10th January, 2016 was my first project, first day. I was scared of the documentation of the IEA front end framework (our project) that a bunch of us were handed over before we were scheduled for the project.

Team People

Rishabh and I weren’t selected for it, but the two of the four that were, left the company for better salaries in between. Both of them had pretty genuine reasons to take the lucrative, none of them wanted to work corely in technology. So I wouldn’t judge them. But if both of them had chucked out because of better tech opportunities, I’d have judged them. Only in this year, I realised, a product is because of its team. They missed some pretty experienced, friendly faces, which I’m surely going to miss now.

When I see behind, I was very afraid of getting things wrong, or not knowing something. I already had a predefined image of working in companies and projects, you do something which you are responsible for wrong, you are butchered. Which wasn’t in any way close in the projects.

But during the training period, I certainly rightfully felt so, we were under pressured deadlines, bunch of nobodys expected to write production ready, clean code, which we collectively were able to produce to much extent. I was afraid that I was being tested for something that I would have liked to learn for the sake and interest of it, rather than for passing tests, and people’s opinions of ourselves.

Some people like to remain quiet. I like to remain quiet because I do not like pretending anymore. I used to pretend a lot, so much so, that I heard one of my most closest relative speak of me as a person who just speaks and doesn’t do it. So trust me that I speak the truth.

Some people like to just work their asses out the best of them to be the best and obviously, everybody likes the best. But I question myself how one can be satisfied with something which has no needful impact in people’s lives. I’m not judging anything. I’m questioning no one in particular. What is it of being involved in the embrace of everybody’s liked progress bars, that it can even defer our conscious mind and effort? But then again, I think it’s subjective. For what is the right use of a particular skill set and talent for on, shouldn’t necessarily be that exact same opinion, of somebody with the exact same skill set and talents.

And there are people who very naturally want to show what they are capable of just because they are capable of it. Being liked comes along the way. I get jealous of both of these types, and I fight hard not to be. For years I lamented not being patted on the back for anything, because I really didn’t do anything. When I got this job, my father was the first one I told it to. He said Okay in response, which was not a big deal, since I wasn’t much excited for I hadn’t prepared for it, but still I had gotten it. I’ve taken small steps in this past year, but I’m still three steps away from making difference on my terms.

Talking about making difference. This leaving of my first job, as much as it’s emotional for me, is also relieving to some extent as well, although I haven’t told this to many people. I’ve to write much about being emotional and being thankful, so I’ll get done with the relieved part quickly.

  1. My idea of working, is that people look upto me after years, and I be in the list of inspirations, just like many of the people I’ve on my list. Working for big brands doesn’t exactly align me towards that. I want to make people’s lives better, and those whose lives actually need to get better. Brands aren’t those people. I figured I’m young and I still have time to do that, no matter if this opportunity is coming as a side effect of the reason I’m leaving the company, and not as a primary intention.

  2. (Personal Opinion): Somewhat weirdly distributed fame projections, ranging from an SME who barely came once to help us during our training period, and got an award for it, to people working their asses off on and off projects and not being pushed up at the speed they deserve (no I’m not talking about myself).

  3. It feels like a last night fight working for a service project. It’s okay that one can make clients happy by surpassing their expectations, and build a reputation of doing so, but working like last night fights of engineering exams is frightening for me. Now by last night fights, I do not mean lack of time, but the pace with which we have to study, sometimes cramming the solution to the problems without understanding the problem/question in hand at first place. There’s no core learning and understanding of computation and programming principles, just applications of some of them, which is, to be fair, a little disheartening for me. I’m not driven my appreciation, fame or money, and I don’t think I ever will be able to. But the only service project that I ended up working in would help me meet wonderful people, of some I’ll talk about in a while. And not to mention, I hadn’t worked on CSS at all after the training, this project helped me kick right back in.

  4. As much as frontend is fun, I would want to venture into the world of data processing in the backend, and infrastructure.

Now the being thankful part, and not necessarily in order.

Rishabh, gave me a hand in css, when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing here, and I was about to burst of overthinking and made up stress (what might be stressful for one, because of the importance it holds to do and learn things right, maybe casual for somebody who’d want to solve a problem, without actually understanding it, oh yes! that happens a lot in software industry. If you ask me, most of the developers have that problem solving approach). The guy who presented abof as a case study at JSFoo 2016 was one of them, either that, or he got really nervous/overconfident on stage.

Anusheel, who was a spectacular show off for sometime in my mind in retrospect, came to become a wonderful friend, and I rightfully deciphered the apparent showing off as being confident and not being shy about it.

I wasn’t around Ashok much. I think he wasn’t necessarily very confident about my opinions for no particular reason (again, I might be wrong), but was confident most of the times of the execution of my task given in hand. Most of all, he’s definitely one of the few tech managers in the company, who actually codes and do not let excuses get a chance to help him get sloppy, which is wonderful to witness.

I’d like to thank Sunil for his tremendous support for everything, for giving me the opportunity to work on the framework and watching everybody in the team as equals. He felt like a friend and a father. If I ever get a chance, I’d definitely like to work with him again, given my opinions of the utility of talent don’t come in way. But for now, it’s on and I’ll talk about it, in this rant somewhere later (or have I already?)

The person because of whom, I’ve managed to buck myself up this much is Vidhya. I can’t stress enough of the contributions she has made in my first year of career, and I’ll be always grateful for her selfless acts of helping out of the way, keeping team always laughing and engaging in fun pranks, answering each and every query no matter about what. I’ll always remember her more than anybody else. I haven’t met or talked to her since very long, I hope I get to say her goodbye properly.

Shafeeq has always been a superstar in the hands of himself, meaning that I don’t know if he does what he does for being known around (which is a good thing by the way), but I definitely know that he enjoys the aha moments of technology. I know because I get excited about stuff as much as he does, and it’s really very exciting. But lately I’ve come to realise that at least I, am surfing at the surface of water where magpie developers surf, attracted by latest technology spun out by big companies, without knowing the basics. Jeff Atwood, the creator of atwood’s law namely

Any application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript.

is the co founder of Stackoverflow, and now Discourse. But did you know he has always had worked in Microsoft technologies, so much so that much of the backend services of stackoverflow are written in .NET ? Only now he has left it behind, and uses ruby on rails and ember for discourse. He writes, why here.

This is one of the reasons I’ve been reading more code than writing. It helps me understand a problem statement before I madly start stackoverflowing about it or worse, something that has abstracted it away. And worse is, opinions about technology aren’t a star mark heavily upvoted answer anywhere. I got to know how routers are made by actually reading about it/watching not very mainstream videos. I couldn’t understand it if I kept myself head in heads of using React or Backbone router mindlessly.

Shafeeq works hard, parties hard, which is good and awesome. The nights we spent late watching react conf videos, drooling over immutable data structure rewrites of arrays/lists, were the nights I’ll remember of him. And not to mention his every grinning smile.

Pinky has been up with the most needed tasks and finished them in time. She’s very meticulous, perhaps was the most in the team. And also perhaps most under-recognized team player despite sapient tool recognitions. I’ve not seen somebody working so humbly. Thank you for being there everytime Rishab and I needed you, or for that matter the entire team.

Abraham is the guy after Vidhya, who has silently given support to everybody. When I started reading DExA’s code, I’d keep bugging him for the things I didn’t understand (which was pretty much everything). Everything was new to me, singletons, classes, abstractions, nodejs, and what not. I’d get impatient and go straight to him to understand it. He’d patiently send me back sometimes and ask me to spend a little more time to understand it. Best advice I took. He’s the reason I’m comfortable reading code patiently now. Thank you Abraham for being a wonderful mentor for over a year.

Dhani bhai was like a big brother all along. His presence was an instant sad mood killer. His voice itself echoed Yo Bro, what’s up kinda vibe. We shared, we shared well. He understands things.

Prashant Baid, is a fascinating guy, more than anything else, he’s curious and humble. I first saw him when Elan showcased the music box app during the tech friday, where he was accidentally addressed as Junior Associate, instead of Associate. I’d remember the night of the movie in office, wonderful wonderful night. I don’t think the ones who were there talked about it much. But it was a really special night. He writes really interesting blogposts, and he should write more of them, more often. Oddly enough more than Shafeeq or Anusheel, it was him I got most comfortable with in a given time. We had had really interesting conversations, and I continue to look forward for more.

Namrata was the sweetest of all. With the old songs on the bike, and her awesome doodling talent, I became good friends with her. We went to see Jeffrey Archer together, went on a bike trip along with Abin Pal - thebongboy, Ashutosh, Abhijeet and Yash bhai. It was a good ride.

Elan and Prashant Bhaduria put in me a part of them, their vigour, to teach share and be excited about and taking charge of things. Elan’s daily doses of knowledge, no matter short lived, before he went off to London, were massive in the game of mentors. When I’m stuck in life in general, or in the code somewhere, Prashant’s thought has been able to get me going a couple of times.

Yash was always outspoken, tinkering with things, wonderful person that could keep you up on Saturdays to execute an idea, only if you had a decent will to do so. I’ll remember every React Redux and other conversations we had. Too interesting to forget just like that.

NChaugTalks was always lovely, passionate about what she was responsible for and wanted to do, sometimes hard on herself, but in a goodway, the way I’m going to me hard on myself in terms of habit and routine. She’s polygot in terms of technology, so are Yash, and PB. And she is the only person that I know that sometimes actively feel at stretch, limited by not exploring things other than just web dev.

I met Abhijeet chalte firte. He kept teasing Rishabh, before you knew it, I hit him hard on his bum chalte firte, that’s how I got to know him. We went on one bike trip, boy it was a good one. He shared some things on the way, I’m glad he shared them with me.

I was so inspired by Suvarna that I stayed night tried to copy paste stuff and make a good farewell online (beware it’s not responsive) card sorta thing, because I’d forgot to bring an actual one, which I was liable for in the team. Just one look of her back straighened up on the chair could make you sit upright on your chair and work.

Subin was my new Manager after Ashok. He’s a wonderful team player, very vigilant, professional, caring for his team mates, and always up for getting things done right. I’m very grateful for him, for being very appreciative of everything. I couldn’t have had a better second project Manager, I’m sure. And he’s a wonderful photographer.

Trinadh has been very helpful. No matter what, he’d ensure that I understood the task in hand properly before I started working on it. So everytime he’d explain me things, which’d involve a sequence of number of steps to follow, he’d pragmatically jot down all those subtask todos in order, and send it over office IM, before I’d even reach to my seat back. Very soft spoken, and a very practical and fun loving person.

Sagar, right from when we were porting components, was always cool and chilling. He has the habit of keeping everybody smiling and laughing.

Ankita talks like someone I know in my memory but am not able to remember who. Her inclusion of team, talks around, worth ethic, I’d remember.

When I’d be off for some reasons Priyanka’s lovely long hair would just rush every sad/dejected feeling out of the mind and body.

Short conversations with Bharti about Career and Life, and her encouragements would be remembered.

Off Team Peeps

Vinci, was a ray of hope of absolute confidence and humility combined. He was just like yoda but speaking tech stuff and encouraging others like anything. I’m a fan.

I’d like to provide my gratitude to Nisheed for understanding the weird cause of sudden departure from the company, and his ever fresh face and his enthu on doing and learning and teaching things.

Madhav, and all other SMEs who helped us learn a lot during the training, our achievements, whatever they are, would not have been possible without you people, at all.

Shardul, for being ever confident, and eloquent fella about what he wanted to communicate, and with style!

My June XT Batch, Bangalore wouldn’t have been what it is without you peeps. I owe my time in Bangalore’s awesomeness to you. I’ve to write a separate post for you like I did after the end of training.

Harish Kulur, who was one year senior to us, took our backbone training, he’s a super quick learner. Boy! His calmness and coolness give me chills, he’s the coolest person I’ve met.

If I’ve left someone please comment below, and I’ll include you from my memories, here!

What Sapient Gave me:

  1. The courage to do what I want. I was intimidated by friends, people who know more, are doing better, both knowledge and money wise. Yes I’m afraid, but not like that anymore. I know I’ve talents, I know I can nourish them, put to use, and I know I will. One year back I couldn’t have said that. Because it was beyond me that time, that I need to work, and not loiter around time.

  2. Friends cum colleagues, I’ll remain friends with for a long time.

  3. XT Summit and Javascript Meetup were the best things that happened to me.

  4. When I graduated, I wanted to become a full time writer. I boasted of this aspiration, but I’m not really a writer, not right now atleast, I just aspire to be published someday. That doesn’t make me a writer. I write sure ofcourse. But that doesn’t make me a writer. It asks for more, reading, talking to people, experiences, writing for cause(s), so many things. I’m going to do it. Along with this new sense of achievement of 2016 that I had never felt before. Sapient gave me something new to look forward to and hold onto. I couldn’t have imagined that I’d be spending time programming things, primarily because I was afraid to plan things out. Basketball and writing sort of kept me away from planning and I kept procrastinating. I’ve learnt from so many people, so many of them I’m amazed.

There are many circumstances that are making me quit this job. What would I do now?

  1. I’ve commited to 100 days of code, with twitter hashtag #100DaysOfCode, where I commit to code something or read code for atleast one hour for 100 days, which includes out of office work (which would be all time now, for some time atleast).
  2. I’ll finish Harshini’s (friend of a friend) Portfolio Website in the best way possible.
  3. I’ll start contributing to Gastby Static Site Generator.
  4. I’ll possibly find a remote job (but who knows?)
  5. I don’t know what the heck would I do after 5 - 6 months, and I’m scared, but I’m also more free than ever, after 12 years of school and 4 years of college expectations.
  6. I’ll write more poetry submit more poems, get published online, apply for poetry prizes starting Wingword Poetry Prize. I’ll read crazy.
  7. I’ll take care of my little brother and some family things, to be vague.
  8. I’ll keep writing letters, they are food in a way.

I’m very thankful I’ve understanding parents who never fiddled with my choices of whatever I wanted to in my career, which is still unclear.

If you’ve been a part of my life in Bangalore, I’d love to hear more than All the best for your future and good luck in the comments below, because you’ve meant more to me than you know, and you owe me a proper goodbye. I want you to cite incidents, if you can, of conversations, you remember, and if and when I was able to make a impact in any way, in you and your life. Or, any unsolicited suggestions or feedback you might like giving me for my betterment, that’d be cool!

10th Jan is my last day in Sapient.

Cheers to a happy new year. May your ways be auspicious.

Edit (6th Jan, 2016): I read this article by Abhi Iyer (I didn’t know he wasn’t a computer major!). The way he talks about parties and working die hard, and stumbling onto people and opportunities is very unlike me. I’ve been spending all my time inside my room save for basketball. But I don’t know why, this article coming at the time of leaving the company with nothing ahead in mind (I mean not nothing, but somethings which are very experimental so to speak (but then what new thing isn’t?)), ah, is a morale rocket booster.

PS: I had this crazy idea, where I’d put a status on facebook asking if anybody would want to write a poem with me, like a co write thing. Three of them responded and following are the 3 poems, that I co wrote with three people.

And another one which I’d written this way a long time back A Shadow Thought

This is a poem I wrote lately: My Sadness Wants to Fuck Your Sadness

And last but not the least, who of all of us have done this? : Commit Strip Comic