2021 in review

The post-year ramble is here, slightly late this time

The last year was quite eventful to say the least, and I’d been putting off on writing this retrospective simply because of the sheer number of things that happened/I did, of varying levels of importance — both to you as a reader, and me as… well, the one who experienced them.

I’ll try to highlight the major ones here — they’re also the ones I’m okay to discuss publicly, so there’s that. As for the rest: they’ll serve as conversation fuel for 2022.

I graduated… barely

After 4 long years, mostly “learning” about things that haven’t been used since like, my mom was born (I’m looking at you Intel 8086), I am now a Bachelor of Technology in Computer Science and Engineering. I say barely because I actually did pretty terribly. I’m still mildly surprised that given my GPA, the degree certificate classifies it as a “First Class”. I think they just felt sorry for us lot.

Was it a waste of time? A lot of the coursework, sadly, was. But my time in college — however little — was actually quite fun. One thing’s for sure: I can’t rewind time to see what would’ve happened had I not done the degree; but now I’ve done it, and here we are. Wherever that is. Maybe it helped, maybe it didn’t. Oh well.

my time at DeepSource

This time last year (January 2021), I joined DeepSource as a Security Engineer (SRE on paper). Suffice to say, I had an excellent time there, working with some equally excellent people. I got to touch a whole bunch of systems: ranging from observability pipelines, mesh networks in Kubernetes, cloud-native security, and some more Kubernetes.

Oh, and here are a few pictures from our trip to the Maldives.1

maldives 1 maldives 2

In December 2021, I decided to leave DeepSource in favor of other opportunities. I must say, I will deeply miss my equity when DeepSource eventually becomes a unicorn — and I’m confident they will! As for the other opportunities, I will write about that in a future post. This is a retrospective after all.2

projects and hacks

Probably my biggest and most fun project this year was forlater.email. Both the site, and its technical breakdown frontpaged on Hacker News and was pretty well received. In hindsight, I should’ve included some kind of payment model, but at the same time, being flexible enough to accomodate those that can’t afford to pay. And the code is shit. I’ll probably rewrite it. Eventually.3

My attempt at running Kubernetes at home, while being super fun, failed miserably. I learnt a ton from it however, and I have no regrets. Setting up a Wireguard mesh manually, bootstrapping a cluster using kubeadm, multi-arch considerations, etc. I do sorely miss the declarative-ness of it all, I must say.

Besides these, I don’t think I spent any serious amount of time on anything else. Other than, of course, work projects.

this site

As is tradition, let’s talk about this site and the blog. There have been some minor visual changes but I think it’s largely stayed the same. I’ve found the aesthetic I like — at least for now.

I’ve re-added the reading page to publicly track books that I’ve read. More on that in a bit.

As for blog posts this year, let’s see:

$ grep 'date: 2021' pages/blog/*.md | wc -l

Only 13! That’s about 1 a month, and the lowest count per year so far. I’ll attribute this to me dedicating more time to work, i.e. I’ve become a wagie cagie. Make of that what you will. That said, I think the quality of posts has considerably increased. I think.

other stuff

I couldn’t think of an appropriate heading for this section so “other stuff” it is: a catch-all category for general life-ey things.

I read a grand-total of 9 books last year — not particularly good. I’d like to at least double that this year. Some of my favourite reads were: Dune, The Hero of Ages, The Enemy and Permanent Record. Big thanks to Vishesh for Dune and Vishnu for Permanent Record!

Language learning took an unfortunate hit, with basically zero progress in Russian. I did study it for a month or two in early 2021, but I won’t count it for I’ve likely forgotten it all. I hope to restart where I left off, this year — hopefully with the help of my new productivity hacks (which has been working wonders, by the way!).

I had roughly about 6 – 7 months of time to hit the gym, i.e. when the gym wasn’t closed off, and I managed to get some swole on. As of this writing, it’s the “third wave” of COVID-19 and the gym’s closed. Again.

In other somewhat big news: I switched to an iPhone 13 mini. This probably warrants its own big post — one full of copes and hopes. I will have to mull over it a bit to fully articulate my thoughts. I have a few other post ideas as well — many that I planned on writing last year but never got around to. I often consider writing commentary on $TECH_OUTRAGE_DU_JOUR but everything that I want to say has usually already been said. I’m sure there’ll be plenty of stuff I can be the first to comment on in 2022.

And speaking of 2022…

2022 might be big

This might be a big year for me, with some potentially huge life updates. New job, new adventures, the works. I’m looking forward to it. 2021 was super eventful; 2022 just might top it.

Here’s a list of things I’m looking forward to this year:

I’m going to close off this rambly post with a big thanks to everyone who’s supporting forlater.email — it made my whole last year. Maybe this year too. And you just might see another micro-SaaS from me!

I’ll see you soon.

  1. If you’re in Bangalore and are looking for work, definitely consider applying to DeepSource!

  2. There are hints… in various places…
  3. Sure, lol.

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