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Where I have been and what have I been upto?

Posted by Nikhil Asrani on Feb 11 2019

Hello Internet folks šŸ‘‹. This is my first in what I hope would be a series of Medium blogs.

I have recently gotten addicted to these blogs showing great DIY programming implementations and ones exploring relatable life experiences and advice and I figured I could attempt to give back in the same way (and build an online presence at the same time).

While I am currently not fully capable of showing the projects and the knowledge I have gained over the past few weeks/ months, I do want to kick this off and develop a habit of writing and documenting my journey of learning.

This initial blog post does not have any special insights. It is just a blog post about me and what I have been upto for the past few months and where I see myself going onwards into the future.

So what happened?

After graduating from PESIT, I started working at Accenture. I worked there for 15 months before I abruptly left the company. Why did I leave? While I was happy with the work environment and extremely fond of the friends I made there but I was really unhappy with the type of work I had been doing and unhappy with the growth or flexibility prospects.

While I have always thought of the idea of wanting to work as a software developerĀ andĀ wasĀ evenĀ initiallyĀ trainedĀ toĀ workĀ asĀ oneĀ atĀ Accenture, the work I ended up doing there was very rudimentary software operations and support work. I always thought I would be able to switch to more interesting and challenging work after working hard and proving myself, but it slowly became apparent to me that I was stuck at some sort of dead-end. No matter how hard I tried, it did not seem like I would be able to escape that line of work.

So I quit, I mentally projected myself a year ahead and could not stomach the idea of me being at the same place and deeper down that rabbit-hole.It was important to me that I work on something that I enjoy doing and craft a skillset that I can take pride in.

We will spend a total of somewhere between 100,000 to 150,000 hours in our lifetimeĀ working, Itā€™s important that we be mindful of what we work onĀ ratherĀ thanĀ being submissive toĀ someĀ arbitrary,Ā randomĀ businessĀ requirementsĀ thatĀ determine the progression of our career and skills.

Where have I been?

I decided I needed a short career-break/sabbatical. I wanted 3ā€“6 months of time to sort my physical and mental health and transition to a better space both career and mental health wise.

Luckily, soon after I quit, my buddies from college were coming over from the US for their winter break. We decided to go on a trip touring UttarakhandšŸ—» and it was one of the best trips I have everĀ beenĀ on. We toured Nainital, Jim Corbett National ParkĀ šŸ…, Haridwar, Mussoorie and a little bit of Dehradun and Delhi.

The gorgeous Nainital LakeThe gorgeous Nainital Lake

Sunrises among the hills in MussoorieSunrises among the hills in Mussoorie

The squad that created the IT-AT Status codes šŸ˜›The squad that created the IT-AT Status codes šŸ˜›

Post the trip, once I was back home, I was feeling fresh and ready to kick ass. But there was a problem. If I started looking for jobs immediately, I would only get the same kind of job that I dreaded doing. Besides, I wanted to build skills and work on something I am actually interested in.

While I was at work, I was trying to transition into a developer role and I was tinkering with the freeCodeCamp curriculum, I had decided to finish it up and ended up getting the certification in Responsive Web Design using HTML and CSS. I also began learning Javascript using the book Eloquent Javascript and I really dig the concepts and the whacky nature of Javascript. I totally recommend this book to anyone starting out with Javascript as it isnā€™t like any conventional OOP language you learnt in college. I also am working on a course that teaches me how to implement Data Structures and Algorithms in Javascript by Colt Steele and I am loving it so far. I have also been putting this knowledge to work by solving problems on HackerRank. Iā€™m not really great at it currently but the goal is to keep getting better and better with consistent practice.

I have been following and interacting with a bunch of established developers, reading a lot of blogs and other material over the Internet and I love how welcoming this community is. I now finally feel like I have my goals in order and I like how satisfying it is to actually create things that are used by everyone.

I have begun to understand and appreciate how most of the applications that we use work and how most of the beautiful interfaces we take for granted have even more beautiful code and design patterns that are abstracted away for only developers to see. I feel like I am looking at some sort of hidden easter eggs in video games or cross-over references in movies or some really really dank memes.

What next?

While freeCodeCamp is amazing as a way to start coding with a focus on understanding code concepts, I needed to learn how to code outside an in-browser editor with my own IDE. I have been writing my own code locally as I have been learning concepts and have been using version control in VS Code. I plan on eventually hosting all my projects on my Github once I am ready to show my code.

I have also been watching a lot of Udemy and Youtube videos figuring out concepts and learning new things as I go. I plan on mastering Javascript and learning React as well. Itā€™s going to be awesome. Stay tuned to this blog for further development.

I plan on attending a bunch of local meetups on Javascript and React. The developer communities for React and React Native in Bangalore are pretty active and welcoming and they discuss some really cool code concepts and techniques. I attended a few already and I feel like theyā€™ve had a really positive impact on my mindset about how I want to go about learning things.

Me and my buddy plan on hustling every weekend attending relevant meetups and talksMe and my buddy plan on hustling every weekend attending relevant meetups and talks

I have also been going to gym and working out in an effort to get in better shape. I have neglected this in the past and I feel like now is a good time to get things in order.

All-in-all, Things have been going great. Iā€™m extremely grateful to my friends and family for their extended support. Iā€™m really optimistic about going down this path and Iā€™m looking forward to the things that lie ahead. :)