2020: Shattering Comfort Zones

Reflecting on 2020

Now no matter where you are located geographically or how old you are, I’m going to take a wild guess and assume that we can agree how brutal 2020 was. Personally looking back, the year 2020 has been crazy, challenging and definitely packed a punch.. A year with mixed fortunes, 2020 was a year that I’ve never imagined in my lifetime.

Timeline

Here is a look at how I experienced 2020


Work

Kicked off the year by taking a huge risk - being very passionate about an incubation Product #VEBA (a Fling), I attempted to try my hand at Product Management and building on top of my 2019 UW certification

Jan 2020

Life

We had the most snow since moving to the Pacific NorthWest in 2018 ☃️

Jan 2020

Work

The Product Management stint got uncertain real quick (thanks to COVID-19) as early adopters hunkered down to support their new and growing remote workforce

Feb 2020

Life

Along with the rest of the world, we were coming to terms with COVID-19 and this was also the last month that my wife and I worked out of an office in 2020 🏢

Feb 2020

Work

I got to learn more about Team #VEBA! As Customer interactions were limited during this time, I turned my focus towards building a strong marketing foundation for the Product - built a website and delivered a Brown Bag session. Additionally, I took inspiration from my awesome team to build my own home lab

Mar 2020

Life

My wife and I were adjusting to the new remote work life, challenged as we were putting in more hours working from home along with managing our almost one year old 👶

Mar 2020

Work

Marked the official end of my TAKE 3 Product Management experience only to get me more skilled at and exposing me to Product Development, Open Source, Marketing techniques including writing blogs and delivering talks. Needless to say, I continue to work with Team #VEBA in my free time

Apr 2020

Life

Thanks again to COVID-19, We had to forego a monumental family occasion - our first born’s very first birthday celebration 🎂

Apr 2020

Work

The month of complete uncertainty as I pondered about the path ahead for my career 😖

May 2020

Life

Emotionally drained from what was happening around the world (#blacklivesmatter). Almost like therapy, I ran! 🏃 ran a lot during this time and in the process got lean and healthy

May 2020

Work

Got the job of Customer Success Architect ⭐ and transitioned to a new team and a new role!

Jun 2020

Life

A lot of running, homelabbing and Summer activities from within the constraints of home 👨‍👩‍👦

Jun 2020

Work

Started to get into a groove with the new Team - phenomenal individuals. I also got accepted into the vExpert program for the very first time 1️⃣

Jul 2020

Life

First road trip of 2020 to a small beach in Washington 🚗

Jul 2020

Work

Took on an internal Project that helps define a Customer Journey to adopt VMware Technologies and also recorded my first VMworld talk 🎤

Aug 2020

Life

Tried to stay active by hiking, running… always cautious of COVID-19 😷

Aug 2020

Work

A lot of sleepless nights assimilating diverse inputs from a stellar yet strongly opinionated team on the ideal Customer Journey

Sep 2020

Life

Wild Fires 🔥. Also, my father-in-law who had been helping out with our baby had to head back home to India. My wife and I panic as we juggle full-time job and full-time parenting 😱

Sep 2020

Work

More sleepless nights and long weeks… Weeks go by fast as Customer Journey project is now starting to take shape

Oct 2020

Life

The MOST challenging month of 2020 as my wife and I struggle to balance full-time work and parenting 🚼

Oct 2020

Work

Recorded my first internal org-wide talk covering the Customer Journey 🤘

Nov 2020

Life

Anxious days as the US election unfolded. Our first social gathering of 2020 - Thanksgiving at our place with new and old friends 🍻

Nov 2020

Work

Took some time off to launch cloudtekki.com. Got the idea to build this timeline (inspired from hugo timeline theme)😄

Dec 2020

Life

Well, here we are! Turned a year wiser and took advantage of the break by getting back into reading 📚

Dec 2020

A lot to be thankful for

2020 also gave us a lot of things to be grateful for…

  • Lucky for the time we got to spend with our daughter - would have otherwise been a lot of time commuting, at work and very little time with her
  • Enjoyed not having to commute everyday - 2 hours of backed up Washington traffic everyday
  • Thankful for the Take3 Program at VMware where I learnt a variety of new skills - blogging, website design (again), video editing, building slick presentations, delivering the right message to the right audience
  • Met with, drew inspirations and learned a lot from these awesome folks
    • William Lam - Someone who looks to unlock potential in both technology and in people. He has years of documented knowledge, passionate about technology and always learning
    • Michael Gasch - Go expert and the most thoughtful and detail oriented person I’ve ever met
    • Robert Guske - The most friendliest TAM and someone who has guided me on my homelab and my blogging journey 🙏
    • Patrick Kremer - The most avid learner who taught me that there is always more to be discovered and learnt
    • Frankie Gold - The most helpful person ever and also noticed that front-end work brings out her dark side 😛
    • Vladi Velikov - Leave it to him to go from ideation to prototype in the shortest time possible
  • Invested the time and money to build my homelab which helped me understand buying decisions, design considerations and all that comes with managing a private cloud
  • Experienced 3 different roles in the span of a 6 months - Managing large Customers to Managing an upcoming Product to being a Technologist
  • Grabbed the opportunity to start working with a well rounded team of Architects and made a bunch of new friends
  • Met with more friends (over video calls) than would have normally been possible
  • We made better acquaintances with our neighbors - they are the most helpful and the best neighbors one can ask for!
  • Taught me to prioritize and focus on the right goals - a number of things that I promised myself that I’d do and failed - being a kubernetes contributor, running every day of 2020, building 10 whiteboards for technology concepts, adding NSX to my homelab, automating my homelab for EUC use cases

Reflecting back, this year threw a curve ball at a lot of us. We are thankful to be safe, healthy, being together and minimally impacted by 2020. My heart goes out to all the first responders and those that were adversely impacted by COVID-19, the fires and all things that were 2020.

Challenge yourself!

This year came at me with a lot of challenges and uncertainties not only at work but at home as well. With the support of my family, I took this as an opportunity to learn new skills and build new things. This year gave me an opportunity to push myself, kept me on my toes and enabled me to step outside of my comfort zone where I thrive!

As you read this, hopefully you are inspired and motivated to get out of your comfort zone, to try something new, to embrace and meet any challenges head on, to keep pushing yourself to achieve your goals and dreams! ✊

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