Twenty-four is a big number. More than one/fourth (or more) of my life is behind me now. At this point, I truly feel like I have become an adult; mentally and physically. Another year seem to have gone by quickly. I still vividly remember writing 23 and Counting and here I’m writing the next one so soon.
Probably the lowest I felt ever on my birthday; with loss of Abraham and on the other hand, medical issues with a dear one. Didn’t even felt like birthday was almost here. The loss of Abraham, taught me to care for people more and meet cherish everyone. I’m grateful for all the people who supported and cared for me and others during times of grief when things went numb. Thank you!
Also, for the first time ever, I went to office on my birthday. This probably would become a norm in coming years. Didn’t felt like doing anything, so just went to office. The cake, wishes and calls kept coming in throughout the day. I’m grateful for the all people around for remembering :)
This year marked my first “official” job switch where I moved from MakeMyTrip to Unmukti as a GNU/Linux Network Systems engineer (that’s a mouthful of a job role, I know) where I do anything and everything ranging from system admin, network engineering, a bit of social media, chronicling stuff on company blog and bringing up new applications as per requirement. Moving from MMT to Unmukti was a big cultural shift. From a full-blown corporate with more than 3 thousand employees to a small 5-person team. People still think I work for a startup on hearing the low head count, though Unmukti is a 13 year old organization. I get the freedom to work at my own pace and put my ideas in larger technical discussions, while also actively participating in the community, which I’m truly grateful of. I go full geek here and almost everyone here is on the same spectrum, so things technical or societal discussions just naturally flow.
The months of August-September again marked the Great Refresh. For reasons unforeseen, I have had to pack my stuff again and move, albeit to just next door for now, but that gave me the much need opportunity to sift through my belongings here. As usual, I threw a boatload of stuff which was of no use and/or just hogging space. My wardrobe cupboard finally got cleaned and sorted, with old and new clothes getting (re)discovered. The Refresh is always a pain with loads of collating stuff in carry worthy bags and hauling stuff but as usual, there’s nothing else I can do other than just pack and move.
This year also culminated our four plus years of work for organizing annual Debian conference, DebConf to India. DebConf23 happened in Kochi, Kerala from 3rd September to 17th September (including DebCamp). First concrete work to bring conference to India was done Raju Dev who made the first bid during DebConf18 in Hsinchu, Taiwan. We lost but won during the next year bid at DebConf19 Curitiba, Brazil in 2019. I joined the efforts after meeting the team online after DebConf20. Initially started with the publicity team, but we didn’t need much publicity for event, I was later asked to join sponsors/fundraising team. That turned out to be quite an experience. Then the conference itself turned to be a good experience. More on that in an upcoming DebConf23 blog post, which will come eventually.
After seeing how things work out in Debian in 2020, I had the goal to become a Debian Developer (DD) before DebConf23, which gave me almost three years to get involved and get recognized to become a DD. I was more excited to grab sahil AT debian.org, a short email with only my name and no number of characters after it. After, quite a while, I dropped the hope of become a DD because I wasn’t successful in my attempts to meaningfully package and technically contribute to the project. But people in Debian India later convinced me that I have done enough to become a Debian Developer, non uploading, purely by showing up and helping around all for the Debian conferences. I applied and got sponsored (i.e. supported) for my request by srud and Praveen. Finally, on 23rd Feb, I officially became part of Debian project as 14th (at the moment) Debian Developer from India. Got sahil AT debian.org too :) For some grace, I also became a DD before DebConf23. Becoming a DD didn’t change anything much though, I still believe, it might have helped secure me a job though.
Also, worth mentioning is my increased interest in OpenStreetMap (OSM) mapping. I heavily mapped this year and went around for mapathon-meetups too. One step towards a better OSM and more community engagement around it.
Looking back at my blog, this year around, it seems mostly dotted with Debian and one OSM post. Significant shift from the range of topics I use to write about in the past year but blogging this year wasn’t a go-to activity. Other stuff kept me busy.
Living in Gurugram has shown me many facades of life from which I was shielded or didn’t come across earlier. It made me realize all the privileges which has helped me along the way, which became apparent while living “almost” alone here and managing thing by oneself.