After what everyone has over and over lamented was a shitty year, I feel like I want to at least celebrate some things that I found gave me some comfort or joy in between the bleak moments.
First, on a professional note, I left my job at Dropbox after 7 years and joined a startup, Descript, as an engineer. My stint as a non-manager may end up being short, but diving back into coding and building for the past six months has been pretty great. It’s been fun to do more code reviews, talk about architecture with other engineers, have Less Meetings, and think about strategy. It has been a bit odd to work almost entirely with people I’ve never met in person, however. If I am deputized to go back to management, it will be a challenge to maintain the manager/report relationships with people remotely. At least at Dropbox, before we went remote, I had a couple years of managing and meeting people in person.
On the technical side, Typescript/NodeJS is a joy to develop in server-side, and I’ve been able to try out some modern tools that weren’t available at Dropbox, like Electron, Datadog, Honeycomb, Retool, BigQuery, Docket, Webpack, and Kubernetes. I’ve delved a bit into desktop app development, which is a pretty mind-bending paradigm shift from web client and server development.