As this year draws to a close, I really wanted to look back on how everything panned out. I know how much 2016 sucked for everyone. I’ve been thinking about this increasingly. And I wanted to list down the things and thank the people who made it suck a lot less for me.

It started off with great summer at Microsoft India campus as a software engineering intern, working with amazing people. I learned more in those 8 weeks than I did in 3 years of college till then. I realized how much college doesn’t teach you about “software engineering” and how software is made in the real world. This is what got me thinking about how I can improve my skills in the one year I’ve before I start working full time. I had a choice between two options: working on open source or working on side-projects. For reasons that aren’t relevant to this post, I chose open source. As I look back today, I’ve zero regrets about it.

In August, I got my first job offer as a software engineer from Microsoft and will be joining them next year. I started contributed meaningfully to web-ext around the same time and published this blogpost:

A Beginner’s Very Bumpy Journey Through The World of Open Source
_Did you land on this story looking for advice on how to start contributing to open source? There are tons of these…

The reaction to this blog post was unprecedented. I could have never imagined that it’ll receive the kind of attention it did. So many people reached out to me with kind words of compassion. Some people told me their story motivated them to be more kind and empathetic. Some of them went back to contributing to open source, some made their first contribution. Moreover, this post also put me in touch with some of the most wonderful people I’ve had the pleasure of interacting this year: Dan Abramov, Quincy Larson and Kent C. Dodds.

The most important thing I’ve done is overcome my fear and all other barriers of contributing to open source. Furthermore, I also got selected for the present Outreachy cohort with Mozilla which was like a cherry on the top of the cake. Along the way, I’ve met some absolutely wonderful people I’d like to thank.

Starting with Kumar McMillan and Luca Greco. Y’all are the most amazing mentors one can ask for. Thank you for all your patience, empathy and all the time you’ve invested in teaching me and reviewing my code. It’s been a pleasure to learn from and work with you people.

Quincy Larson, thank you for the way you dealt with the issue I had faced with one of the FCC maintainers. Also, for the countless hours you put into the FCC Medium publication. You’re enthusiasm for open source is amazing and something I definitely look up to.

Henry Zhu, thank you for the work you do with Babel. You’re incredibly inspiring to me and I’m sure a ton of other people as well. I hope I can keep contributing the way you do despite having a full time job outside of OSS.

Kent C. Dodds, thank you for all your support throughout. I really appreciate your passion for open source and teaching.

Jessie Frazelle, you’ve been a role model for me even before I got into open source. As I’ve told you, I really hope someday I know my shit like you know yours. You’re simply amazing & I really look up to you.

Lastly, but not the least, Dan Abramov. I don’t think anyone has inspired me as much you’ve this year. It’s been wonderful to work with you and learn from you in whatever I did for CRA and Javascript in general. Thank you for being so kind, patient and empathetic always.

Huge shout out to everyone who helped me get over my fears. Anna Ossowski and VM Brasseur for working with me and pushing me to submit my first ever conference proposal. Also, to everyone who reviewed it and gave feedback.

I started technical blogging and sharing what I learn and how I learn it with others. Shout out to everyone to reviewed my posts and helped me improve: ashley williams, Dan Abramov, Kent C. Dodds, Quincy Larson and everyone else!

I also won a scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration in Bangalore this year where I got to meet a ton a amazing women in tech. I was also fortunate enough to interact with a lot of senior women who’ve been in tech for over 15–20 years. I could finally look up to someone and say — yes, that’s where I see myself in 15 years — doing amazing work and building great products. It was a memorable experience in more than one way.

Lastly, some people who’ve really inspired me this year:

Sara Mauskopf, you’ve you been a role model for me. Thank you for sharing your life with us. You’re absolutely badass in every possible way. I’m and will always be in complete awe of how you balance work and family. I’m sure you give a lot of hope to folks who want to do the same.

Julia Evans, I’m in awe of you and how you think! I love your zines and you’ve’ inspired me to draw some of my own. Your curiosity about systems programming is greatly inspiring as well. Thank you for sharing your work and how your approach problems with us. :)

Finally, a shout out to Joe Nash & Helen for just being amazing people. Also, thank you for being my zine beta-testers, haha! ;)

Wrapping this year on a positive note, I really hope to learn even more next year. Here’s hoping for a great 2017 for everyone!