I was talking to a friend of mine yesterday and was recalling how incredible an year 2005 was for me. I sincerely thank God for blessing me with the opportunity to make the choices that I have made this year, most of which have turned out to be great sources for learning, creativity and action.
First of all, I left HTC and joined Houghton Mifflin as a senior performance engineer. My Job responsibilities involved load testing and hopefully tuning their edusoft 'apportal', a popular and fast growing web based assessment management system.
A few days after I joined the company, some of the founding members and employees started leaving the company as they did not like to deal with the surprises of a takeover phase. I was wondering if I walked into a shit storm and cursed my decision to move to california but those months really made me rethink my long term goals and exposed me to some new worlds.
So, Archana & I started word of the worlds, a blog to promote our domain name and it soon grew to be a collaborative effort with around 80 users in a matter of months. We wanted to leave it as an Inclusive blog that made some one feel at home, the first time they visited it.
I thought I would have to help archana with the networking part but I guess she inherited her dad's genes. In a matter of months, she built up a good network of friends using social networking websites (orkut, hi5, friendster) and the blogging community. She did the incredible! For Oct 2005, we hit the 10GB bandwidth range with around 60000 page views and around 3000 distinct visitors. I thought that was incredible for a starter on such a well established turf!
Even more so, she introduced me to a great blogging community and I started frequenting Fred Wheeler and the china stock blog.
From the Indian perspective, I had a chance to see what pros like Mahesh murthy , krishnamoorti and Youngsters like Komal were thinking about (the next generation of Indian thought train) and the lattitude was amazing.
Overall, 2005 to me taught the importance of Syndication, the need to build networks and work with great teams and what it took to do so. In fact, I was so dumb founded by some of these ideas that my first months (so far) at houghton have been more about passive listening and nothing else!
On the investment front, I wound up the year early (zeroed out in November) with a gain. I scrapped out everything I had to invest in, what I thought was, worthy land deals in India. I even got into debt doing this but I am positive that the small 34k investment we made will grow considerably in the near future.
On the community side, I was happy to be able to donate my 2 cents worth to the relief efforts of Tsunami through channels like Sulekha, Red cross and the Sri Lankan government apart from my periodic contributions to CRY. I am seriously short of my target but luckily for me, my company has a donation match program that I am planning to use.
On the technology front, I started fiddling with LAMP (linux/apache/Mysql/Apache) for our blogs and soon started liking it. Hope to be able to learn more. This interfered somewhat with my goal for this year to obtain a Java programmer certification, just for the heck of it. I later realized my programming knowledge in this language was not as bad as I thought but I seriously lacked some moves on the execution part (to just read those books and get done with the java exam), another lesson learnt this year.
Did not read much this year.. still half-way through steven covey's all too old '7 habits'. My company gave away some free books at the year end. I picked up one from jumpa lahiri (namesake, 2003) and another from Nathaniel fick (one bullet away, 2004). As you can see, I am reading stuff that is years old..some serious catching up to do!
On the whole, this year brought a lot of good change my way and I am hoping this experience will help me launch 2006 with renewed energy & commitment towards my future goals.