Books I read so far in 2020

2020 has been an eventful year so far. Not just for me, but with the outbreak of Corona pandemic everyone’s life has been affected. As the world witnessed unprecedented shutdowns people’s mobility was limited. Some of them took this an opportunity by upskilling themselves. I personally spend most of the quarantine time (as they call it), reading books and improving my culinary skills (worthing writing another post!) and here are my top reads so far:

  1. The Phoenix Project
  2. Delivering Happiness
  3. Let’s Talk Money
  4. Lola

I’m on the verge of finishing couple of interesting books such as Ride of Lifetime and Living by Code.

Cities are not just cities …

Even though I promised to write more, I couldn’t do it. Typical me. No surprises there. 🙂

Execution, be it writing or doing something is a momentum game. Post-October, I had made my mind up to move to another city which is almost 10,000 kilometers away from my hometown. And here goes my rambling about the journey ..

Kochi is a feeling

I always had this corny attachment towards the cities I have lived in. Kochi, the city where I spent most (4+ years) of my professional career is very much a part of me. It helped me in the transition from a clueless fresh college graduate to a confident human being. It’s not just the friends I made there, but the experiences and those places have a crucial role.

It’s a wonderful feeling to have a place in a city where you can go when you are in a particular emotional situation. For me, be it the late-night trips to have Sulaimani tea or dinner from Puttu Kada at Kumbalam and those deep conversations we had there sitting at the riverbank were soul-satisfying ones. A quiet walk through the Queen’s Way or waiting for the train back home at Tripunithura and randomly running into someone from college and reliving those wonderful memories. The list goes on …

For anyone who lived in Kochi, its not just a city, it’s a feeling. Credits

Even though I haven’t spent much time in Bangalore, I do have a special liking towards Bangalore, especially the Indira Nagar, Koramangala region where I spent most of my time there.

To Berlin ..

When I decided to move to Germany, as part of the immigration process I’d to choose the city I’m moving to and also answer why. Berlin and Munich were the obvious choices that came out of my research as it had a great tech ecosystem. And one of the key reasons why I chose Berlin over Munich was the presence of a large ex-pat community in Berlin and its rich culture. The turbulent history of the merger between East Berlin (Soviet Sector) and West Berlin (American, British & French sector) made it a truly multi-cultural capital. No matter what your political affiliation or gender identity is, everyone’s welcome here.

Tempelhof, Berlin on March 30, 2020
View from my apartment when it snowed at Tempelhof, Berlin.

I reached Berlin in Winter 2019 and it was really difficult to explore the city with shorter days and showers and even snow (yes, it did snow a bit in Berlin).

Man proposes …

Even though the weather was getting better as the days passed, came the Covid-19. Now, I’m eagerly waiting for the pandemic to ease so that I can start exploring the Berlin city to the fullest. So what are your go-to places in the region you live in?

Well spent October …

I think I should stop promising to keep writing more every time I write a post here after a long time. So straight to the subject, it’s been a good month in terms of accomplishing the plans I’d for the month.

Even though I participated in Hacktoberfest last year, I wanted to do an event this year to spread the word and joy of open source contribution to more people. Some cool kids at Rajiv Gandhi Insitute of Technology, Kottayam was kind enough to invite me to take a session there. We had fun! 🙂 You can download the slides here.

Group photo after the session on 'Getting Started to Open Source Contribution' at Rajiv Gandhi Insitute of Technology - 19th October 2019
Group photo after the session on ‘Getting Started to Open Source Contribution’ at Rajiv Gandhi Insitute of Technology – 19th October 2019

Secondly, I wanted to fix some minor issues in the ml.reactjs.org repository which I’m maintaining. It’s a Malayalam Translation project of reactjs.org Docs. My motivation for taking this up and how to get started with contributing to the project is something I will post separately. I wanted to fix it by the first week so that I can attract more contributors to the project (#Hacktoberfest). I just fixed it so will have to organically bring in new contributors and onboard them to the project.

And that’s something I’m gonna dig deeper next, i.e, how to attract new contributors to open source projects and convert a decent percentage of them to stay active.