Reviewing 2023: A Year Filled With Experiences
2023 has been a year of change and growth. I spent 2023 filling the following buckets:
Lifestyle and wellness.
Travel and exploration.
In April 2023, I quit software engineering and started a new position as a technical writer for Cloudflare's developer platform.
2023 has made me realize that software engineering is not a role that suits me.
For a long time, I believed I could be a software engineer with "enough practice".
The more I worked as a software engineer, the more I realized I wasn't meant to be one. There's a difference between being "a developer" and being a "competent developer".
I often felt disengaged with the type of work, disagreeing with the Agile practices, and not feeling psychologically safe in the environments I was part of.
The companies I joined as a software engineer were not for me, and I wasn't for them either.
I tried being a software engineer three times but said to myself that I wasn't going to try a 4th time if I felt that the situation was not improving.
Earlier this year, I started sending CVs for positions that involved more communication (either written or verbal).
I initially sent a CV for a Solutions Engineer role at Cloudflare but got rejected because I had no experience. I sent another CV for a technical writer role at the same company and got offered a role, which I immediately accepted.
When I told some people that I would switch to technical writing, they answered that I would feel bored because it's repetitive work.
My experience so far has been far from this:
As a technical writer, I get paid to learn.
It's an educating job where I teach users about a product.
It's a role that drives innovation, competitiveness and customer satisfaction.
As a technical writer, I have more relaxed deadlines, I don't have to deal with bugs, on-call shifts are non-existent, there's no real "emergency", and you get to know your users.
Joining Cloudflare has been a smart move because:
I use my writing skills to educate users on using products to build their applications.
I learn about cyber security.
I learn about Artificial Intelligence and other cutting-edge technologies.
My peace of mind has improved since shifting to technical writing, and I enjoy a better work-life balance.
Lifestyle and wellness
In 2023, I wanted to dedicate more time to improving my physical and mental wellness, with a slight focus on mental health, because it's easier to neglect.
How did I take care of my mental health?
Seeing a therapist has helped me improve my self-esteem, gain new insights about my personality, and learn how to create boundaries with others.
Reduce social media consumption
Reducing social media consumption has helped me minimize exposure to harmful or triggering content, recognize and prioritize the value of real-life, genuine interactions.
Spending time in nature
When I'm not hitting the gym, I walk at one of London's many parks, and it's a great way to start my day.
Travel and exploration
I've been blessed enough to travel to two countries this year: Istanbul (Turkey) and Bali (Indonesia).
Of the two, I enjoyed my trip to Bali: I spent loads of time in nature (rice fields, forests, waterfalls, beaches), eating smoothie bowls, doing yoga, and massages.
I tried snorkelling in Indonesia, and it was an experience that allowed me to feel connected to nature.
Community and relationships
GT Scholars is a social enterprise that runs programmes that help young people achieve their academic and career aspirations. I've been partnering with them since 2021, contributing to their blogging section on their website.
In 2023, I was the Lead Event Coordinator for a social mobility project dedicated to young boys, helping them gain the skills needed to succeed in their lives and careers.
This project ran for about three months, and it involved weekend workshops where the teenagers would group to learn about entrepreneurship, growth mindset, emotional intelligence, etc.
Black Woman in Tech Event
I was one of the panellists for Cloudflare's Black Woman in Tech event in October 2023. The event went better than expected, it felt like a conversation among friends, and there was a strong community feeling.
The overall theme for 2023 was about experiences. I experienced new hobbies, countries, people, and projects. I'm grateful for everything I experienced, and I hope 2024 will bring even more authentic experiences.
Happy New Year! 🎉