2020: Year that we all want to forget

2020: Year that we all want to forget

This is probably the only blog post I have written in 2020. It has really been a roller coaster ride for me. Lots of things changed this year and there was a lot to digest.

New Job

Yes, this was the most exciting thing that had happened to me this entire year. As a part of our college's last semester we are supposed to complete a project in about 6 months. We are usually provided with two options, do an internship or work on a research project in any university.

Through college placements I got an internship and full time job offer from Turtlemint. Turtlemint is a startup which recently got a good amount of funding and has been growing since. I started with my internship along with my friends from college at around 2nd January. We all were very excited for this new adventure. We were roaming around freely on the streets of Mumbai and Pune enjoying our lives to fullest. This is arguably the best time for bachelors IMO ;) Also that feeling you get when you get your first salary is just pure bliss.

Along with the internship we were working really hard completing our assigned projects, I personally learned a lot in just a couple of months and was really happy with my progress overall. But that didn't last long, and we were soon hit with the Covid-19 pandemic. I remember around 17th March is when we left our flat and went back to our homes hoping that we would get back to it soon. Little did we know that time.

Pandemic Life and Turtlemint

When working from home, we were usually left with a lot of work. There was pretty much no work-life balance, and we had to work very late, sometimes even up to midnight!. This was getting a bit too much for me and I decided to switch my team. I contacted my manager, and he was happy to let me work with his project. It really made a lot of difference, suddenly most of the balance was restored, and I was writing much better code than before. Also, now I was working on one of the core projects at Turtlemint and that itself gives a good feeling about work.

Apart from that we (interns) were struck with another issue. Turtlemint management panicked and a lot of product managers were laid off. Also, a 30 percent pay cut was imposed on all employees. We were interns on a small stipend, and we still got a pay cut 🤦‍♂️. This was really shocking because we had no idea that the pandemic would affect so quickly. Somehow we convinced ourselves that the internship money doesn't really matter to us, and we continued working.

Around July, we got to know that the company has cancelled offers for all new joiners and is probably going to do that we us too. We were scared that might happen to us too. We tried to communicate with managers, CTO, HRs and a lot of other people. Unfortunately, no one was ready to disclose anything. I personally started looking for other opportunities but had no luck. There were not many open-positions and many of them were not suitable for my role. Towards the end of July we got our offer revoked stating that we would be continuing with our internship for 4 more months. It did not take time for us to think as we all rejected that offer.

We escalated this issue to the COO and CTO of the company and tried to shed light on our situation and how it affects us. Just after a day post this meeting we got another offer as a FTE but with a reduced CTC. We were happy that we did not lose our job but at the same time we felt betrayed by the management folks at the company. Having no other options we had to accept the revised offer.

New learnings

Although the whole job this was a mess, I did learn a lot of things this year. A wrote a good 70 percent of the backend for the project and also later started working with frontend. I was primarily the only dev for the frontend as previously we had a freelancer who used to work on frontend. This also (I think) gave me the opportunity to win one of the monthly awards at Turtlemint. I was happy that there was someone who wanted to appreciate me for my work.

Road forward

I am really thankful for Turtlemint for giving us an opportunity to work and not laying us off. It could've been really difficult for us otherwise and would've affected us a lot in our early start of careers. I was contacted by a recruiter around December which is when I decided to move on. I interviewed with them and had some good conversations with them. They soon made an offer and I happily accepted it. I will be joining them in the start of Feb next year, and I'm really excited for the new chapter in my life.

Overall I think 2020 was a year which we all want to forget. Covid-19 really affected to all of us. Apart from the deaths we encountered, a lot of people lost jobs with their families to feed. I feel really lucky to have a well paying job than most in such difficult situations.

I would not like to make this post too long and would conclude it here. Please take care and help each other in any way possible.

Thanks for reading :)