Dev Retro 2022: Sreekesh's Hustle Mania

Dev Retro 2022: Sreekesh's Hustle Mania

This year has been no less than a riveting game of test cricket for me. Ebbs and flows, twists and turns every other day. It gives me an immense feeling of gratitude and satisfaction as I write this article trying to reflect on what has happened in these last 12 months.

To understand what went behind all the events that transpired in 2022, it is important to know what happened in 2021. Let's take a short recap of 2021 before we take a look at this year.

2021 Recap

I'll try to keep this as short as I can. 2021 was tough for me, physically and mentally. But it taught me that I've got some incredible strength of perseverance and commitment within me.

It was another year that was taken away by the pandemic, everything was confined to the 4 walls of my room. But that didn't stop me. I was determined to follow the process despite not seeing results at times. I made sure that 2021 was THE MOST productive year of my life.

A screenshot that shares the list of technologies I learned in 2021

I found this screenshot from my old recap tweet and you possibly get an idea of how many different technologies I was able to learn because I was at home all day, most of which I learned in the second half of the year.

By the end of 2021, I was confident, technically sound, immensely sleep deprived and breathing caffeine in and out.

Realizing what I had been missing in the last year, I decided to put a conscious effort towards sleeping well and maintaining my fitness in 2022. I also decided to build connections and network with a lot of people this year. We'll see how that goes :)

Taking my First Online Coding Workshop

TailwindCSS Workshop

Very early in January this year, thanks to the Quest IT Cell, I was able to conduct my first-ever coding workshop where I talked about TailwindCSS and how easy it is to create UI with it. I was joined by a small group of students who were very new to web development but showed a lot of interest.

Resume Website using TailwindCSS

After talking about the different use cases of Tailwind, we started coding and ended up creating a Resume Website, styling it with TailwindCSS and deploying it to Netlify.

It was a great feeling, especially doing this for the first time. Got some really good feedback, and I was very motivated to keep doing more of these.

Crossing 100 WPM

Livechatinc typing speed test screenshot

I crossed 100WPM for the first time on 15th May 2022. Something quite normal for a lot of tech nerds that I know, but this was a huge achievement for me, because of one reason.

I've been typing on the same old Microsoft Keyboard right from 2009 all the way through to 2020. I did not have any professional training in keyboard typing, which is why it is very unconventional.

I do not use more than 7 fingers while typing (ideally, you'd use all 10)

Just muscle memory took me to 84-85 WPM. But it took 2 weeks of consistent practice to take me past three figures.

Solving 250 Problems on Leetcode


I'm not a fan of how one's performance in solving a complex Leetcode/CodeChef question is directly mapped to their skill level (because that's how most people land interviews and eventually, jobs). This is just my opinion, I'm sure a lot of you might disagree, and I can completely understand that.

Regardless, I needed a job too, which meant that I needed to step my game up in DSA and Problem Solving. From being nowhere at the end of 2021, I worked consistently for 3-4 months and solved a variety of easy and medium problems. I also participated in multiple Leetcode weekly contests.

I have to admit, it is a good use of logic, common sense and an understanding of data structures when you solve these kinds of problems. The satisfaction of solving a problem after wrapping your brains around it for a good half an hour is also unmatched!


cfg winners 2022.png

In June, my team was adjudged the Winner of Code For Good 2022, a tech-for-social-good hackathon organized by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. This hackathon was also the final stage of their Software Engineer recruiting process.

We were a team of 8 initially, but due to some circumstances, we were left to a count of just 4 teammates by the time the problem statements were shared. The events that followed in the next 24 hours are no short of an absolute miracle. Staying up all night, we managed to present a complete solution to the judges.

The developing experience, the energy, the interactions with mentors and eventually the reactions from the judging panels after listening to our presentation, oh boy, I was floating on air at one point!

If you're interested to know more about this story, take a look at this article where I described my experience in detail.

Taking a Break

After all the drama that transpired in the hackathon in June, I decided to take a small break from all the hustle. It had been a very productive yet very taxing period of six months for me. I did not entirely disconnect myself from everything, but I made sure I got my life back on track and fixed my sleep schedule, diet, etc. A little bit of greenery helped as well.

A Job Offer from JP Morgan Chase & Co.

How I got my first job at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

A few days after college resumed, I got to know that I was one of the students to be offered a Software Engineer Full-Time Role at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

This, being my first job offer, was a huge moment for my parents. I cannot describe their happiness in words, let alone mine. It felt like all of those extra hours I put into upskilling myself paid off. I'm excited to join the company in 2023.

If you're interested in the recruitment process, please take a look at this article.

Taking an in-person DevOps Session

This is a photo of me taking a DevOps session in a supabase t shirt :)

Once I was back into business, I took a DevOps fundamentals session for my juniors in college. I talked about the understanding of DevOps technologies, Agile Terminologies, CI/CD Pipelines, etc.

It was a very different experience because I was doing this for the first time in person. The butterflies you feel initially, and then gradually breathing into the session, was a surreal feeling.

Taking the big stage for the first time

Our college has this auditorium, a quite large seminar hall where a lot of sessions and talks are conducted. I've always had this fascination with speaking at the helm but never had the courage to do so.

All of that was about to change. I was invited to deliver a talk about preparing for campus placements in coordination with a friend and a college alumnus.

It was the first time I had ever taken hold of the microphone in front of a 100+ audience. Suddenly, once I started speaking, there was no nervousness. I was able to talk well and convey my ideas. The response from the audience was also great.

To my further surprise, the feedback I received from the faculty was amazing.

Public speaking hasn't been one of my strengths. The last time I took the stage before this, well, that has never happened. I consider this to be one of my biggest achievements, to be able to deliver in front of a crowd.

Runner Up in Hashnode 4Articles4Weeks

I found myself jumping on my couch when I saw that our Community Manager had mentioned me in her new post.

If you asked me a year before, I wouldn't have even imagined an idea of a "Write-a-thon", forget winning in one.

This competition really tested my brainstorming skills and consistency. If not for this contest, I do not think I would have come up with the Improving CSS using Instagram idea. And guess what, the article did so well. It was liked by everyone.

To be able to make it to the runners-up is a huge acknowledgement of the amount of effort I have put into Content Writing.

Hashnode has had a huge role to play in my development as a Content Writer in the last 14 months.

Creating a Tech Community

During my interactions with my juniors, I felt that I would make a good mentor, despite being a college student. It felt a little unfortunate that my reach was restricted to a small set of students.

In late November, I decided to create my Community on Discord. It's called One Byte Social.

The idea behind this community is to provide everyone in tech with an environment that promotes growth and skill enhancement, where they can network with other people and share their work. I'm glad to share that it now has more than 200 members.

I look forward to sharing resources, hosting online sessions and providing mentorship to newcomers in tech in the future. We recently hosted a Twitter Space and also interacted via a Discord call.

If this sounds interesting to you, feel free to join us here.

What I learned from 2022

Life has taught me a lot this year. I'd like to share some of those learnings with you, hoping that it helps.

  • Motivation is temporary. Discipline has to take over at some point.

  • Good sleep is underrated. It fixes a lot of other things that you probably don't even realize.

  • Prioritize your health, physical and mental. You might have enough money to buy a villa in Norway but it's pretty much useless if you don't have the health to enjoy it.

  • It's never over until it is over. Do not throw your chances away because you think you are unlucky. You never know.

  • One way to deal with competition is to make it irrelevant.

And lastly, one of the most important things, if not the most important -

  • Focus on the process. Your results are impacted by a lot of things that are beyond your control. If you are result-oriented, you'll never figure out what's right. Back yourself to do some amazing things in life provided you stick to your process, that is your right path.

No matter how lost you feel, if you stay true to yourself, the path will always find you again.

~ Enola Holmes' mother

With about 21 days left, I have to say that this is it for my dev journey this year.

It has been a lot of hustle and I can sense a lot of tired neurons upstairs.

I'll go through my ongoing examinations and probably just relax for the rest of the month. Thank you very much for reading through my journey.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays, I'll see you in 2023. Cheers🥂

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