Masha Reko - Apprenticeship Blog

What we have to learn to do, we learn by doing. (Aristotle)

Day 53 and 54: Year-End Ramblings

Today is my last work day of the year, and I suppose there’s no better way to wrap it all up than with a blog post. So let’s get on with it!

Yesterday I started playing around with Akka-Http, so at first I planned to write about that. However, I realized that the topic was not too festive, and can definitely wait for the new year. Perhaps now it would be better to look back on the year behind me, and give myself some hopes and dreams for the next one. Thus here I am, doing what I do best - rambling about stuff that are currently on my mind, in the hope that it will help with sorting out my countless thoughts. It has worked well so far, though. Therefore maybe a good way to start this post is by saying how much I LOVE this blog.

When I was first told that one part of this apprenticeship will be to blog regularly, I was terrified. I love writing, and I do it often for my own sake, but have never before shared any of it with anyone. So you could say that this was me going out of my comfort zone BIG TIME. It all started small, but now I keep hearing that even people outside HolidayCheck love reading my posts, which makes me incredibly proud. Perhaps I stumbled upon a talent I never knew I had? Not sure I’m good enough to call it a talent, but one thing is certain: this blog has been there for me through all my ups and downs in the past months, and it has helped me reflect and organize my thoughts on a daily basis. The fact that there are people out there who also felt inspired by it - is just a cherry on top :)

When I look back on the year behind me, I have mixed feelings. There were some ups, and there were some downs, but then again - that’s how you know you’re alive; a flat line is never a good sign, I guess. On the other hand, I am happy with where I ended up. I left Serbia 2,5 years ago, hoping to find my own place under the sun in this big, wide world. It hasn’t been a perfectly smooth journey, but I suppose it never is, so that’s okay.


However, so many steps in the right direction were made this year, and I should definitely focus more on those. I graduated from University. Moved to a big city, finally, after two years. Munich has been good to me so far. I can say it’s even starting to feel like home. And of course, there I also got my first job. When I think about it right now, perhaps that was my biggest accomplishment this year, after all.

Thanks to this apprenticeship, I grew so, so much. Both technically, and personally. I started learning a new programming language, and found a way to face its many challenges and stay patient through them all. I did katas almost every day, which led me to embrace TDD. I went out of my comfort zone - by writing this blog, giving talks and finally facing functional programming for the first time. I did things I’ve never done before - like React, Bash, Property-based and Visual Regression Testing - and went deeper into stuff I already knew - like Docker, JavaScript, Microservices and Lean Development. I got a first glimpse of what development in production looks like, which only made me wish for more.

I met so many awesome people, who make it pure enjoyment to come to the office every day. I learned how to reflect and self-evaluate. I was pretty good at planning before, but I was happy to be able to continue doing it well even outside University. And I stuck to those plans as well as I could. Not sure yet if all the choices I’ve made were right, but as they were only mine to make - they are only mine to live with, as well. And I can accept that.

With that said, there are still miles to go and horizons to discover in the next year. Namely, there are some areas where I can see clear potential for improvement. First of all, self-confidence - but I guess you can’t just decide to be self-confident; it comes to you naturally, in time, if you do things right. I’ll give my best to finally get to that point next year, by continuing to study and work hard every day. Hopefully when this apprenticeship is over, I will get to join a team, and that is certainly not when the learning ends, but just the opposite - it is only just beginning.

Nevertheless, it’s time to wrap up this post (and this year!), as the end of my working hours nears, and I have yet to pack the presents for friends and family that eagerly await for my return. There’s nothing in this world like a homecoming, I guess. Whether you’re an Urlauber, or decided to look for happiness somewhere far away from home, like me - you know there are countless cities where you can go, but only one where you can come back.

So happy holidays y’all! May the new 2019. be everything you want it to be. As for me, I’ll be back with new posts - from the ice-cold Finland - in the new year :)