2021 in review

by Mads Hartmann - 18 Dec 2021

In 2017 I posted a “year in review” post with the intention of writing one every following year. I never wrote another one. It has been four years now so I thought I’d give it a go again.

This was my first full year of being a parent. More importantly, it was the first time being parents while also being back at work full time both of us. It’s crazy. Looking back at all the colleagues I’ve had over the years who were parents, I have to say you hid it well. I now cringe when I look back at a breakfast conversation I had at work when I was 25 at a table full of colleagues who were parents. It went something like this: “Omg I slept so much yesterday that I had a headache just from sleeping so much” to which the reply was “haha yeah, I hate when that happens”. At the time I didn’t understand why the other people at the table seemed so quiet. Now I know it’s because they wanted to murder me. Which is completely fair.

Even so, I managed to get some writing done in 2021, and I got an article published in Increment magazine! I’m so incredible proud of this and would not be surprised if this is the coolest thing I’ll do in my career. I was also lucky to have a few of my articles included in the SRE weekly newsletter (#270, #263, #237, #236, #235).

I left a bunch of really lovely people at Glitch to join a bunch of really lovely people at Gitpod. I went from being a manager back to being an IC. While I really loved managing my team at Glitch, I also realized that now is not the time in my life to do a career switch. I need something in my comfort zone that I can do well even if I only got 3 hours of sleep five weeks in a row. For me, that’s being an IC1. It’s something I enjoy and something I’m really good at. Maybe in another few years I’ll try being an engineering manager again.

I joined Gitpod in May so I’ve been with them 7 months already - though for 3 of them I was out for parental leave. It’s a wonderful team and an incredible product. Everyone is humble, kind, and extremely competent. I really do believe that ephemeral cloud-based developer environments are the future and Gitpod is leading the way.

Looking forward to 2022. Have a great New Years ❤️

  1. I should clarify that when I say manager I mean the kind of position where your primary responsibility is managing other engineers. I’m perfectly happy acting as a tech lead and other related roles.