Today, I complete two years at Axelerant. TL;DR, it has been an awesome journey. Actually, that is quite an understatement as it does not fully describe the change in my professional growth during my time here. Apart from many things, I reflect that this is the longest time yet I have worked in an organization (not counting freelancing, obviously.) You can see why it is a special feeling for me to be here.
I am probably making it sound like that it was all a bed of roses and a cakewalk. That is, of course not true. There have been ups and downs like you would face at any other organization and there have been times when I thought that this is it, it’s time to leave. It is the incredible support I received from all my colleagues that kept me at what I did best and that has kept me here. I wouldn’t be wrong in calling this an extended albeit, weird family of sorts.
I joined Axelerant in Dec, 2013, being especially attracted to the remote work culture and an awesome team. I remembered that team building was one of my worst failures at my own venture earlier and this was a great opportunity to learn. I was already working partially remotely in a company called Blisstering Solutions (another great experience) but it always felt less efficient than being in the office. A fully remote model intrigued me very much and I was excited to learn more. Besides, anyone who knows Bangalore can attest that you will do anything to avoid the roads.
And then the story begins. I started working on projects with awesome people. We were all remotely connected, with just another person in Bangalore when I started (there are six now). I moved on to become a full time contributor to Drupal sometime in 2014. A little later, I gave my first Acquia Certification exam and got certified. Around the same time, I became a technical architect and split my time between contributions and project work. I later went on to become certified as a front-end developer and then back-end specialist which earned me the Acquia Grand Master certification. This was around the busiest time throughout my time at Axelerant. Contributions along with all the other work that I was doing began to take a toll on me and I almost reached burnout levels.
Along with all this, I traveled a lot. Axelerant encourages participating in conferences and sponsors you if you are speaking. I started off by speaking at DrupalCamp Pune 2014 in April and of course local meetups and minicamps. But 2015 changed all that. I have not traveled all my life like I have traveled this year. Starting off with DrupalCamp Delhi and Axelerant retreat in January, followed by DrupalCamp Mumbai in February, DrupalSouth in March, DrupalCon Los Angeles in May, DrupalCamp Pune in August, DrupalCon Barcelona in September. I am not counting DrupalCamp Bangalore because well, I didn’t travel for that (some call going to Whitefield as traveling, but that’s another story). Wow! It has been some year.
I can’t not mention contributions here. Axelerant has been a strong supporter of open source contributions, and since we work on Drupal most, most of our contributions are to Drupal. My contributions (many on Axelerant’s time) along with my trips to international conferences have put me in touch with the amazing people who work with Drupal. Talking about that would be another post entirely. I can’t begin to thank people like Megan Sanicki, Angie Byron, Cary Gordon, Donna Benjamin, Jeffrey A McGuire, Larry Garfield, Ken Rickard, Paul Johnson, and so many others from the Drupal community. I am fortunate to be in touch with these people and that is in no small part due to Axelerant.
I am sure I am forgetting a lot here but you can only write so much. It takes a special kind of team to lead an organization like Axelerant. I am fortunate to have worked with the likes of Ankur Gupta, Abhi Goel, Michael Cannon, Piyush Poddar, Karuna Batra, all of whom are really delightful people. Their leadership is what makes Axelerant what it is. I have learnt a lot from them and my other colleagues each of whom has supported me in my growth over these past two years.
I was starry eyed two years ago seeing all the knowledge sharing that happened then. I am still starry eyed seeing my colleagues learning and helping me learn today. I am looking forward to a lot more learning and happiness as I continue my journey at Axelerant.