2021 Quick Review

This end of year post (single post in the year actually, as it’s been for a couple of years) is costing me more energy to get started than others. Maybe because, like many people, I am pretty much trying to get past 2021 and what the pandemic entailed another year.
Yet, with all the negative that 2021 has had, I am very lucky that this year was still a very interesting and good one for me.

New company

Professionally, 2021 started already very well for me since I had the chance to hire two very good people to grow my team at Kinvolk.
Still, the biggest highlight for my professional life in 2021 was indeed that Kinvolk was acquired by Microsoft, into Azure to be more specific. This not only made me feel very happy and proud that my friends bootstrapped Kinvolk to become a successful company (the acquisition was another sign of that), but also very curious because it meant joining Microsoft.

There are certainly challenges in such a huge company, especially when joining from a multiple times smaller one, but the people I have met, their energy and will, the work itself and the possibilities we’re given, have all been wonderful. Even things like adapting to the shifting work experience by having a hybrid work approach are exactly what I think makes sense for companies to retain and attract talent while keeping productive and competitive.

Therefore, I am very happy to have joined Microsoft/Azure and contribute my share to its mission. If you want to help too, there are plenty of openings in case you’re looking for a new job.

One (point 33) years in Portugal

It’s been over a year since we’ve become residents in Portugal again and we’re very happy that we moved when we did. Last year the country did pretty badly due to the pandemic, until mass vaccination started and virtually all adults got vaccinated since then.
We were lucky that the people from our close family who got infected only got mild symptoms, and that our children had to be only twice in confinement due to close COVID-positive contacts.

Generally, people argue and debate (and sometimes complain about) the government handling of things, but there’s also a general acceptance and following of rules (we have had no riots or violent protests), and that makes me feel much safer than I felt in Berlin.

Our intentions for traveling outside of Portugal were also curbed in 2021. I understand it was possible, but the instability of the traveling rules and the logistics involved in traveling with two kids, plus leaning on being safe, meant our international travel was just a few kilometers beyond the border with southern Spain, to stuff on fried calamari.

I do open source at the job already, so in my free time I apply my engineering skills to complex mechanical constructions, under the supervision of my 4 year old son. The photo shows a monster truck built with cardboard, wooden skews, and paper straws.

Is 2022 the one?

Maybe naively, I am more optimistic about this new year being the one where things really start to improve worldwide than I was for last year, so I hope to be able to travel and see my good friends abroad. Until then, have a great new year!

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