Summary of 2021
Usually, during the winter holidays, we remember our achievements done during the previous year. I have never done this publicly, but I have decided to break the tradition this year and summarize my main events of the past year.
Table of Contents
Meeting with Friends and Relatives
2020 was a very dark year. One day we all have woken up with the understanding that the world will never be the same: masks, lockdowns, remote work. Due to the uncertainty, I have decided to limit the number of interactions with the outer world. Hence, the first several months of the pandemic, I mainly spent staying at home or in the open air and having very seldom offline meetings. 2021 gave us hope that sooner or later, we would combat this virus (or it will stay with us forever – who knows?). Believing in science, I did my first set of shots with Sputnik V in April. I guess I am among the first non-privileged and non-forced people in Belarus who managed to do this. That has released me from my volunteer prisoning, and in 2021 I met with some of my close friends and relatives. With some of them, we have not seen for years. So, thank you, 2021, for this opportunity, and I hope that 2022 will be even better in this respect (fingers crossed)!
Besides providing the possibility to meet close friends, the vaccination has also opened the job market to me. Since the pandemic’s beginning, I have decided to go back to work (office life) after the situation normalizes. Luckily, I had some savings, so I decided to spend this time with my parents, helping them with housework and renovation, and working on projects interesting to me from the personal development perspective.
After taking my shots in April, I started looking for a new position. In this process, the first task is to update your documents. So as I targeted both worlds – academia and industry – I had to prepare both CV and resume. Several sections in these documents are the same, so I spent some time figuring out how to make a system that would allow me to modify information in only one place for both documents. I wrote a blog post about my approach, so if you’re interested, you can read about it here.
My strategy was to reach out to as many interesting companies as possible for two reasons. First, so as I was unsure about the job market, I wanted to maximize the number of interview invitations. Second, if I get several offers, I would like to choose the better one. The strategy is good, but life usually makes its corrections. Unfortunately, several days after I started to apply, my laptop refused loading :( So as I could not figure out what the issue was, I passed it to a service company for inspection. They found out that my CPU was burnt and asked me to find a replacement. Unfortunately, my laptop was pretty old, and I spent several weeks trying to find a replacement but did not manage to do this.
Therefore, I have decided to buy a new laptop. Unfortunately, the pandemic has called for shortages of electronic equipment. Moreover, at the time, there were long holidays/lockdown in Russia, where laptops suppliers for Belarusian companies were located. So, the process of resolving the issue spread in almost two months. Not surprisingly, during this time, the companies, where I had managed to apply before the issue happened, started to invite me for the interviews. This squeezed my options only to them.
In total, I managed to apply to 16 places. Of them, 6 have invited me for an interview, and I have got 3 offers. I have accepted the offer to become the Assistant Professor in Cyber Security at TU Delft (Netherlands). So, from October 2021, I have been working there.
I continue to develop my blog. Of course, after I started to work at the university, I could not write with the same periodicity as before. Actually, I wrote only one blog post during the last three months. However, this can be easily explained: I moved to another country, and during these months I had to come up with lots of things at the new place. Hopefully, next year I will have more time to write. Despite this, I wrote 16 blog posts (16 is the number of the previous year!) during 2021!. According to the Cloudflare statistics, my website is visited by more than 500 people a day. I think that this is a pretty good number. However, I hope to double it in 2022, so see you there!