Berlin is a wonderful city, yet far from feeling like home. Moving was hard, after 1.5 year of daily routine optimized to perfection I feel like the day is suddenly half as long and every chore takes twice the time it used to. Yet, I don’t want to judge before the dust settles in. So except to see more in following months, and hopefully before the Christmas, I will have some coherent opinion formed.
This month was mostly work-focused. Compared to the last months at Kiwi.com at SumUp there’s more things to do than what can be done. Sometimes it is hard to not feel split between too many tasks and keep the focus. On the other hand, the problems at hand are fun and challenging. We are building identity system, authentication, and authorization system to replace the existing one. And while at it, we push for better practices and sense of responsibility, both lacking behind as of now.
I enjoy the solve things by talking with the people culture. It feels easier to establish a common ground and focus on things that need to be done when you can discuss what matters with all interested parties. Thanks to Julien I also started to get into the habit of taking notes during the meetings, refining them afterwards, and preparing talking points for the meetings to come to keep them to the point and concise. I also have the opportunity to work on diverse set of tasks, from backend development and software reliability engineering to frontend stuff and project managing.
On the other hand, I miss the overly open culture of Kiwi.com.
There’s far less open discussions, off-topic channels, and friendly chatter
at the SumUp slack. Although this seems to be compensated by the physical interactions,
I would still appreciate seeing the It’s Wednesday my Dudes memes in
discussions of every possible HN article in
newcommers introducing themselves in
#devs-talk and people sharing their
happy stories in
Another thing I struggle with is getting feedback and seeing a clear path on
the way to senior-ish role, this is on me though.
I will write more about the culture differences and the numerous other things about SumUp that I enjoy in future posts. To preface it though: I’m proud to part of our team and I hope I will be able to soak in as much experience and skill from the guys as I possibly can.
On a different note, I did a solo 275 km ride from Berlin to Litomerice (almost). It wasn’t as hard as I expected. I took off at 5 am. First 200 km went smoothly as I cruised at comfortable speed of around 31 km/h. I stopped every two hours only to refill my two small 550ml bottles and eat something that wasn’t carbohydrate gel or salted roasted cashews.
The roads were flat, with the kind of flat asphalt that is so smooth that the only thing you can hear is the rolling resistance of the tires. And than there was the polar opposite. In many villages they didn’t bother and kept the stone pavement, famous roubaix terrain, the stones that were put in place long before the first Kebab shop opened. But there’s no stopping for set of strong legs and one butt soaked in chemonix cream.
It all went downhill when I came to Dresden. The wind started blowing into my face with force that slowed me down to 20 km/h which felt like a snail speed. The weather was scorching and last drop of isotonic drink went down my throat before I even left the Berlin suburbs.
I managed to climb the two climbs parting me from the German-Czech border before I puked. From there, long descent followed into Usti nad Labem, our frequent stop for short and easy coffee rides. But the energy was depleted and I couldn’t even thing of consuming anything else than water. 20 km was parting me from Litomerice, my hometown and the finish of this crazy ride, when I decided to call parents to pick me up.
There I laid, next to the road, two empty bottles, 275 km in the legs, contemplating the meaning of life and everything and telling myself what a terrible and painful experience it was, and how I can’t wait to do it again.
- Educated by Tara Westover
- How to Work Hard by Paul Graham
- On Writing Well by William Zinsser. Continuation of my path to better writing. A journey I embarked on with Sense of Style by Steven Pinker
- Kenya by Zoban