From Reversing Strings to Reverse Fate: Who Knew

September 11 | 05 min read


“It all started when the year-end closure was looming over my head, & Swetha’s mail popped up with a list of activities to be completed as a part of the 10Xer club’s application. ”

Is this a Cruel Joke – I thought as I read through the list. “Flex your programming muscles by writing a program in your preferred language to reverse a string” – read one of the points (and trust me, this was the easiest of the four tasks)

Cursing internally, I wondered – how on earth would “reversing a string” help me get better at my job, while all it is doing to me right now is eating up my time!!
Fast forward 4 months – I am not even surprised that I have already started to think programmer obviously without all the code writing!

I started my journey from a very defensive place wondering if I would learn anything new from the same set of people who I work and talk to everyday. I was also kind of complacent and felt I am fairly empathetic to other teams – CCD/ Engineering, Lalit, Nikhil etc.

However, It didn’t take me more than a few hours into the offsite to figure out that I had it all wrong 😅😅

Understanding each other beyond work – 

The last few months have been about getting inside the heads of my colleagues from other teams, Lalit, Shree and as difficult as it might sound, Nikhil among many others. There is sooo much more clarity now on –  

  • Where Shree’s claim comes from even with all the bhasad!
  • Why getting Nikhil worked up isn’t possible and most importantly 
  • Why Lalit behaves like the Mumbai city – pushing you till you fight back enough and start living the dream!
Be it the group discussions in Revathi’s sessions, or the 3am semi-sober chats in the offsites, or our last minute preps for the group projects, and the multiple discovery conversations with the leaders, all of these pushed me to look at others in different lenses, each time. Since these conversations were outside of day to day work chaos, I was more relaxed and this in turn gave me the opportunity to observe them in a more relaxed manner, without getting defensive and actually understand where they come from.
I realized that while I cannot change where they come from, just acknowledging their POV helped me approach them and the situation in a more empathetic manner and this eventually helped me get far more out of it. On a positive note, my biggest flex now is that despite working from the regional team, I have a really amazing rapport with my CCD/CEE Teams. Together in the last months we pulled together some really amazing projects this quarter.

Another beautiful experience that I didn’t know I needed was the heartful exchange of wisdom from the leaders. Seeing the OG leaders sharing vulnerabilities doesn’t just make one humble but also teaches one that it’s ok to feel stressed or out of control sometimes, and how you channel your vulnerability and how you push through defines how you come out the other side.

From cursing to embracing, I’ll be the first to admit that even the seemingly absurd task of clocking 10K steps for three consecutive days (yes, another gem from the application 😭) has been worth it!
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