three five

I thought I was running late to publish the birthday post I looked forward to writing each year, but scrolling through the feed looks like I am 10 days early from last years blog post. Five days late from the date I used to publish before, but ten days earlier from last year. Progress?

I should start by stating how much I like writing—this blog post and writing in general. Penning down my thoughts bring immense joy, and I always kick myself for not writing more regularly. Besides travelling, programming, hanging out with friends and food, writing has to be up there on the list, bringing joy.

2020 has been one rollercoaster of a ride. A year which I think everyone will remember forever. COVID-19 and so many changes everyone had to make to get by. If you are reading this in 2020, here is a virtual hug from me to you. 🤗 We all have been through enough, and I hope 2021 is better for every one of us.

I went through the list of things I set myself to do in 2020, and I managed to do the following.

  • Move to an apartment somewhere close to the city. Cut down on travel time and spend that time reading/learning. ✅ ( Moved away from the city in the second half, more on that below)

  • More physical exercise. Joining salsa classes in Jan. ( Salsa got replaced by high-intensity training)

  • Buy/rent a car and make more road trips across Australia. (6K on the odometer already since buying the car in July)

  • Support more small businesses. Buy local and from Indie / small business owners.

  • Spend more time with family and friends.

Things I did not succeed at:

  • Write/share more often on this blog. (😞)

  • Travel to at least three new countries. I am looking at you, Japan, Nepal and Finland. (travel in 2020.. naaaa)

Overall, 2020 went well with the things I had set myself to do.


I moved into an apartment close to the city in Feb 2020 and was so excited about the move. COVID hit in the third week of me moving into the place. One of the reasons for moving to the city was to be closer to work, and with work from home being the norm for a few months, paying the high rent did not make sense. Moved back to a new place in the same suburb I lived before the move and I have loved it here. The apartment is excellent, and living close to friends has been incredible. Move again in 2021? Maybe.

I joined F45 in the second half of 2020 after having not exercised in the first half of 2020. I did dabble in-home exercise based workouts using a few apps during lockdown but realised that I enjoy group activities rather than exercising alone.

I got my drivers license this year, after four attempts. I guess 4th time was the charm. I should write more about the lessons learnt and what finally worked to help clear the test. Following, the license, I bought a second hand Mazda 3 in the second half after COVID rules got a bit relaxed and it has been fun driving around NSW, Australia. Every second weekend, me and a few friends would head out to explore a new place in the state. One of the best purchases after moving to Australia.

Lockdown did also make me reflect on how much I miss my family and friends back home. At one point, I remember calling a few friends and telling them that at the end of all this, I might pack my bags and move back. Staying away from them for so long was not part of my plan of moving to Australia. I always wanted to have the freedom to visit them when I got a chance and now that the new world did not permit for this or could permit from this, I wanted to make sure that I live as close as possible. A decision I continue to think about from time to time.

Australia has been a great place to live, though. I continue to enjoy the food, the places and people here. A few people have told me that I should try the different kinds of wine Australia offers. Something for me to consider in 2021.


I have had a great time working at ELMO this year. From online zoom meetings in the first half of 2020 to move back to the second half office. Moving back to the office has been great in cutting down on the number of Zoom calls, we all had to be part of in 2020.

I enjoy working with the team and all the conversations we have. From work to random banter and the cupcakes. I love the cupcakes near the office, in 2020 it became an every Monday treat. <3

Its been great diving into the code and understand everything a bit better about the software I maintain. I had a conversation with my manager a few weeks ago, and I mentioned this to him. From taking a few days to find the root cause of an issue to now taking a few hours, its been a great learning experience on how to structure software and why everyone needs to spend more time writing tests for the software they build. I cannot think of writing a new software application today without enough test coverage.

Tools I learnt this year:

  • Cypress
  • Got a bit better at React(still a lot more to know)
  • Infrastructure as code(AWS ElasticBeanstalk)
  • Pipeline setup for Bitbucket and Gitlab

Things I want to get better at in 2021

  • Swift
  • End to End testing frameworks.
  • Writing better unit tests for PHP and Javascript.


I would spend the most time writing this section during my yearly blog post. Going through Google Maps and its traced location would take a few hours. This year its been easy. With international travel banned due to COVID, my travel this year was restricted within Australia. However, I did manage to squeeze in one visit to New Zealand the second week of Feb.

Places visited in NSW, Australia:

  • Bowral and Mittagong
  • Gosford
  • Newcastle
  • Nelson Bay
  • Wagga Wagga
  • Port Macquarie

Goals for 2021

  • Start to learn Salsa or some other form of a dance routine. It has been a long term goal of learning how to dance—time to get started.
  • Try harder to be in touch with friends and family.
  • Write/share more often here.
  • More road trips.
  • If international travelling opens up again in 2021, visit India, Japan and Nepal.
  • Build and maintain at least two apps on iOS and Mac OS. Side projects 2021.

I hope you all have an excellent 2021. 🙌🏻

Sunil Shenoy @sunil
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