Surendhar Reddy

2018: A year of uncertainties and possibilities

I really don’t do these personal blogs but as I was away from my social circles all this year, I decided to write a small piece with all the updates and share what I have been up to all year long. I won’t lie, it did feel a little unnecessary in the beginning, but I thought it would also be a good way to reflect on my choices. I started writing it when I was in Caffe Trieste at San Francisco.

It all looked very uncertain in the beginning and it still is, that is what remains even today but the only change I had during the journey is becoming comfortable with it and that comfort of enjoying and living in uncertainty is growing. Decisions like, quitting my first job at a startup which I’ve been working on since my college days, or deciding to go back to study, applying to colleges and getting rejected, or encouraging myself to lead mobile development at Grain, or deciding to do a solo trip to San Francisco were most uncertain options in the beginning and even now but what I’m learning and experiencing because all these decisions and journey is uncomfortably exciting.

Started this year with very simple and small goals/milestones, and some wild ideas to unlearn habits and also disconnected from my social circles on Facebook and Instagram. Here’s me reflecting on all those choices I made and learnings I had this year.


I have become more comfortable with people this year. My social anxiety was crushed by kind love and hospitality by some amazing people, whom I meet at work and during travel. Starting from my colleagues at Grain, clients in Dubai, co-travellers in Singapore and San Francisco inspired and taught me a lot of good qualities to treat people better and make them happy in every way possible.

Hangouts with colleagues at work, best conversations with friends and co-travellers, Christmas Eve celebrations with bunch of amazing travellers glorified my happiness this year.


I have done most satisfying work this year. I’m actively engaged in developing and maintaining 2 software products for Grain. Finally I’m owning products that are serving the purpose of a company which is trying to do some good. We also have some exciting stuff coming up in 2019, can’t wait for it.

I also helped my friend to launch their product, this gave me some adrenaline rush. We have built some amazing hardware and software products in short time and deployed at a very large event in Dubai.


Deciding to travel a bit early this year had a huge impact on me. The experiences I had with diverse culture, people, history and food were incredible. I travelled for almost 7 weeks and was in 4 countries this year, longest until now.

Stayed in Dubai for almost 2 weeks to deploy an event management tech solution at Madinat Jumeirah. Later, I explored the futuristic constructions, artistic palaces, and tasty middle eastern food. Visited 148th floor of Burj Khalifa, did desert safari, and some other touristy stuff. The best thing? I got my Macbook screen replaced for free in Apple Store at Mall of Emirates.

Visited first and later settled in Singapore. I had amazing experiences with the people of Singapore, her culture, and food. I’m working here with some incredible (kind and intelligent) people who are teaching me a lot about exploring and experiencing the world in many different ways. Also, I visited some museums, libraries, hawker centres, and not to forget, some fantastic bars.

Stayed in San Francisco Bay Area & Silicon Valley for 2 weeks exploring The Beats, city’s history, art scene, tech scene, and food. It always felt like I visited this place thousand times even before I was here, I need days to explain the experiences I had in this city. Had many fanboy moments while visiting all my favourite places. I started as a tourist but ended up being a traveller: I learned a lot about travelling on this trip. Met very interesting people from Norway, Russia, Brazil, Japan, China, and Saudi Arabia.


2018 was an incredible year for reading. I made enough time to read 20+ books and loads of other pieces of information on interesting things. Spent good amount of time in libraries around Singapore. I also started maintaining office library at Grain (I should get better at this).

The year of many firsts

— First professional software engineering job
— First stay out of home
— First visit to Dubai
— First visit to Singapore
— First visit to San Francisco and first solo trip

Other first and fun things

— First Tesla ride
— First business class flight
— Chef’s and friends at Grain made me taste varieties of food for first time
— First broadway show
— Tons of live music, Netflix, and alcohol tasting

What I could have done better in 2018 (No REGRETS!)

— With a lot of food thing happening in my life, I’ve consumed tons of calories. I didn’t spend good amount of time burning those calories.
— I still suck at single-tasking and deep work.
— I consumed a lot of information and didn’t apply some of that. I needed to find that balance between consumption and application with proper diet.
— Made some less valuable financial investments and acquired some unhealthy spending habits. Not a big loss but I’m a bit concerned about the bad habits.
— I missed a chance to travel to China because of incorrect work estimations. But the work was satisfying.

It’s been a very productive and memorable year, it all started with uncertainties and ending up with possibilities. Being honest to self, comfortable with uncertainty, being unattached, and giving less attention to less valuable things had helped me in having a great journey this year. Also, I’m very thankful for everyone who made it possible, especially to my amazing friends at Grain. I’m excitedly looking forward to all the good things I’m going to do in the new year.