Recap of 2019: The Art of Speaking

There is a saying in Russian “как лодку назовешь, так она и поплывет”[a boat sails in accordance with its name]. So January 1st I declared the 2019 to be more bold, tenacious and eager. And oh, has it been! 2019 was a roller-coaster of challenges and rewards.

A few things have shaped this year:

  1. Personally, I hardly ever ask people for anything I want or need. But I can definitely ask someone to do a favor to help family, friends, and colleagues. My parents taught me to put your head down, work hard, and you’ll get rewarded. Unfortunately, it’s not always enough. This year I’m proud of myself for stepping up and being vocal about my needs and intentions. A perfect example was asking for my promotion.

  2. Another act of courage I made was when I submitted my first abstract for #AndroidSummit conference this year with what I thought was a zero chance of it being selected. But to my surprise, it was. This is a big one[❗]. I haven’t done public speaking in 8 years. And haven’t done it in english for… about my entire life. Thus me being a perfectionist, I made sure not to rest a day to kick it in overdrive every day for a month and a half until I wrapped up all my research into a structured paper and began religiously rehearsing the talk over and over. Then, on the day of the talk, anxiety and nervousness kicked in full speed, but somehow I managed to pull through. Two months later, I got an email my talk was selected for GDG #DevFest in Sydney, Australia. I was crazy excited. This was my first international and remote talk. But thankfully, it went through very smoothly. A week later, two of my talks were selected for #DroidconSF . I’ve watched many videos about tech talks and decided to follow the tips from them. A lesson learned: do not watch any videos like these before your actual talk, it’ll mess your head up.

  3. My talk at #DroidconSF, which I had already given twice in the past, went terribly. I’m talking stuttering, rough transitions between my Keynote slides, and the whole first verse from Eminem’s Lose Yourself. This was my third time giving the talk, yet for some reason, it went down-hill compared to my first time. That should had not been the case. So I apologized in the middle of the talk 🤦. Yes, it did fit a stereotype about females always saying sorry. Yes, in a professional world, you keep going as it was planned. Since then, I’ve gotten many feedback that I shouldn’t apologized, but it happened. However more importantly, I’ve apologized to myself, because it didn’t meet my expectations. Was it right doing so, or wrong - I still don’t know.

  4. My most important part of speaking this year was to recruit females in STEM. Yes, you might think what a big deal, everybody is hiring females nowadays to even the gender disbalance. But being honest and straightforward with a candidate, while still convincing them to join a company takes a lot of work. From the bright minds of the Grace Hopper program, to the interns at America’s the top universities, I’m so glad to meet each of you, and hope to see you in my team next year.

  5. There is a special feeling I get every time when a female developer comes up and gives me feedback and support. I don’t know how to explain it, but it calms me down a lot. It is unique 💚. Hope to give and receive many more of it next year. P.S. Please remember, regardless of the gender I will always appreciate any feedback.

For this year I had only two goals: to speak at one conference and to write one article. I’m happy to achieve both. Years of trials and fails at new year resolutions taught me a great lesson: choosing only one goal is small. You’ll just keep pushing it off to the side since you have twelve months to complete it until there aren’t any months lefts. Choosing more than two goals makes you anxious, which doesn’t help to achieve even one of them. Two is perfect - it gives just enough time to procrastinate. Yet, gives just the right amount of urgency to get yourself to reach both goals!

As the year [and decade] comes to an end, I’d like to thank #androidCommunity for the welcoming and continuous support, and I’m immensely grateful to be part of this amazing community! Let’s keep this up, 2020 💪!

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