Abhirath Batra


29 September 2020

I build therefore I am!

by Abhirath Batra

What am I doing?!

I have spent my time, since around 2016, rapidly changing ambitions, streams, career directions, roles, and the entire narrative around what I want to do with my life. I tried everything from being the contrarian who rejected the game of the system only to be a bar-stool philosopher, to an aspiring PhD candidate who would reject the evils of corporations to push the boundaries of what humans know, to a wide-eyed employee at a startup looking to make impact. Having walked this convoluted path, I realised 2 things :

  1. I seem to really enjoy the dopamine hit of writing a program or adding feature to a website.
  2. I was deluded about how good I was at doing all of those things. Truthfully, I’m actually just getting started!

What am I doing wrong?!

One of the easiest traps to fall in a college with remarkably talented peers is, to carve out a niche for yourself, where you only talk. I came across this excellent thread on Twitter that captured my precise feelings on the topic :

It took me an incredibly long time to realise, while I can talk at length about how things should be, and even about how things should be built in abstract terms, I could not really build things if my life depended on it. Sure I’m a reasonable programmer and can write you a decent python script, but the real world, doesn’t really care!

What I should be doing instead!

I should build! And I should write!

I joined Microsoft with the intention to learn how to build at scale, in a corporation that knows how to get things done. This is the top-down part of my approach.

This website, is an attempt to go bottom-up, to learn how to build, and write about it.

Through the ideas I have read from so many like Naval Ravikant, Paul Graham and Nassim Taleb, I am convinced that starting out the iterative and evolutionary process is the key here. To fail rapidly and iterate both what I build and what I write.

Why I want to write about it?!

I want to write to essentially journal my learning process for the world to see. I hope that it will help me get in the habit to write more. Needless to say, it will help me crystalise my own learnings as the pressure of articulation often does. It is also my hope that my writing is relevant and resonant with a few, and entertaining to still others.

Iteration 0 : init()

Atlast, after I trying to figure out which framework to use, to how to host the website, here it is, hosted on Github Pages, and generated through Jekyll, my first post!

In my first post, I will write about the first iteration of this website, how I built it so far, and what I learnt in the process and from where!

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