Sunday, January 03, 2010

Two Thousand & Ten

I'm going to go a little off track with what I'm going to post this time. I'm not going to talk about technology, Google Maps, web applications, software, photoshop, SEO, or how tos or any other "geeky" stuff. Its the start of a new year, a new decade, and hence I'm going to post about something different.

All in all 2009 was an interesting year, and good end to this decade. 2009 started out with a merger between the company I first joined - Pentura Solutions - after completing my masters and Thinknostic another company based out of Ottawa. Both companies have a very interesting past, they both are "re-births" of a previous company "Montage". I heard that name many times over the past 3 years, and today many of my colleagues were part of Montage in the past. Today this new company is known as ThinkWrap Solutions.

My start with Pentura was interesting. I was first interviewed in December 2005, and besides getting lost finding the office and arriving late, it went rather well I think. Unfortunately, at that time they were looking for someone to start right away, and I still had 6 months to go to finish my degree. Also, being an international student I couldn't just start working part-time without the necessary immigration papers. Fast forward to July 2007 and I completed a masters in computational engineering and thought of e-mailing Marc (the owner who interviewed me in 2005). Fortunately this time, they were hiring and I started that month. And that is my beginning with this great company; ThinkWrap. Its a great place to work, filled with talented people to work with and learn from. I think I'm one of the lucky ones who get a great job and a great place to start a career straight out of university. The funniest part is there is quite the McMaster alumni population at ThinkWrap - our ratio got a little diluted after the merger though. :)

2009 was also the year I finalized my immigration status in Canada and became a permanent resident. What does this mean for me? It means I have almost the same rights as a citizen, minus voting. I hear many Canadians don't vote so there you go. To me this means I don't need to apply for another study or work permit to stay in this great place called Canada. And in two years I get to apply for citizenship - then I'll vote for sure! I've been here since 2001 on numerous study and work permits. I really believe that over the years dealing with immigration, renewing papers, etc. I have gathered enough experience dealing with this to become just an average immigration lawyer - not that I would ever want to do it again, but my success rate is 100% : )
For 9 years I did it all myself, and haven't paid a penny to a lawyer to do it for me. Honestly, I never saw a reason why to, the documentation is there for you to read, the forms are online for you to get. Do it yourself.
However I do have to thank my student advisor at McMaster, my bosses at my jobs at McMaster, the guys and gals at Pentura and ThinkWrap for being there when I needed a signature or a letter, and my friends for maintaining my sanity. Without all these people, it wouldn't have been possible. Thankyou.

This decade is also an important one because I graduated high school in 2001, graduated from McMaster in 2006 and 2008. For that I have to thank my parents first for sending me half way across the world to study and supporting me throughout. I used to live in Abu Dhabi an hour or so away from Dubai, U.A.E - yes its a long way away from here. And second all my friends, without them I wouldn't have that many memories of this decade. Finally, as this decade is over, it means 2011 would be my 10yr highschool re-union.

Finally, this decade I also met this special somebody, 5 years ago. She bought me ice cream after a hiccup with my study permit. Now that I'm a permanent resident, she doesn't need to buy me ice cream anymore, but I'm still grateful I have her in my life. Thank you Carmen.

I'm a big Italian soccer fan, and when Italy is playing I'll be there cheering. This decade included the year Italy became the champs in the 2006 world cup. Last time they did that was the year before I was born - 82.

Y2K. Hey we survived what was hyped as doomsday. I think the only reason cell phones, phones, and even the internet hiccuped that night was because of all these people checking if we are still "online".

Here's to a great past decade, on to the next one. I just keep wondering, how will people refer to the past decade? The 20 zeros just does not sound cool enough.

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