Tag Archives: Retrospective

It’s 2019. Resolutions.

2018 might have been the first year I setup some resolutions. I honestly find them pretty silly. However I have joined the band wagon, and by doing so here are my thoughts on resolutions for 2019.

New Resolutions

Alright, these are entirely new for this year. It seems wise that I’ll just put together three, listed below, since I have a number of failings from 2018 that I’ll need to slot into my continuing resolutions list, and of course turn those into successes this year!

  1. Increase my streaming (specifically with Twitch) and the correlative videos around coding, systems, and related technologies. Possibly, even throw in some *gaming*!
  2. Go office-less again. My aim is to not be tied to a desktop, an office, or related physical place and again go roaming coder again (also one of the inspirations behind getting a new laptop). This way I can also ensure I get out and to more meetups, hackathons, or whatever events that look good.
  3. Compose and record some music. I would say record more music, but I haven’t recorded any music in ages so I’m going to remedy this at some point this year.

A few other things, which I wouldn’t declare as failures if I don’t get them finished this year, but the likelihood I start writing a book is pretty high. I’ll also organize more than a few larger type events (i.e. beyond a user group meetup, such as more conferences like ML4ALL or maybe a open spaces conf).

Continuing Resolutions

Heyo I sound like Congress now! The resolutions are from the previous year that I will be continuing to either succeed at or aim to succeed at. For specifics on each of these just navigate back to yesterday’s retrospective.

  1. Write More Code, Build Patterns, & Algorithms (Previous Year‘s Status: failed)
  2. Make OSS Workable for Me (Previous Year‘s Status: failed)
  3. Get More Active (Previous Year‘s Status: failed)
  4. Self Health (Previous Year‘s Status: failed)
  5. Improve Local Communities (Previous Year‘s Status: failed)
  6. Beer (Previous Year‘s Status: Succes!)
  7. Communications Improvements (Previous Year‘s Status: Succes!)
  8. Cell Phone Disruption (Previous Year‘s Status: Succes!)

Done Resolutions

These resolutions are resolutions that I’ve just decided I’m done with. Not going to do anymore or maybe they were just one offs, things that were a do once thing, such as “see Within Temptation play a show“.

  1. Re-initiate in Industry – This was really the only one off resolution from 2018. I managed to really get it done too. As for continuing to be involved in industry that’s kind of covered, easily, by continuing resolutions above.

With that, whether we’re ready for it or not, here’s 2019! Cheers!

 

 

 

My 2018 Retrospective

Alright, with that 2018 is a wrap. Christmas is a wrap. New Years is a wrap. It’s all done, wrapped up, and time to move on. Well, ok, so maybe a small retrospective! Early in 2018 I wrote a list of resolutions for 2018. How did I do? First I’m going to lead off with the things I have found myself failing miserably at.

Failed Resolution: Write More Code, Build Patterns & Algorithms

Write More Code, Build Patterns & Algorithms: I want to review and go back to some of the coding roots that I haven’t hit upon in a long time. It’s odd, when coding day in and day out one tends to not touch upon a lot of the fundamental basics. I want to start writing about and reviewing this again, keep it fresh in mind so it’s always easy to reach into my mind and explain how things work to who may ask. Goal: Write 0.5 blog entry per week on coding algorithms, patterns, or related core coding concepts and skills.

Oh dear I had a simple goal of writing 0.5 blog entries per week on coding algorithms, patterns, or related core coding concepts and skills. Yeah, I didn’t get anywhere near that, even though I increased my rate of blog posts somewhere around 6x what it was in 2017! Overall, yeah, groovy, I wrote more and that’s great, but I didn’t hit on the topics I really wanted to that I knew would provide more value!

Failed Resolution: Make OSS Workable for Me

Make OSS Workable for Me: Get the OSS projects I’ve started in the last 2–3 years into a more workable state, insure others can take them, build, and get running without issue. It’s been a few years since I’ve worked on and helped with any OSS projects that are actually used, it’s a bummer and I’m going to resolve that this year. Goal: Get two projects into a workable state so others can use them and I can use them for their intended purpose and for teaching and blogging purposes.

I’m so close on this goal. I’ve got the project into a little bit better of a state, but overall they’re still kind of rough. At the rate I’m going among the Twitch streams and such, these projects will be in a nicely usable state soon however! Probably by March or April I’d suspect I’ll have 2 of the projects (Colligere and Twitz) into  a usable state! But from the goal point of view, this is a failed resolution.

Failed Resolution: Get More Active

Get More Active: Take more bike rides, train trips, and spend more time with friends and family in Portland. Goal 1: Spend at least 3–4 days at Pedalpalooza this year, and take at least 4 trips (1 per quarter at minimum) of about ~2 days each in 2018. Goal 2: Participate in at least 1 group rides per quarter in Seattle.

I failed in this resolution miserably. In all honesty, it’s hard to even talk about. It fills me with rage that I failed at this fundamentally important resolution badly. There’s not a lot of things that I enjoy anywhere close to a good group ride, hanging out at Pedalpalooza, and generally being involved in my local community this way and it came all apart on me this year. It even fills me with rage, anger, and frustration with Seattle’s communities and how uninvolved most people are in Seattle itself. After coming from Portland I have tons of frustration with this, but I’m slowly learning to just live with it. Maybe this year, maybe not, I’ve no idea how I’m going to pull this together. I’m going to need to however as my mental and physical health largely rests on being involved in the biking community, with this involvement I generally falter into an angry, apathetic, disenfranchised angry person.

Failed Resolution: Self Health

Self Health: Take more time for myself, allocate appropriate me time to make sure I can keep my sanity. Goal: Write, ponder, introspect, and watch the world turn more often. Blog on the park, lake, boat, train, or place and moment of writing, pondering, introspecting, and watching the world turn by writing about it.

The first part of this year was catastrophically bad for me. However between joining a truly amazing team at DataStax, starting to finally get back to riding around Seattle, exploring, and producing content and learning new tech, languages, and the like I’m doing a lot better. I’ve got a long ways to go still before I’m back to 100%, but I think 2019 might be that year. At least, ending 2018 and going into 2019 I’m not as angry, depressed, and perturbed at society as I was at the beginning of this year. Now I’m just kind of euphorically disconnected and apathetic about the state of the world. It’s a major improvement!

Failed Resolution: Improve Local Communities

Improve Local Communities: Stop getting involved in Internet politics I can’t improve. Get more focused in local politics. Help more people in Seattle, help more people however I can. Help in the fight for better and more housing for all people. Help in the fight for better and more advanced and modern transportation options in Seattle, Portland, and wherever I can. Goal 1: Join Cascade Bicycle Club and the monthly urbanist meets. Goal 2: Keep up with the respective communities ala Bike Portland, The Urbanist, Seattle Transit Blog, Seattle Bike Blog, WA Bikes, and Cascade Bicycle Club.

Alright, I’m angry at myself about this one, but also realize I just couldn’t get to it. Don’t get me wrong, I attended some city council meetings and got involved some. But nowhere near as much as I’d prefer to have done. The simple fact too, is that Seattle political mechanisms are just garbage compared to Portland. It’s hard to know what’s going on let alone how the hell to get something done or improve one’s community, lot in life, or environment here. Seattle is a beast! One day, if we survive that long, it’ll make a great “Manhatten” of the northwest! (Ironically I’ve learned, it once was indeed called “New York City”, which to me seems like the dumbest name since New York was thus dubbed after “York” and before that was called New Amsterdam after Amsterdam, which Seattle has no real relation to in any way whatsoever)

But now, failures aside I digress.

TIME FOR VICTORIES!

Now it’s time for the successes. Some of these I barely passed, some I beautifully knocked out of the park!

Victory Resolution, “Beer”

Beer: Live a little, treat yo’ self, and hit up at least two happy hours or other meets with friends and coder/tech/hacker crews per month. The Ballard Happy Hour has been a good one so far, and of course the exceptional Seattle Scalability Group I help organize is pretty epic unto itself. The latter often having free beer post meet up. Both meets are good conversations, great beer, and a great chance to just unwind with smart folk. Goal: Attend two meets per month.

Ok, this one wasn’t purely about beer itself, but beer tends to play a large part of the activity. The core of it all was insuring that I get more involved in the local “tech” community here in Seattle. In this I have succeeded! Currently I’m leading the return of the Seattle Scalability Group with my meetup cohort plus the addition of the DataStax team having my back. This is of course only one of the activities I’ve gotten myself involve in again. I hope to also help out and get involved in other meetups around Seattle, and have started plotting the return of ML4ALL (v2) with Troy and Alena! I’m looking forward to this being a continuing resolution, and continually succeeding at meeting this resolution throughout 2019!

Victory Resolution: Communications Improvements

Communication Improvements: Find a new and more efficient way to increase the throughput of my follow ups with everybody. Whether by email, phone, or whatever it might be. Goal: Increase rate of follow ups by 15%.

Oh jeez, this one was easier to accomplish than I thought it was going to be. I’ve since gone through and reviewed. I managed to only drop the ball on ~3 of the over 340 important productive conversation threads I initiated! I’m also impressed with my ability to actually keep track of those thanks to my combination of software tools I started using and will be using for the ongoing future. That puts the increase rate somewhere around 99% and not merely 15%! Major victory on this accomplishment!

Victory Resolution: Cell Phone Disruption

Cell Phone Disruption: Decrease my actual cell phone usage making *phone calls* even further. Regain the privacy, personal time, and focus time that one traditionally had before the time of cell phones invading every corner of existence. How I do this I’m not entirely sure, but I’m betting when I figure it out I’ll blog it. Goal: Make it so that I don’t look at or need my cell phone for anything more than 1 phone call per week on average (vid chat, etc, excluded).

I was spectacularly victories in this goal. I think I’ve taken approximately 3 work calls for the entire year via the cell phone. I’ve decreased my screen time by almost 30%! Overall, I use my device dramatically less than I have in the past and it’s helped me in a pretty significant way. Maybe I could knock it down another 5 or 10% this year eh?

Victory Resolution: Re-initiate in Industry

Reinitiate in Industry: Kick back off and give some dedicated presentations at meet ups and conferences. Goal: Give at least 4–6 talks that are dedicated, focused, mid-level or advanced topics following my standards for speaking, follow up, and improving.

Knocked out three talks: Systemic Deployments, DataStax Developer Day: Operations & Security, and Node Systems for Node.js Services on Nodes of Systemic Nodal Systems. Then, to boot, I allocated some of my talks to Twitch streams and am continuing to step through these on a daily basis. Hope y’all will join me on a future stream, they’re fun! Overall though, lot’s of moving parts going on, and I’m going to likely double my speaking schedule this year. I’ve got a lot of cool things to show ya!

Next up, 2019.

Let’s go!

Oh Gerd, It’s Friggin’ 2018 Already, I survived and here’s a retrospective!

Overall 2017 was a successful year, but the ride was an emotionally and physically brutal train wreck, figuratively and literally. Here it is the first and I’m recovering and hoping that 2018 is better. But before diving into 2018 I’ve got to recollect just a few things for 2017.

Peloton become Pelotech. For most of my work in 2017 I knocked out a few key projects for Pelotech. First was the build out, expansion, and management of their branding and online presence. Follow @Pelotechnology on Twitter, or for a few business links and topics they now have a LinkedIn Pelotech Page.

While also I got to step in and build some awesome CI/CD systems, software solutions, and modernized a number of projects for a variety of companies including Nordstrom, Impinj, and others. We used some pretty excellent tools too including Rancher, Drone.io, Kubernetes, and a host of others in addition to our regular stacks for Node.js, Go, and even .NET in some places. Joachim even knocked out an impressive .NET core app with React and other components; pt 1 & pt 2.

Beyond that I’ve started multiple courses that will be released this year, some with LinkedIn Learning (prev Lynda .com). The courses range from Terraform, to Kubernetes and Go, and related technologies. These have been a lot of fun to learn about, prepare, and setup for an audience ready to learn and use these technologies. I’ve always enjoyed teaching people that are curious and I’m sure I’ll do a lot of that in 2018 too.

.NET Fringe took place again this last year too. Again, it was an awesome lot of fun. Again, a great geek train crew. Again a lot of fun to lead the fringe bike ride. .NET Fringe has turned into more than I think Troy, Glenn, myself, or others ever really thought it could have. Hopefully we can keep it going, albeit 2018 is a bit cloudy so far, at least for me when it comes to organizing events.

I wrote a short retrospective on .NET Fringe and what makes a great conference, if you’re organizing and looking for that feel, this may be a helpful read.

Beyond just the professional I’ve become a mortgage and US homeowner statistic! Yay! I think. It was an inordinate amount of work in my opinion and the verdicts out on the actual benefits over time. But as for a place to live, having a home to return to every day, a home that will eventually be owned is a rather pleasant feeling.

Here toward the end of the year, December 18th was kind of a summary however amidst all the other things. I’ve wrapped up my work with Pelotech, survived a train wreck, and am looking forward to getting into some new projects this year (more on this real soon).

Other than these things, 2017 was a year I’d promised myself I’d lay low, maybe even drop the ball if necessary, and kind of just relax. I wasn’t real successful at that and I’ll just have to consider 2017 a failed extended vacation. For now, Phil Haack & Hadi Hariri summarized my sentiment perfectly.

Anyway, that’s my retrospective for 2017, now time to put together some of those resolutions for 2018!