Last year, I wrote a post around how I semi plan my career and personal growth by writing 'The list'. I have been asked if I am doing this again so I thought it would be good to do just that, and allow me to publicly reflect on what worked, what didn't, and what I intend to do this year.
Note that this list is mostly technical, but found more and more that other items were being added that were purely non-technical. These involved things ranging from fitness/health to retirement planning. In retrospect, what this meant for me was that the importance of these items is increasing as I get older, replacing some of the priorities I had in the past.
So here is a curated summary of what I managed to get through, and what I plan to tackle this year from a growth and career perspective.
Highlights from last year
- Kubernetes: I made this one of my main focus areas and did exactly that.
- NDC Talk: I have delivered quite a few presentations before but never an NDC one. 2018 saw me deliver an NDC talk on CosmosDB which was received very well : Planet scale or planet fail?
- Azure: Continue learning and trying to keep up with Azure.
- Promotion: I applied for an internal promotion, for which I failed dismally.
- This may seem a negative (and caused me some very deep introspection) but highlighted what I am not good at. I knew it, but this really hammered it home in neon lights. Thankfully, the colleagues that went further (and finally one individual who did get it) have helped me with my personal gap analysis for which I am immensely grateful and in retrospect, I would have also chosen them over me easily for that role.
I also tackled a bunch of non tech items which were in many ways, bigger than anything tech related
- Walk for Charity - A relatively easy walk of 6 Km but for charity which is something both my wife and I want to do much more of.
- Tough Mudder - Full 20km event ( https://www.runningcalendar.com.au/event/tough-mudder-sydney/ )
- This has been on my wife and my bucket list for a while. We both turned 50 and wanted to do it as part of that milestone. We did it. It was both fun and painful but are really happy we did. Training for this and both doing it yielded a common element, sense of achievement and deeper connection which is awesome.
- Tackled some personal and family challenges beyond the scope of this post. This occupied enormous energy.
- Other minor items I addressed:
- Cloud governance and security
- More on Golang - I enjoy this language even if I do not use it daily.
Items I did not tackle.
This list is larger than I would like but here goes
- YAMS/Microsoft Orleans - I did not get to this and after 2 years in my list, is being removed. I had no requirements from anyone around this, so is being culled. I may look into it as some intellectual exercise but only if time permits.
- Unity/AR dev - Missed this one, but recently got a Windows Mixed reality device and laptop capable of running it, so this year I am gonna play
- GraphQL - Added to this years list
- Machine learning/AI edX courses
- Deep dive on blockchain - To be honest, I lost interest. There are use cases for sure, but this is so fluid that it detracts from everything else. So opting out for now.
So, my current (subject to massive change) list for 2019 is as follows:
- Google cloud - deep dive. Map an existing cloud solution (say from Azure) to GCP and see how it goes
- Machine learning and AI edX courses
- Finalise my "last mile" financial plan - been planning this for the last 30 years now but getting to the pointy end of my career and am making sure I retire early and comfortably.
- I read this post from Troy and found it really interesting how similar we have approached things. In particular, start early. Do not wait till the last mile. This has worked really well for myself. If nothing else, take away a few points from that post and apply them.
- Istio and the evolution of service mesh/discovery/management.
- GraphQL in anger
- Hololens AR and VR, Unity - Got left behind last year but have some good plans for it this year.
- Kicking off some OSS ideas I have
- Cleaning house: Aggregating my domain name management and killing off my unloved and pathetically awful 10+ year old site at http://www.theglavs.net
- Business development
- Looking into some of the newer AWS services: Like new aurora offerings, Textract etc
- Continue looking into other aspects related to Kubernetes
So that is it. This list is definitely going to change but this is the start. There is actually a good chunk more detail in the list I keep but would make this post quite boring, however, you have the main components. If you have a similar "list", or approach I'd love to hear it.