Showing posts tagged with new years

in new years, goals, 2016

I always seem to find myself reflecting upon the year during the holidays - where I was this time last year and where I am now. This year has been pretty good to me overall. I've gone on several adventures, moved to Texas, gotten a new job, started my own company and so much more. I'm super excited that I've kept to this blog going for a whole year - I've always enjoyed writing but I seem to lack the dedication to keep a single project moving. Fortunately, that is not the case for this blog, this is especially fortunate because last year I wrote a post very similar to this one. This allows me the opportunity to compare what I've done this year with what I wanted to do last year. So here it goes!

According to last year's post, I wanted to do these things in 2015:

  • Obtain RHCSA - This did not end up happening, primarily because my situation changed pretty drastically over the course of 2015 - because of this, the RHCSA was not as valuable as it was to me last year.

  • Complete Master's program - This did not happen either. No good reason, just laziness.

  • Learn more virtualization - This definitely happened.

  • Learn Ruby - I would say this one is 50/50 - I definitely know more Ruby than last year, but I am certainly not proficient yet.

  • Work on personal projects - This absolutely happened.

  • Move - I'm writing this from San Antonio, TX where it is 80 degrees in December. Check!

So all in I was able to accomplish a total of 3 (and a half) goals from last year, 60% met, not too bad!

Now, on to what I've actually done this year:

  • Created SpacePanel - SpacePanel is easily the best thing I've ever personally made. I don't mean best as in it was awesome for other people, but best as in I learned so much writing it. I learned about libvirt, KVM, maintaining an actual project with people who care about the project and even a bit about crowdfunding. The knowledge is definitely the best thing to come from the project, but very close runner up was a new position at a Techstars company called Virtkick.

  • Became a developer at Virtkick - Looking back it is amazing that Virtkick and I ever connected. Virtkick learned of me because I made a snide remark on one of their blog posts (saying how SpacePanel rocked and people should use it instead of Virtkick). This got the attention of the founders of Virtkick who apparently admired my dedication to SpacePanel. Shortly after making that comment, Nowaker and Rush reached out to me, told me they liked SpacePanel and wanted me to come work for them in San Antonio. So that is exactly what I did.

  • Left my position at DigitalOcean - After getting a job offer from Virtkick I toiled for days trying to decide what to do. On one hand, I had a great job at an amazing company, but on the other hand: adventure, experience and the chance to do something I love (writing code). I eventually decided to resign from my position at DigitalOcean and move to San Antonio to work with Virtkick.

  • Moved to San Antonio - About a month after I left DigitalOcean and started working at Virtkick remotely April and I packed up all of our stuff in a big Penske truck and began the three day drive to the great state of Texas.

  • Wrote some cool software - Working at Virtkick has been amazing - I wrote code, all day every day. Previously this was something I only did for fun, but the idea of doing it all the time and getting paid for it was incredible. I learned so much throughout the year and I made a super cool new backend system for the company. Said super cool new backend system is now being tested at Bitkumo.

  • Traveled a bit - The Grand Canyon has always been on my bucket list. Right before we moved we were planning on flying out to Arizona to check out the Grand Canyon. Unfortunately, the move was pretty expensive so we had to cancel this trip. Fortunately, not long after getting to San Antonio we were able to visit the Grand Canyon with several friends. Getting there was an adventure - wanting to do the trip as cost effective as possible we did the 16+ hour one-way trip in a single day, spent two days checking our Arizona, and then did another super-not-fun 16+ hour day in the car. But all in, it was super worth it. You can know something is big, you can see pictures of it and see that it is big, but I find it almost impossible to comprehend how big something like the Grand Canyon is until you are standing there before it. It is, in a word, incredible.

  • Started a business - Along with two of my great friends and colleagues Lev and Mike I started a new cloud hosting called Bitkumo. Bitkumo of course uses Virtkick (specifically the backend system that I wrote myself - how cool is that?). The company is still young (about a week old at the time of writing) but things are moving fast and it is awesome.

So I think the tl;dr is that it has been an awesome year. Now that the year is nearing its end, its time to look to the future. That being said, my goals for 2016 are:

  • Grow Bitkumo into a strong, thriving business - I love business, I love strategy and I feel 100% in my element working with Bitkumo. I'm dedicated to making Bitkumo an awesome platform and a great company in 2016.

  • Get my code into production - I've spent most of 2015 working on the aforementioned backend at Virtkick. In 2016 I want to see this code go to production. This would be the first time something I've written is actually used for anything remotely resembling production - that idea is both frightening and very exciting.

  • Learn Ruby/Rails - This didn't completely happen in 2015 so I'm adding it to my goals for 2016. Ruby as a language, and Rails as a framework have a huge following. I firmly believe becoming proficient in RoR will be a good thing for my career overall, so I'm going to make it happen.

  • Continue growing as a developer - The most rewarding thing for me as a developer is seeing my code in use, but a super-close second is seeing my code improve. I love looking at code I wrote a year ago, saying "Wow this is terrible!" and realizing how far I've come. This needs to continue.

  • Continue growing as a person - This means traveling, spending time with my friends and family, learning, and overall learning to live a better healthier life.

I'm looking forward to another great and productive year in 2016. I hope 2015 has been great for you and I hope 2016 is even better!

in project, new years, goals, 2015

I'm a firm believer in always moving forward. Every day I strive to learn something new, improve an existing skill, or otherwise advance myself in some fashion. That being said, I really enjoy New Year's as it marks the end of another year of work and another year of advancement!

This year I've made some pretty big strides forward in a number of areas, I'd like to highlight a few of my favorite areas here:

  • Linux - When this year started I was still fresh in the face at Linode. I knew a little about a few things, but there is no way I could be described as anything but a beginner. This doesn't go to say I'm anything but that now, but I've learned a lot this year and I feel like I'm good enough to handle most problems and situations.
  • Sysadmin foo - This kind of goes in line with the previous bullet point, but I think its worth splitting out into its own point. Not only did I learn quite a bit about general Linux things (general use, troubleshooting, design, etc.), but I also learned quite a bit about managing systems, both for myself, and others.
  • Python/Flask - I started the year writing most of my web applications in PHP and I thought this was fine and dandy. I saw no reason why I should write in any other language. I'm fortunate that I was shown the light (in my opinion) and encouraged to try something else. In doing this, not only did I learn a very popular programming language (Python), a very popular web framework (Flask), but I also substantially improved my development process overall. With that being said, I'm still a terrible dev, but I'm less terrible than I was last year, so that is a victory in my book!
  • Career Advancement - Always forward, always upward. I had several great opportunities to learn many things throughout the year, both at Linode, and now at DigitalOcean. I'm very grateful for these opportunities and I hope to continue learning more in 2015.

So now for 2015! I always have a laundry list of goals, so I'll touch on some of the more important ones for the coming year:

  • Obtain RHCSA certification - I'm usually kind of meh on certs, but I think this might help me round out some areas I'm not well versed in currently.
  • Complete Master's Program - I'm about halfway through my Master's in IT Management, I'd like to make one final push and finish this up in the coming year.
  • Virtualization - It's kind of funny to think about it given my employment history, but truth be told, I'm not extremely familiar with virtualization as a whole. I know the basics, but there is a ton I don't know, this needs to change!
  • Ruby - I've recently tried to make it a point to become familiar with a new programming language each year - this year I'd like to learn some Ruby. If, by some miracle I become a Ruby expert before year's end, I intend to take a second look at C.
  • Projects - With several big life changes recently (primarily employment related) I've stopped working on some of my favorite projects, this needs to change!
  • Move - I've lived in South Jersey all my life, from what I've observed, the most successful people seem to leave the area and return later in life. I intend to explore the possibility of moving to the midwest to be closer to my fiancĂ©e's family.

Welp, thats it. Happy New Year's everybody, I hope your 2014 has been joy-filled and productive and I hope that 2015 is the same!