Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro focusing on cloud computing, Kubernetes, Linux, containers, and networking

Looking Back: 2017 Project Report Card

As has become my custom for the past several years, I wanted to take a look at how well I fared on my 2017 project list. Normally I’d publish this before the end of 2017, but during this past holiday season I decided to more fully “unplug” and focus on the truly important things in life (like my family). So, here’s a look back at my 2017 projects and a report card on my progress (or lack thereof, in some cases).

For reference, here’s the list of projects I set out for myself in 2017:

  1. Finish the network automation book.
  2. Launch an open source book project.
  3. Produce some video content.
  4. Get the Full Stack Journey podcast back on track.
  5. Complete a “wildcard project.”

So, how did I do with each of these projects?

  1. Finish the network automation book: I’m happy to report that all the content for the network automation book I’ve been writing with Jason Edelman and Matt Oswalt is done, and the book is currently in production (and should be available to order from O’Reilly very soon). I had hoped to get the content done in time for the book to be available for order before the end of 2017, so I’m marking myself down just a bit on this one. Grade: B

  2. Launch an open source book project: I launched The Open vSwitch Cookbook in late February, and then canceled the project in late March. Why? Basically, it boils down to my effort detracting from the effort to include high-quality documentation with Open vSwitch itself, and I decided it was better to support the efforts of the OVS project than put forth my own (competitive) project. Because I learned something from this project—how to better align my own efforts with the efforts of open source projects I want to support—I don’t consider this to be a total failure. Grade: D

  3. Produce some video content: I intended to start producing some video content, such as demos of a project or a video “how-to” for a certain technology. Unfortunately, I simply didn’t make it. Grade: F

  4. Get the Full Stack Journey podcast back on track: I was aiming for nine episodes in 2017, and I managed to publish six. More importantly, though, was that I was able to join forces with Packet Pushers, giving me a support network to make the podcast even better (in the long run). Grade: B

  5. Complete a “wildcard” project: I’ve had this on my list for the last few years, as a way of trying to account for unseen changes in the industry that may pull me in a direction different than what I had anticipated. I did lots of interesting things this past year, but the only “project” that stands out was the migration of this web site from Jekyll on GitHub Pages to Hugo on Amazon S3/CloudFront (more information is available here). This migration was very smooth and has—I think—resulted in a better site with better performance. It’s also pushed me in some new directions, which I think is a good thing. Grade: A

Overall, my progress was reasonable—not stellar, but not awful. (That’s an improvement over last year, at least!) Over the next few weeks, I’ll be evaluating the projects I want to tackle in 2018. Once I have that list ready to share, I’ll publish it here as I have in the past.

Have some feedback for me? Feel free to hit me up on Twitter, or drop me an email (my address is here on the site). Thanks!

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