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

Looking Ahead: My 2019 Projects

It’s been a little while now since I published my 2018 project report card, which assessed my progress against my 2018 project goals. I’ve been giving a fair amount of thought to the areas where I’d like to focus my professional (technical) development this coming year, and I think I’ve come up with some project goals that align both with where I am professionally right now and where I want to be technically as I grow and evolve. This is a really difficult balance to strike, and we’ll see at the end of the year how well I did.

Without further ado, here’s my list of 2019 project goals, along with an optional stretch goal (where it makes sense).

  1. Make at least one code contribution to an open source project. For the last few years, I’ve listed various programming- and development-related project goals. In all such cases, I haven’t done well with those goals because they were too vague, and—as I pointed out in previous project report cards—these less-than-ideal results are probably due to the way programming skills tend to be learned (by solving a problem/challenge instead of just learning language semantics and syntax). So, in an effort to align my desire to increase open source contributions along with a desire to improve my programming/development skills, I’m setting a goal to make at least one code contribution to an open source project this year. For the purposes of this goal, I will count “infrastructure-as-code” contributions (Ansible, Terraform, etc.) as one-fourth of a code contribution. Contributions/commits to my own Polyglot project do not count. (Stretch goal: Make three code contributions to open source projects.)

  2. Add at least three new technology areas to my “learning-tools” repository. Established a few years ago, my “learning-tools” repository contains tools and tutorials for learning new technologies. It’s gotten a bit stale over the last couple of years, so this year I want to add at least three new technology areas to this repository. I have a few ideas about some of the technology areas I’d like to add, but I’m going to leave this open so as to account for directional changes over the course of the year. These contributions/commits do not count against my previous project goal. (Stretch goal: Add five new technology areas to the “learning-tools” repository.)

  3. Become more familiar with CI/CD solutions and patterns. In 2018 I focused the majority of my energy on becoming more fluent in Kubernetes (and I did reasonably well, though there is still plenty to learn). In 2019, I need to “move up the stack” a bit and increase my knowledge and experience with CI/CD solutions and usage patterns, particularly in containerized environments. I know that this goal is rather vague, but at this point I’m not really sure how I can make it more specific, measurable, and concrete.

  4. Create at least three non-written content pieces. I’ve been blogging for a long time (14 years as of May 2019), and previous attempts at other forms of content creation have not been quite as successful. This year, I’m going to try again, but without specifying what type of content (only that it is non-written content). It could be a presentation published via Slideshare or SpeakerDeck, a video tutorial published on YouTube, or a graphic/diagram posted somewhere. Audio content created for the Full Stack Journey podcast will not count against this project goal. (Stretch goal: Create five pieces of non-written content.)

  5. Complete a “wildcard project” (if applicable). As I’ve done in previous years, I’m going to allow room for a “wildcard project.” It’s difficult, if not impossible, to completely chart where career or projects will take me, so I use the “wildcard project” as a means of addressing that variability in the future. I won’t grade myself negatively if I don’t complete one.

So there’s my list of 2019 project goals. I’ve tried to take the lessons learned from previous years to make this year’s goals as specific and measurable as possible (where possible), and to align these goals with each other and with the larger trends in my career and the industry. Time will tell how effective I was with that alignment.

Feel free to hit me up on Twitter if you have questions or comments about these project goals. I’d certainly love to hear your feedback!

Metadata and Navigation

Be social and share this post!