2018 A year in review

2018 ended as quickly as it began. This year was a total blur when I sit down to write about what happened. In 2018 I had a few changes in my life, I left a job, started a new job, welcomed a new family member into my life, and played around with a lot of new tech, or at least tech that is new to me. Yearly recaps aren’t something I usually do, but I feel like capturing what you have accomplished this year, reflecting on the goals you met and did not meet are all things one should do.

As I look back on my 2018 I look back at a few of my goals I set forth for myself:

  • Blog More
  • Get one new certification

Not too lofty of goals, but things I thought to be important. Looking back at the targets while they are doable, I did not make a plan to achieve them or hold myself accountable for not meeting my goals. I can tell you based on the number of post in 2018 I did not blog nearly as much as I would have liked. A data point, the number of post for 2018 I believe there are three, not including this recap. Obtaining a new certification was something I missed this year. Dedicating more time to further educate myself on a particular subject was and still is important, but something in which I failed.

Although I did not meet my desired goals, I did obtain new skills this year.

Project management is a skill I thought I had well under control; however, I learned from a former boss how to indeed manage a project with precision. Managing Vendors, timelines, internal expectation, seeing the pitfalls of a decision and risk mitigation. I was able to see all of this in action while performing a new office build, which went flawlessly well. All of the items I listed are items everyone deals with every day. Choosing what project/ticket to complete, which has an impact on what other work you can and cannot accomplish, along with managing expectations within your team and from places above your pay grade is a pivotal skill to know.

Planning has been the skill I have used the most. When managing a team of any size, the impossible always happens. Everyone is busy, and the work never stops. Users never stop putting in tickets, and something is ever broken. While all of inevitable is occurring, planning to hire, upgrade hardware, open new offices, deploy a new tool, or security incidents, you still must be able to keep the lights on. Understanding and providing clarity to my team to ensure we are high performing while forward-looking was something I was able to master.

For the longest time, I have wanted to get my hands a bit dirtier and write some python or ruby. But when you are managing a team the opportunity to write code sometimes happens few and far between. Lucky for me I was able to set up a nerd date with my buddy, and he helped explain different coding practices and how python works. We also started a lovely python script to deploy brew without using brew.sh ruby installer by using python. Hopefully I will finish that script so I can post it but needless to say, I have a better understanding of python after a few months of Friday night code.

Lastly, a skill I didn’t mean to pick up but, am starting to understand is probably the most valuable skill I learned. Telling a story with data. I picked up Storytelling with Data by Cole Nussbaumer Knaflic. The book taught me that when presenting information that includes data, the presentation needs to be tailored to your specific audience, along with the graphical display of data. There are numerous lessons on when to use a line, bar, waterfall, radar, surface, etc….which colors to use and why, and strategies for planning and executing slide order and presenting. I was able to use this book to increase headcount while displaying team metrics to help obtain my headcount.

This was my 2018, and while I didn’t accomplish the goals I set out, I did accomplish something, which I am proud of and I am excited to see what happens in 2019.

Happy New Year