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!