Reflections on the year

It is the time of year again to reflect on some of the things that happened during 2013.  As usual, it is impossible to predict what will happen in the future and what kinds of experiences will shape you and what kinds of difficult challenges you will encounter and overcome.  Luckily in 2013 there weren’t any challenges that I wasn’t able to overcome in one way or another.

There was a lot that happened in the past year that is worth going over.  The first main thing I’d like to mention is that I hit my 2nd full year of blogging, which was really exciting for me.  I have nearly 100 blog posts published to date and I really feel like I am just getting started.  I began to experiment a lot more with the format and content of the blog and I have found that to be enjoyable.  I have also begun to experiment with different techniques to monetize the blog, which has been interesting to me as well.  I think that it will be really fun to see what happens with all of the different ways the blog is growing in the coming year.  One thing I would like to see more of are some unique perspectives from other sysadmin/IT bloggers because I feel like it will really spark some other areas of growth.

Other high notes of the year include my first trip to Cisco Live! which was a great experience, I learned so much from that conference and it wound up being a great trip.  I have taken on more responsibilities in my current position.  I have begun implementing some fun interesting techniques and projects as well, including a fully featured testing environment with load balancers, SAN, clustered Hyper-V, SQL, etc.  That was been a great tool not only for myself and my own experience learning the technologies but has been a valuable tool for the organization as well to help prototype and test potential technologies.  This past year has also been valuable from a networking standpoint, I took part in a full blown wireless upgrade project, I helped with the management and move forward plan with our current switches, and in general learned a ton of new stuff about networking technologies that I did not see myself learning, which has been valuable and fun for me.

While things went well for the most part there is always room for improvement.  Areas of improvement for next year include more involvement in automation, for one.  I am really getting a good taste now of automation and I think it will be huge for my career growth as well as a benefit to my current employer.  I would also like to see myself involved in more (people) networking, whether it be through conferences or other user group gatherings.  I think networking with other IT pros is something I need to continue to work on.

Finally, outside of work I have some other stuff I’m working on getting up off the ground that I’d like to mention.  First, and most excitingly for me is my side business;  I repair mobile devices, iPads, iPhones, Android, etc.  The learning experience from that project has been great so far and I would really like to expand some of things I’m doing with it into the next year.  Part of getting this up and going will be learning how to develop Android and iOS apps, building a repair tracking system, and learning much more of the nuances that go into running a business that I had no idea about before I started this project.  Last but not least, I met my wonderful girlfriend.  She has been a true blessing to me so far and I just wanted to get her a shout out while I am writing this up.  So to bring things together here, I am really looking forward to all of the rewards and opportunities that go along with hard work and persistence.

There will be more of the same this coming year and I am excited for it.  From career goals to personal projects, I would like to see myself continuing to learn, continuing to improve processes and continuing to become a person that can take on responsibilities and people can depend on to get things done.  I know it will be hard work and won’t always be fun but I know it will be worth it.  Next year should be fun, so until then have a happy new years!

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Josh Reichardt

Josh is the creator of this blog, a system administrator and a contributor to other technology communities such as /r/sysadmin and Ops School. You can also find him on Twitter and Facebook.