This year in tech has been absolutely nuts and there have been some great things pop up. From new services in Azure and AWS to the massive amount of need for automation developers and cloud developers (get coding).

This blog post is all about what I've done at a high level in 2020 and where I'm thinking about going in 2021. Although, the one thing I have learned is plans can change. It's good to have them, but they aren't concrete.

New Company

In January I had back surgery, and that back surgery made me think about a lot. Life is super short and you never know what's going to happen. I literally woke up one day and with zero warning couldn't walk. I was rushed into the hospital and had emergency back surgery. I had no idea what that meant for me. I didn't know if I would ever be able to run around with my son again or go to the gym again. Everything was up in the air.

At that point, I wanted to jump into something that I wanted to do for a while. I started my own LLC (CloudDev.Engineering) that was roughly 50% training and 50% consulting. I did it, I'm still doing it, and I continue to have a great time. I love the training I'm creating and the customers I've worked with.

I've been focusing on work in the cloud engineering/development and DevOps space, primary around Azure. I have done a few things with AWS, but I always find myself getting pulled back into Azure-land, which is perfectly cool.

With my new company/brand, I was also able to write two eBooks which was awesome and a great experience.

New Job

Although I'm still running my LLC, I did get a new job at Octopus Deploy. One of the things that no one tells you about running a company is if it's just you, it can get quite lonely. I missed working on a team and that team dynamic. I missed having people to bounce ideas off of and working on a solid piece of software.

At Octopus Deploy I'm a developer advocate, where I work on community-driven work and a lot of integration work. For example, creating production-level GitHub Actions and working on an Octopus Deploy Terraform provider. Developer Relations has a ton of overlap with what you would see on an integration team, so it keeps things interesting.

Community Focus

This year has been my first year where I truly started diving into community-driven work. I had a blog prior and I created a few videos, but nothing compared to 2020.

I was able to create:

  • Several different courses
  • Speak at conferences
  • Live calls
  • Podcasts
  • YouTube
  • Blogs on my blog and guest blogs
  • Larger Twitter audience

It's been absolutely amazing working with the community. The amount of people that have reached out to me and the amount of people I've been able to help makes me incredibly happy.

Right now, I don't envy people that are getting into tech. There is SO much more tech to know now and it's constantly changing every day. Because of that, it's tough for people to move to a DevOps or cloud development role. I'm happy that I've been able to help.

New Programming Language

I dove into a bunch of languages this year:

  • JavaScript
  • HCL
  • C#

The one that stuck with me and I absolutely LOVED is Go (golang). I love Go for writing apps, writing automation, and scripting. It's such an amazing language for the cloud and I'm so happy that I was able to spend some quality time with it this year.

A Focus on Azure

Before 2020, I was working in Azure, but I was in AWS way more. 2020 for some reason was the "year of Azure" for me. Everyone I worked with or every company I worked with wanted to do something in Azure. It was an awesome experience and since I was in it so much, I was able to find that I love Azure and it's certainly a huge focus for me.

I think Microsoft is making great strides in the cloud development and DevOps community to ensure all developers and cloud engineers have everything they need to succeed.

2021 Plans

So, 2021... what's it look like? I typically do like to plan roughly 2-3 years in advance, but these plans are very high level. For example:

  • Go to 1-2 conferences
  • Speak at 3 conferences
  • Create X amount of videos

Stuff like that. Plans, in my opinion, should be agile. You shouldn't plan an entire year and just stick to that plan and nothing else. Life changes, and you should change with it.

So, with that, what would I like to accomplish?

  1. Certs - Yeah, I say this every year it feels like. This year I actually do want to get 1-2 certs. Maybe 1 Azure and 1 AWS cert
  2. 2-3K subscribers on YouTube. I've slowed down blogging a bit to focus on YouTube. I love creating videos and showing my emotions, which is tough from a blog. I've dedicated time for 1-2 videos per week and it's been going great.
  3. I'm going to continue to support the community in the best way that I can, plain and simple. I want to help people on their tech journey.
  4. I want to speak at 2-3 conferences in 2021, big or small. Something that clouds development and community driven.

I'm certain that more goals will pop up, but for now, that's the focus.

Thank you so much for reading and sticking with me throughout 2020. Here's to 2021!