My Year in Review or “Jane! Stop This Crazy Thing!!”

2010 is lurching to its grave as I type this. A fresh faced 2011 stands nearby, spade in hand. I look back at this year and wonder “What even happened this year?” A few major life changes have caused me to allow life’s activates to drown out the thoughtful passage of time. Days blur by. In fact, the concept of managing time in “days” is becoming harder and harder. Time is measured by “awake” and “collapsed”. From whence have I come? Where am I stumbling towards? Or am I just blundering in place?

Some things of note that happened this year:

  • I moved with the family from Cincinnati, Ohio to Scottsdale, Arizona
  • I moved from my old blog at to and have attempted to consistently share my troubleshooting and observations on the industry.
  • I was offered and accepted a position to be the webmaster for a Joomla based video training site that a friend developed.
  • As a result of the above opportunity, I searched out how to become a sole proprietor to sign the papers as a contractor. I then chose to form an LLC with the hopes of using my skills as a SysAdmin to create a hosted services company. You can read more in these posts:
  • I’m working on developing a web site that will offer data recovery services and hopefully help bootstrap my larger dream of a hosted services company.
  • I’ve learned far more about online marketing and advertising than I had ever thought possible.

Some things of note that didn’t happen this year:

  • This is my first year in IT that I did not take any kind of certification exam.
  • I have not had anything near stunning financial success with the video training site.
  • I still haven’t launched my own web based data service like I had hoped to by this time (secrecy is intentional; I don’t want to shill for my own products on this blog)
  • I am nowhere near launching my first hosted service. The amount of money needed staggers me. I’m reevaluating my plan.

I’m feeling a bit like I’m running against a moving sidewalk. So much busywork, so little tangible progress. Or perhaps I had unrealistic ideals as far as success is concerned. I’m not much of one for “New Year’s Resolutions”. I prefer to just start doing what I need to do as soon as I recognize it. However, I do like making goals. What do I hope for this year in my career? I think I’ll keep the list small, but significant:

  1. Launch, promote and profit wildly with my online data recovery service.
  2. Strategize my first hosted service. Have a coherent plan that makes sense and have made significant strides towards developing the hardware, software and marketing that is necessary for it to be ready for public consumption. It doesn’t have to be accepting customers in 2011, but it should be within eyesight of that goal.
  3. Have made significant strides as a SysAdmin to question my biases and understand things outside of my comfort zone. I want to understand the mindset behind DevOps, project management and ITIL. I want to be more disciplined in my work. That includes the use of source control for configuration file management, asset management and stricter documentation.

At first, it was hard to pare down that list. I want to learn more about Linux, virtualization, storage, scripting, and a myriad of other technologies. However, those are mere tactics. I need to focus on the strategies, the larger goals, and then let the tactics take care of themselves. Perhaps as I design my first hosted service, RHEL will be the best fit and I’ll need to dive head first into that topic. Perhaps I’ll work on my CCNA. Perhaps any number of things will happen.

I hope that 2011 will be a year of personal and professional growth, and the occasional owner’s draw check with a positive integer and multiple zeros after it. =)

Have you made any goals yet? Care to share them?

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