Week 1, 2020 - The 2019 That Was; The 2020 To Come

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Once again we have reached the start of a new year and even decade. So, as I’ve done the past couple of years I’ll take that time to reflect on the past year and what my plans are going forward.

The 2019 That Was

If you’ve read these posts before, you might remember that I don’t use this time to look back at all the wonderful and less wonderful things that happened in the world of technology. Instead I use it to look at what I’ve done and how that compares to my intentions from last year.

My plans for last year were a bit scaled back from the year before, but they were still pretty ambitious, especially if you consider I also changed jobs early in the year:

  • Weekly Notes: 1 every week
  • Videos: 12 for the year
  • Other content: 26 for the year

Considering I didn’t make a single video as I intended in there, that part certainly failed. Similarly, I only wrote 30 weekly notes which is a smaller number than in 2018. Most of those were written in the first part of the year as other things took up time later on.

As for other content, I posted or linked to 12 other pieces of content as separate items on this site. Four regular posts, two presentations, and six link posts to my work blogs where I wrote some of my larger articles. That doesn’t quite make it up to 26 either, but then I had a couple of projects that aren’t really mentioned on the site much.

First was the AWS User Group here in Melbourne. While only present at 11 of them1, I was involved with organising all 12, presented the news in a discussion format with my friend Chris at 10 of these, and wrote a summary of the events afterwards2. It would be fair to say this by itself makes up the difference for the 26 other pieces of content.

In addition, I had a couple presentations I want to mention. The highlight was probably the presentation I gave with my friend Prateek at Container Camp. This was both a lot of fun, and as Container Camp still ranks as my favourite conference something I was honoured to be accepted for. In addition, I once again gave a workshop at the AWS Programming and Tools meetup, which is always a good time. There were others as well, including a number that aren’t public, but the event I organised that had the most pure joy3 in it was probably the DeepRacer event I held at my client Belong.

I had a couple of other projects as well that I tried during the year. A bit of a misstep4, was the AWS CLI tips Twitter account and associated GitHub repo. This was aimed at helping people get more out of the CLI, but it was quite a bit more work than I expected and I let it flag a bit. I want to pick this up again in 2020 though.

The other one however is one that I put a lot of effort into in the past months, and the main reason I didn’t write as much during that period. Which is the Ambassador Lounge Podcast. In the long run, my goal for this podcast is to be a place for any of the APN (AWS) Ambassadors to talk about things5, but for the time being I’m running it as the recurring host. It’s up to 5 episodes now, most of which cover announcements from re:Invent, and while I’m taking a break during the Christmas break, new episodes will start appearing again from next week6.

So, all in all, I’d say this year is a bit of a mixed bag. I went a different route for my content with the podcast than I expected and setting that up in the first place took a lot of time7, which heavily impacted the past few months of writing. That said, I’m pretty happy with it all, but have higher aims for next year.

One last thing. I’ve previously given numbers for people who read my writing, but that’s a bit harder this year considering I posted at 4 different places. I’ve also gone on for long enough, so I’ll just say that overall traffic on this site went up by about 19% compared to last year, with most of the growth being in the first half and the last few months underperforming8. Also, CloudFormation is still by far the most popular subject.

The 2020 To Come

Where last year I started some new things, this year I aim to improve on those. While I would still like to do some videos as well, I first want to continue with what I’ve already started and want to quantify it a bit more. So following that, my goals for the next year are:

  • An average of 1 post a week. Whether that is a Weekly Note or other.
  • 50 podcast episodes. Which amounts to 1 per week taking the aforementioned Christmas holiday.
  • 6 public talks, excluding the AWS User Group.

This means I mostly lower my numbers again from last year’s goals with regards to writing, but considering the number of podcast episodes I don’t think that makes sense.

So, those are my goals for this year. Let’s see how it will all turn out.

  1. I was at the first Global APN Ambassador Summit, where I was recognised as the top APAC contributor. [return]
  2. Unfortunately, due to some issues with the videos this ended halfway through the year as it wasn’t as useful without those videos. [return]
  3. Both for me as an organiser and for the participants. [return]
  4. Mostly because it lost momentum after I got distracted by other things. [return]
  5. Which is why this was my subject this year for a lightning talk at the Ambassador event at re:Invent. [return]
  6. At the moment, I schedule episodes for Sunday evening (Melbourne time) which means the 12th of January will be the next episode. [return]
  7. Not to mention the time it takes to edit episodes. [return]
  8. That what you get for not writing, I guess. [return]
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