New Years Resolutions

Reset: Quasi-Post-Mortem for the 2015 Plan

Life has unfolded in completely unexpected ways since my last blog post.  If I was grading myself on my progress of the goals I set forth in the post titled The 2015 Plan, I’d say:

Testing

C.  I have written tests for the projects I’ve undertaken and continued at work.  I’m actually off to a decent start on this particular goal.

Go

F.  I’ve been bashing (and Python’ing) my way through everything.  Maybe someday.  At this point it has been nearly a year since I’ve written anything in Go and I’ve forgotten more than I remember.

Github

F.  When I write something to put out there, I’ll put it on github.  The aspiration behind this goal was to practice coding more often and at higher intensity.

Grad School

F.  I looked into testing dates, found myself in limbo for various reasons, and never got around to scheduling a time to take the GRE.  Of course, I haven’t opened the application process anywhere, either.  Given some life changes on the near-term horizon, I’m glad I haven’t committed to a program just yet.

 

What Actually Happened Instead

Stuff.  You might’ve read my list of goals and thought “this guy is overly ambitious,” which is absolutely true.  But mostly, I just wasn’t observing any practical limits regarding focus.  I have been suffering  of lack of focus for quite a while.  I’m now on a journey to regain that state of focus I once possessed.  I’ve made an ordered list of what I think is important and found that some of the goals didn’t really match up with things on that list.  So, I’ve given myself permission to let those things go.  My approach to regaining focus is selecting the two most important things on my list and giving them all my extra available attention while still doing a passable job at everything else I have to do; like being a dad and husband and employee.

At any rate, I’m retiring the original 2015 Plan, and we’ll speak of it no more.

The 2015 Plan

Six days late, but these are a few of the things I plan to focus on in 2015:

Testing

I automate.  It’s what I do.  That means I write lots of code.  Sadly, I possess rather underdeveloped testing foo.  Granted, there aren’t elaborate frameworks for bash (What? You want me to write bash scripts to test my bash?); and our implementation of puppet is mind-meltingly sophisticated coupled with lack of (administratively authorized) tooling to programmatically spin up virtual machines, making it sufficiently non-trivial to automate testing of manifest changes (and other forms of automated testing for other scenarios …*SIGH*).   But, I could still exercise my testing foo more than I do.

Go

I specifically said “Go”, not “programming”.  I program every day.  I am formally declaring right here, right now, though, that if bash isn’t the most appropriate tool for my programming task I will use Go, given a choice.  Our use of Go at work has exploded in the last 6 months.  I love that it’s fast like C yet accessible like python.  I also love that it’s statically compiled.  It’s so great for performant, self-contained, portable utilities and services.

Github

I want to do a better job of putting my projects out there.   It’s a nice way to give back.  But, there’s a lot of really cool stuff that hooks into github these days that I want to play with.  So, I can get a twofer with this goal.

Grad School

I will be applying to grad school this coming application cycle.  Maybe this time next year, I’ll have a semester of grad school under my belt.