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2018 Recap and 2019 Goals

What a year it has been! I've been able to do a lot professionally, as well as a lot at home (including welcoming home a new baby girl)! I like to make goals for myself, so it's time for a quick accountability report and to publicly share some goals for this new year. Enjoy!

2018 Goal Accountability Report

So, how did I do on the goals I made for this year? Overall, actually not too bad. Here's a quick run-through!

  • Read 10 books this year! I'll be honest that I didn't get this one… I did read a few technical books, but none just for the fun. So, need to work on this one.
  • Do more speaking! I spoke at least 18 times throughout the year, including the Docker GovSummit, the Blacksburg Open Source Dev Conf, GOTO Chicago, and DockerCon EU! We also had 11 local events at the Docker Blacksburg meetup! Talk about a busy year!
  • Launch Virginia Tech's Container-as-a-Service offering! I'll admit that something is launched, but it's definitely not the final version and not ready for everyone to benefit from yet. We built the Stack Auto Merging (SAM) Bot and are working on a few other tools. Some more work to do here, but we're getting there!
  • Develop a "Docker training program" for use at Virginia Tech! Russ Fenn and I worked on building a four-part Docker 101 series, which we delivered in our local meetups and on campus. It's been super successful and we were even asked to deliver a modified version as a workshop for DockerCon EU 2018!
  • Launch Virginia Tech development community (DevCom)! We've launched the community, but still have quite a bit to do regarding events and training. But, we did have four events and run two sessions of the Docker 101 series. We have plans for hackathons, more talks, and maybe even a badging/achievement system!
  • Keep going with the house projects. We did get some pictures on the wall, replaced windows, and did work on improving energy efficency by sealing and adding more insulation into the attic.

2019 Goals

Rather than having a single list of goals, I'm going to split them into a few different categories.


These goals help with either work/life balance and/or overall mental health.

  • Become Mental Health First Aid certified - while I feel I don't suffer through mental illness, many around me do. And, it never hurts to learn more. So, I plan to get trained by Mental Health First Aid.
  • Read five non-technical books - since I didn't do well with my ten book goal, I'm going to reduce the goal. This should be more maintainable.
  • No work on Sundays - I've always been pretty good with this one, as I feel pretty strongly about it. But, it has crept in a few times. So, making sure it doesn't happen this year. Sundays are family and church days and that's it!
  • Take more time off - at the end of the year, I had to take a lot of time off because I was over the rollover limit. While that's great, I still have ~280 hours of leave and that will only continue to climb. I need to do better with using and manging my leave.


Here are a few goals related to my work at either Virginia Tech or in the local community:

  • Help others share their experiences - now that I have been able to speak and get my name out there, I want to help others out too. If asked to speak, I will try to co-present with someone else. I will also work to maintain a CFP calendar to help others have more speaking opportunities.
  • Help launch Virginia Tech's IT technical collaboration group - I can't go too much into this yet, as we're pitching the full idea in a few weeks, but let's just say it's an effort to help coordinate collaboration across the various organizations within the Division of IT at Virginia Tech. More details to come soon…
  • Continue rollout of DevCom, the Virginia Tech Developer Community - I would like to see the following occur:
    • Run a one-day code retreat, most likely similar to the Global Day of Code Retreat event the NRV Dev ran in Nov 2017.
    • Launch a badging/achievement system to help game-ify and incentivize participation in cultural changes within IT.
  • Do more blog writing - I'd love to start an architecture blog (something like Stripe's fantastic blog) about the things going on at Virginia Tech. But, I'd also love to have work time allocatted to writing the posts.

Well, I think that's it for now! We'll see how the year goes!