Out with the old, in with the new

As I've looked back over 2016, despite the global events of the year, I've had a pretty good past year. I bought my first house; spoke at a conference for the first time; became a core contributor on an open source application; and learned a ton of new things on the way.

Here are a couple of the things that I learned over the last year:

DevOps is dead, long live DevOps

A big focus of 2016 was DevOps. I attended 4 DevOpsDays conferences, spoke at 2 and started a DevOps meetup. My biggest takeaway from focusing on DevOps: DevOps is ridiculous. I found myself in far too many conversations about whether we should call it DevSecOps or DevQAOps or a host of other terms. I found myself in conversations about whether DevOps includes the security team or the network team. DevOps, the name, has poorly communicated the practice of doing work efficiently amongst teams that trust each other. In 2017, let's stop talking about what to call this practice. Instead, let's talk about how we can more efficiently build awesome products for our customers.

Open Source is hard

In 2016, I became a core contributor on Kitto. I've committed PRs to projects in the past, but felt strongly enough for a project to actively dive into the conversations happening around it. When I initially started committing back, I had a lot of fun. I would get home from work in the evenings, spend some time with my family and after the kids went to bed, I'd work on Kitto a bit. After a couple weeks of that, I realized that I was burning out. Working on open source is hard to do. It's important to make sure that as you start to manage work/life/oss you put priority on the things that keep family afloat. Lately, I've budgeted a few hours a week towards working on some of the open source projects I'm working on instead of a few hours a night. One day, I'd love to work on open source full time, but that won't be for awhile.

Elixir is a dream come true

In the almost 10 years that I've been writing code, I've always heard people talk about the languages that they felt were a dream to write in. Oftentimes people describe Ruby as the language that made them happy to program again. I've been writing Ruby for most of the almost 10 years that I've been a professional programmer an it got me close to the euphoria that other people have described, but it didn't push me over the edge. I started writing Elixir in the fall of 2015. 2016 was the year that most of my non-client projects were written in Elixir. It's been an amazing experience learning functional programming with a Ruby-like syntax. The community of Elixir has some of the most amazing people that I've talked with. Elixir is the euphoric language that I've been looking for.

Looking forward to 2017

2016 was a pretty good year for me, personally. I'm both excited and hesitant for what 2017 has in store. Some of the things I'm looking forward to:

Making more cheese

This past week, I made my first mozzarella cheese from scratch. I've always liked having a hobby that doesn't involve a screen, and I've always enjoyed cooking and the sciences involved. This year, I plan on making lots of cheese.

Getting fit

For a long time, I've been overweight. This year is my year to get fit. I want to get down from 245 lbs to 180 before the year is over. I'll be starting out with Couch25k and getting my eating right.

Give back to the community

I had my first real foray into open source this past year. In 2017, I want to get more involved with supporting the open source communities that have made my job possible.

Banner photo credit: https://flic.kr/p/qmEmku

Dave Long

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