Hindsight is 20/20: Evaluating 2016

Back in February 2016 I published my goals for 2016, and it’s time to review that list:

  • Shake things up a bit – Go big or go home.
    This one is easy, in April 2016 I moved from EVRY to Proact, with a clear mission statement: Build and develop Norways best SDDC team. As is always the case when changing positions and companies, a lot of time is spent on getting to know the new organisation but we’re getting there.
    More news on this in 2017, but things are looking good going forward. We’ve built a solid foundation in 2016!
    Score: 8/10 
  • Get VCIX certified
    This was a miserable failure. I sat the 3V0-622: VMware Certified Advanced Professional 6 – Data Center Virtualization Design Beta Exam in march, but failed it. It was close (I just recently got my score report!), but no sigar. Due to lots of other time consuming things going on in 2016, I’ve not had a second attempt at it yet.
    Score: 2/10 
  • Keep vSoup on track
    Another failure, 3 published podcasts in 2016, not even close to the monthly target. We’ve been doing the vSoup podcast since 2011, and a lot of things have changed for all three of us. Not sure how 2017 looks in the regard either.
    Score: 2/10

  • VMUG
    The norwegian VMUG is still healthy, but I haven’t been able to contribute as much as I’ve wanted in 2016, also due to time constraints.
    Score: 5/10

  • Attend an international industry conference
    I did get to attend VMworld in Barcelona in 2016, which was awesome after missing out last year.
    Score: 10/10

  • Code something
    Nope, not this year. Too much other stuff on my plate. I haven’t made any real code, but I’ve developed a lot of other stuff that will come in handy in 2017 (related to the top entry in this list), but nothing that really qualifies as code.
    Score: 0/10

So, all in all that gives me a personal score of 28 of a possible 60. Wow, that’s pretty bad. Not quite what I had in mind for 2016, but I’m very that my top-most item got an 8. That one should be weighted higher than the rest anyway.
Sure, I can “blame” some of the lack of progress on a few of these items on the role/employer change, but not all of it — some of it is purely a personal lack of ability to power through.

2016 has taught me a few valuable lessons:
  • I need to get better at planning things out, not just adding a todo item and thing that magically makes you more productive. Having a lot of todo items doesn’t really help, unless you plan out how to accomplish them. This is one thing I aim on improving in 2016; breaking bigger tasks into smaller ones to make them manageable and attainable.
  • Clearer focus. This ties into the previous point, but must get better at channeling energy into the tasks at hand, not on everything all at once. Set up time slots, and use them, for the tasks that needs to be done.
  • I sleep way to little, and that needs to change drastically.

Now it’s time to carve out and publish the plan for 2017. Let’s see if I’ve actually learned anything at all…

Using GitBook for Secrets

A while ago I decided to try and gather a bunch of non-public information in an easy to write and consume fashion. After a bit of fiddling, and testing different potential solutions, GitBook emerged as the best option. By using MarkDown as the markup language, it’s both cross-platform and easy to manage, as the content is nothing but raw text files.

GitBook is awesome, no question about it, but in this case I didn’t want the content hosted publicly on gitbook.com. Thankfully, GitBook is available for download as well, so I ended up running that locally on my MacBook. For details on how to run it locally, check out Setup and Installation of GitBook.

I then set up a private (free) repository on Bitbucket to host the content.

So far this has been a very good experience. Writing content in Markdown is easy and quick, and running this locally makes it easy to check that the edits and additions look like expected in my browser.

[cc lang=”bash” escaped=”true”]
$ gitbook serve dummy
Live reload server started on port: 35729
Press CTRL+C to quit …

info: 7 plugins are installed
info: loading plugin “livereload”… OK
info: loading plugin “highlight”… OK
info: loading plugin “search”… OK
info: loading plugin “lunr”… OK
info: loading plugin “sharing”… OK
info: loading plugin “fontsettings”… OK
info: loading plugin “theme-default”… OK
info: found 13 pages
info: found 8 asset files
info: >> generation finished with success in 2.8s !

Starting server …
Serving book on http://localhost:4000

This way I can have my browser open http://localhost:4000 on one screen, and edit the content on my second screen while the browser auto refreshes.


Once I’ve added some content I’m happy with, I push the changes back to the Bitbucket repository with my Git client. Once I’m happy with everything, GitBook makes it easy to create PDF and eBook versions for distribution.

We happy.

#vDM30in30 progress:

What’s Really in the Bag?

Since I “launched” my In the Bag series of weekly links yesterday, I figured I should really show what is indeed in the bag. Lifehacker runs a series called Featured Bag and the voyeur in me finds it interesting what other people carry around, and how they organize it.

This is my attempt at doing the same. This is my everyday carry, most of these items are always in the bag when I leave the house in the morning. I’ve been using backpacks for years, but noticed I always just carry it around on righ shoulder, so I decided to go for a shoulder bag instead. For the most part this works our fine, if I’m travelling for more than a day, I tend to re-pack in one of the backpacks I have instead.

The bag itself is a dbramante1928 Christiansborg which I’m really happy with. Proper leather, and after a couple of months of usage it’s starting to show some patina.

  • MacBook Pro 15″
  • Various Apple dongles (display and ethernet) and cables
  • iPad Mini 4, with a Logitech Keys to Go keyboard
  • Arrow / EMC branded 10000 mAh external battery
  • Logitech R400 presenter
  • Old school paper notebook, with pen
  • Business cards
  • Pens
  • Tiny Leatherman knife/multitool
  • Work access card
  • Bose Quiet Control 25 headset

And that’s it. There is still some room for various papers etc. in the pocket on the back of the bag, and some room in the front pocket as well.


#vDM30in30 progress: