2014 Year in Review

For the past few years I’ve made a list of the things I would like to accomplish in the new year. For the most part, these items are more than resolutions; they’re meant as a plan of attack for personal growth and development. Each item is something personal to me, is meant to be actionable and something I honestly hope to accomplish. Of course, a year is quite a bit of time, so anything can happen. Lets see how I did…

###Last Year’s Goals In Review

Last years goals - Another Year of Opportunity - were pretty simple as I strive pretty hard to follow my own advice (found at the beginning of the post) and keep them actionable.

Primary goals were as follows…

  • Introduce two simple SaaS applications - Vertict: Fail. The idea was to build these on an existing platform that handles things such as billing and distribution, such as Shopify and Envato. While I was able to begin work on ideas, I was, ultimately, unable to make progress toward delivery.

  • Complete one 30x500 style project - Verdict: Fail Unfortunately, the solution I decided to build was centered around cloud cost modeling across cloud providers. During the conceptual phase I was concerned that my role in my day job presented a conflict of interest. After waiting a few weeks for a decision, it was determined that there was, and I was asked to remove myself from any involvement. This had a pretty deep impact on me that affected me for months.

Secondary goals were as follows…

  • Give back to at least one OSS project - Verdict: Partial Success I love Ghost and spent some time trying to find ways to make hosting it a bit easier and wrote a, now outdated, post on hosting it in AWS Elastic Beanstalk to help others. I was also able to make monetary contributions to a number of OSS projects including Wikipedia and Ubuntu. Unfortunately, I did not show Laravel some much deserved love…

  • Attend Google I/O as a developer - Verdict: Partial Success Google changed the registration process this year to a lottery system. Unfortunately, I was not a winner and was unable to attend. That being said, I did get to attend another developer conference - AWS re:Invent. This was an absolutely amazing and eye opening event. I came back feeling alive and invigorated. It was one of the best experiences I had all year.

  • Teach my son to swim - Verdict: Success My wife and I got him into a great class where he was the ONLY student and he picked it up like it was nothing! Now he’s fearless in the water!

While two of the major goals were “fails”, overall, I don’t see the year as a bust. There were many other successes not listed as goals.

  • I was honored to be the best man for my closest friend Rob
  • I was able to expand my social network and made connections to many of the people and companies I respect the most in tech. Some of them are CEO’s.
  • Was a featured testimonial on Linux Academy’s website. While it may seem like a simple thing, seeing it always makes me grin, so it counts.
  • I was able to continue to build practical skills in AWS and solutions architecture.
  • Realized that I have a passion for empowering teams with toolsets including continuous integration and deployments. Something I hope to grow exponentially in 2015.

So, all in all, not a bad year. With the things I’ve learned and the drive and determination its provided me, I know 2015 is going to be even better. I hope yours is as well!

Curtis Rissi

Solutions Architect and Full Stack Engineer by day and mad scientist by night. I specialize in making the impossible possible through code and technology. I also make some crazy good Korean BBQ. You know you want to try it.

Disclaimer: I work for AWS, but unless otherwise stated, the words and thoughts expressed in this blog are my own.

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