One Year Later

2017 is over! Now we’re on to whatever 2018 may bring. The past year has been very interesting for me. For one thing, it was the first full year of this blog which started in December of 2016. While I didn’t quite accomplish everything here that I had hoped for, I still managed to do a lot more than I realistically expected.

One of the things I’ve had problems with in the past is keeping a blog updated. Usually I would start, write an entry or two, then completely forget about it. I never thought I had good enough content to warrant sharing, or I was trying to keep to too narrow a topic. So when I started this blog, I said that I was going to focus on networking but leave it a bit more open-ended. I also wanted to try sharing some more generalized IT experience and career advice. I started off with a list of topics that I wanted to write about, and even began pre-writing a few of them so that I had a bit of content lined up ahead of time.

Even though I told myself originally that I was only going to post something whenever I had something good to share, I still ended up setting myself a goal of writing one thing a week. For a while this actually worked out, because I was forcing myself to think about it more often – but eventually I ran out of immediate ideas. I had to remind myself that it was more important for me to write/post content that was actually worth reading, not just having something available on a weekly basis. Even so, I’ve managed to post 44 items since I started, 40 of which were in 2017 – Much better than I had actually anticipated.

So here is to 2018 – I’m not going to try and set any strict goals for myself in terms of posting content (or at least I’ll tell myself that now). However, I’m also going to try and work on getting better at putting up content. I spend too much time waiting for that ‘great thing’ to write about, and not enough time on just writing something that might not be particularly fantastic – even though it might still benefit someone. I feel like I have a lot to share, and not everyone is an expert. Continuing to think that much of my content ‘isn’t good enough to post’ is just holding me back. I’m going to try and be better this year about this – and not keep waiting for only the ‘great things’ to share.

The other big thing I’ll be focusing on this year is studying for the CCIE R&S, which I wrote about in October. I bought a few books and found some training videos, which I’ve been slowly working though… and when I say slowly, I mean probably much slower than I should be. Now that the holidays are over and it’s a new year, I’ll be pushing myself a more to actually make progress. My current tentative goal for attempting the written exam is June – so I’m hopeful that I’ll be able to make it work.

The blog has been fun so far, and I’ve done a bit more than I thought I would with it. However, there was one thing over the past year that I wasn’t really expecting at all – getting to talk with a bunch of other people who are interested in networking/IT. I’ve mostly been on Twitter, and more recently on Reddit’s /r/networking and /r/cisco. There have been a ton of people I’ve gotten to talk to, get opinions from, or even a few people that I’ve been able to help out with some of their problems. A large portion of my career has been limited to working with just a small team of people, few which actually have much interest in networking. I’ve really enjoyed the experiences over the past year, and I’m really looking forward to what else might come. If you’re one of the people I’ve interacted with over the past year, thank you!

A new year comes with new challenges, problems, and complaints – but it also comes with new accomplishments and new things to look forward to. I hope that all of you reading this are able to set new goals for the year and pass your expectations!