2016 Postmortem

Instead of a post about 2017, I want to postmortem 2016. It has been an enormous year of reckoning, being faced with previous decisions and facing them anew. Client chaos, a move into the suburbs, my son's development from months 2 to 14, and several injuries have made this a stressful year. In any case, some nooks and crannies to explore.

Santa Claus - Classics

Development, Devops, Netadmin

Documenting software is an area that has improved in 2016, but is nowhere near fully-formed. However, some new project management tools have aided in this, especially Trello.

Progress was made in becoming proficient in several tools, including GIMP, Inkscape, as well as Fish Shell, and Bash, and various shell utilities as well as CentOS, and a deeper familiarity with Apache HTTPD.

Going into 2016 there was strong interest in Ubuntu, especially the new long term support version 16.04, and some interest in NginX. However, in the end, it turned out better to stick with what you know (in my case, CentOS and Apache), and that paid off in terms of deepening knowledge and building on years of experience, rather than starting anew. Also gained good experience in deploying Opcache and LetsEncrypt (and not-so-good experience deploying Memcached and PageSpeed).

Client Chaos

Clients are of course a necessary evil, if one is in the consulting business. A necessary good, as well. And there is the rub. I enjoy working for clients as it is the aspect of my work which has me as advocate. Consulting for other's organizations can be more effective than one's own because of well-known blind spots and assumptions. It also provides a team setting, which can be energizing and an excellent learning and knowledge-building and validation experience. When that is not the case, then things turn sour. Team cohesion is really the core of a professional relationship, not the exigency of money. When that suffers, the money better be damned good. If both suffer, the relationship is terminal.

Man in a Hostile World

Obliquely, if not cryptically, it is important to put 2016 in perspective. There are monsters.