I’ve never done a post like this before, so we’ll see how it goes. I wanted to share a little about the year we’re almost done with and a few predictions for next year.
2023 has been a challenging year for me. We had a lot of churn and turmoil at work. Our CEO left the company, and with a new CEO comes a whole new executive team and the expected reorganizations and changes in strategy. Combine that with all the normal business and challenges of family life and I spent a good portion of the year feeling exhausted and burnt out. It feels like our new leadership team has figured out the direction for the company and I’m looking forward to getting into a more sustainable groove in 2024.
As I mentioned above, I felt very tired and run down most of this year. I don’t do a good job of managing my energy levels. I tend to have two operating states, either I’m going full bore/top speed, or I’m sleeping. I also do a lousy job of managing my stress levels. Put those together and it’s a recipe for exhaustion.
In 2024 I’m going to work on managing my energy levels better. I am going to make time for breaks in my work day, like dedicating time for lunch. I am also going to be more disciplined about taking care of my physical health through diet and exercise. I don’t want to end up having a heart attack or other stress-induced condition before I’m 50 years old.
I learned this year that building a personal knowledge base (PKB) is much harder than it looks. It takes a great deal of discipline and practice to become good at taking and organizing notes for future reference. While I definitely didn’t do as well as would have liked, I feel like I have learned a lot about the process and I’ve started to develop the habits and practices necessary to make this a useful tool. I’m looking to make my PKB a regular part of my life and workflow in 2024.
Surveillance capitalism is only increasing. I’m becoming more and more uncomfortable with putting my personal data into cloud services, especially those that are “free”. In 2024 I’m looking to build out a small home lab and to start self hosting my own digital services. For myself, this will be things like calendars, tools related to my PKB, and possibly a home media center.
I currently use AWS for some personal cloud computing resources. The services themselves are fine, but AWS’ pricing does not have home users in mind. I would like to use and experiment more with using cloud services to assist with my self hosting objective, but it is just too cost prohibitive for me to do that in AWS. I would like to change to a cloud provider with pricing and services that are designed to serve small developers and self hosting, but there are economic and compatibility issues that I need to be watch out for. I tried using alternative S3-compatible object storage for offsite backups, but I quickly discovered that not all S3-compatible APIs are truly S3-compatible. Likewise, I expect to see more consolidation in the cloud provider market. Akamai acquiring Linode this past year is an example, and I expect more providers who are not AWS or Azure will either be acquired or possibly shut down.
2023 has been an interesting year for the broader open source community. Companies like Hashicorp pulled the rug our from under their users and customers, and even stalwarts like Red Hat made moves that have people questioning the long term viability of open source. I am still all in on open source, especially for my personal use. However, I will be less and less likely to take a gamble on open source companies, like Hashicorp, that are backed by venture capital or private equity and have permissive licenses. It feels like more and more companies are deliberately using the open source angle to build up a following with the intention of changing to a proprietary license when they reach critical mass.
I think that will wrap it up for 2023. It’s been a challenging year, but I also think I learned a lot. Here’s to hoping 2024 will be better and that I will continue to learn and grow. For the few of you out there that read this blog, I pray you and your families will have a Merry Christmas, a Happy New Year, and a better 2024.