A Look Back at 2015

The end of the year is just a few days away.  It’s time to take a look back at 2015 and a look ahead at 2016.

Year in Review

I got to experience a lot of new things and participate in some great opportunities in 2015.  Highlights include:

  • Presenting at the first North Central Wisconsin VMUG meeting
  • Wrote for Virtualization Review
  • Made a career change.  I went to Ahead as a Data Center Engineer
  • Attended Virtualization Field Day in June as a delegate
  • Was selected to be part of the VMware EUC vExperts group
  • Rebranded my blog.  I changed the URL from seanmassey.net to thevirtualhorizon.com

Goals

When I wrote my 2014 Year in Review post, I had also set three goals for 2015.  Those goals were:

  1. Get my VCDX
  2. Make a career change and go to a VAR/partner or vendor
  3. Find a better work/life/other balance

I accomplished 2/3rds of these goals.  In April, I made the move to Ahead, a consulting firm based out of Chicago.  This move has also enabled me to have a better work/life/other balance – when I’m home, I can now pick up my son from school.

I haven’t started on my VCDX yet, and this goal is sitting in the waiting queue.  There are a couple of reasons for this.  First, there were some large areas in my selected design that I would have had to fictionalize.  Secondly, and more importantly, there will be other opportunities to do a design based on an actual client.  I plan to keep this on my goals list and revisit it in 2016.

Although obtaining my VCDX will be my main goal for 2016, I have a few other smaller goals that I plan to work towards as well:

  • Write More – Although it can be time-consuming, I like writing.  The thing is, I like it as a hobby.  Writing professionally was an interesting experience, but took a lot of the fun out of blogging.  I would like to get back into the habit of blogging on a regular basis in 2016.
  • Expand my Skillsets – I’d like to spend more time learning the private cloud and automation toolkits, especially things like Puppet, Chef, and OpenStack.  I’d also like to spend more time on HyperConverged solutions like Nutanix.  I plan on expanding my lab to be able to dabble in this more. 

Blog Statistics

I didn’t do as much blogging in 2015 as I did in 2014.  There are a few reasons for this.  First, I passed on participating in the Virtual Design Master 30-in-30 challenge this year.  Second, a lot of content I would have written for my blog earlier in the year was directed to Virtualization Review instead, so I did not have a lot of original stuff to write.

I normally don’t care about blog stats, but I think it’s a fun exercise to take a look back at the year and compare it briefly to previous years.  As of December 27th, I had written 21 blog posts.  This was down from 90 posts in 2014.  Page views are about the same.  I ended 2014 with 151,862 page views by 55,471 visitors.  Year-to-date in 2015, I have had 151,862 page views by 64,618 visitors.

Some key statistics are:

And a Big Thank You Goes Out to…

I’m not on this journey alone, and another great year wouldn’t have been possible without the vCommunity.  A few people I’d like to call out are:

  • My wife Laura for weathering the transition to a consulting role
  • Brian Suhr – who has enabled me to take the next steps in my career
  • Jarian Gibson and Andrew Morgan
  • The entire team at Ahead for being some of the smartest people I’ve ever worked with and always having time to help someone out with questions
  • Stephen Foskett and Tom Hollingsworth for inviting me to participate in Virtualization Field Day
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