New year, new goals

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One of my goals last New Year's was to read a book a month. Didn't make plans beyond that, or set a realistic pace, and so it (predictably) went the same way as the "I solemnly swear to exercise more" resolution that feels so familiar. I pushed my medium hardest ever for about 2 weeks, then nada. I did have a brief binge on "The Expanse" series, but that wasn't really what I had in mind when I set the goal.

It's that race-out-of-the-gate, all-or-nothing mindset that gets me every time. I think we tend to see our goals (and other things) as sprints instead of marathons, like we can make up for not driving 60 mph for a few months by going 20000 mph for an afternoon. But that doesn't work. You can only push your body and mind to do so much before burning out.

A good New Year's resolution isn't about doing something for the next few weeks. It's about changing a habit for a life time, so this year I'm going with smaller, more measurable bites. I'm aiming for just one technical book a month, about a chapter a day depending on the length. If I feel like reading more maybe I will, but... marathon not race.

The DevOps Handbook

For January, I've got The DevOps Handbook queued up. This one was on my wishlist, then my wife got it for my birthday, and ..... it's just been kinda holding up my other books. Or maybe they were holding up this one?

Just from reading the intro this evening, it seems the authors see a nearly universal struggle between companies needing to rapidly change (to be relevant in the market, to keep customers happy) while needing stability (to keep the app up and running, possibly on an infrastructure that looks like a game of jenga). These needs are often handled by separate teams at odds with one another, creating a certain level of discord and stress.

I'm excited to read more about this struggle, and how DevOps helps solve it, especially since we're using Azure DevOps at work to run CI builds and tests throughout the day, and to deploy some of our products in a predictable, repeatable manner. What we've done with it so far has been great, and I look forward to learning more this year.

But I can't help wondering if the book will live up to its promises? It seems to setup DevOps as the solution to all a company's woes. Up until now, when I heard DevOps my first thought has always been "automate all the things". I'm already getting the feeling I don't know much (in this specific sense.. I already knew that in the general sense, hah), and I can't wait to find out what else it is.

Here's a link to the book, if you're interested in picking up a copy.


Grant Winney

I write when I've got something to share - a personal project, a solution to a difficult problem, or just an idea. We learn by doing and sharing. We've all got something to contribute.

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