Warning, incoming year…warning, incoming year

For those who may have missed it, the title is a reference to a computer-animated TV show from the 90s, called Reboot. If you’re not familiar with it, I highly recommend checking it out – the computer references are definitely dated now, but IMO the show holds up overall. And now, to the business at hand.

Phew! We’re close to wrapping up 2016, and thank goodness. We’ve lost a lot of celebrities, including several icons of the geek community. Global politics seem to be trending towards a scary mix of isolationism and bigotry. In Canada, the economy is still sluggish in its recovery, leaving a lot of folks wondering whether they’ll have jobs in the future.

That being said, there has also been a lot of good news. The fight against diseases such as Malaria, Measels, and Ebola is making significant progress. Efforts to curb climate change and move to renewable energy sources are making headway. Canada (finally) took in many refugees from Syria.

In my own life, 2016 has also been a mix of highs and lows. I started the year still on the job hunt, and was seriously concerned that I might run out of EI before finding something even close to my field. I was lucky to find a short-term job for 4 months, teaching software testing. The bad news was, it meant I was away from my family for four months, which was exceptionally difficult. In the end, it bridged things enough for me to finally find full-time work as a tester in St. John’s. I’m working with a fantastic team; everyone there works hard, and cares deeply about the work they’re doing. I

And now, the annual goal review:

Mark 50 books as “read” on GoodReads: I managed to get 28 books read, so better than 50%. I also managed to get in a fair bit of podcast listening while I was away.

Grow more food: Zilch on this one. I was away for most of the planting and growing season in St. John’s, and my sour cherry tree produced almost no edible fruit.

Brew at least 4 batches of beer, including 2 styles I’ve never brewed: 50% on this one as well – 2 batches of beer, and 1 style I had never brewed before. On the plus side, both batches were huge successes; I even gave away part of the second batch, as part of a homebrew advent calendar, and got some great feedback.

Apply to Memorial University’s B.Ed program: 100% on this one! Applied, got in, completed two courses, and signed up for three more starting in January.

Finish preparing for the CISSP exam: Zero on this one. Between going away for work, getting a new job, and taking University courses, this goal is going to be on hold for a bit.

On the face of it, I didn’t quite hit the mark for my goals this year. That being said, I think this year was a very successful one for me. I ended up doing some pretty cool things that I hadn’t planned on, including teaching a software testing class, giving my first ever talk at a professional conference, and submitting a batch of homebrew to a group of my fellow homebrewers for evaluation.

With all of that, time to come up with my goals for 2017:

Test for 1st Kyu in Aikido: This might’ve happened last year, except for my going away for four months. There was no dojo near Miramichi, so I had no practice for a while. That being said, I think I’ve got myself back to a pretty good spot; as long as the Chief Instructor puts me forward, I expect I’ll be testing some time in the coming year.

Completing 6 courses, as part of my degree: I planned for an average of two per semester, and found that it was difficult but manageable this past semester, with a 2000 level course and a 3000 level course. I’ve got a 4000 level course on my schedule for next year, so I’m scheduled to take three 2000 level courses this semester.

Enter a local homebrew competition: I’m feeling more confident in my skills as a homebrewer, and while I don’t expect to win, I think I can produce a competitive beer. I gather it’s in the planning stages right now, and I’m hoping I’ll have enough time to try making a batch of whatever style they choose for the competition.

Refine my security/software testing presentation: I did a presentation at BSides St. John’s 2016, and I’d like to refine it and then present it at another conference. I’m considering this a bit of a stretch goal, because I’m not sure I’ll have time to pull it off.

Read 50 books: I got to almost three-fifths of this in 2016, so I think it’s doable. Just gotta get on top of it earlier in the year.

I hope you have a great 2017! Do you have any goals for the upcoming year?

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