As you may have gathered from the title, I did NOT pass the CKA exam. The title is not some clickbait where I turn things around and explain how I passed the exam by doing X, Y, and Z. Nope, I failed. And failure is important. You learn more from your failures than your successes, as anyone who has tried to build a CI/CD pipeline or write a piece of code can attest. There’s always going to be a lot of red before you see a hint of green. In this post I want to talk about what I did to prepare, what I should have done, and what I plan to do before retaking the exam. Yes, dear reader, I am going to retake the exam and this time I will PASS!
2020 was… a year. Or more like a decade packed into a single year. Looking back at everything that happened, it seems both too much and not enough. Conferences were cancelled, schools were closed, Zoom proficiency spiked, and we all added several new words to our vocabulary. This post is not meant to rehash our shared trauma of 2020, but I need to at least acknowledge it as a driving factor for the year. At the beginning of the year, I set out some ideas and goals for the year. Let’s see how I fared given all that happened.
One year ago I decided to quit my consulting job at a respectable company and go rogue as the Founder and sole employee of Ned in the Cloud LLC. I thought that now might be a good time to reflect on how I feel about that decision a year in, how things are going personally and financially, and where I see the company going in the future. Come with me friend on this introspective journey to examine the real-world of an independent content producer.
Although I don’t generally subscribe to New Year’s resolutions, I do like to review my professional goals on a regular basis and make sure they align with my overall strategy and vision for my career. I suppose that the beginning of a new year is a useful reminder to check in and see how things are going. In a previous post, I took a look at my goals for 2019 and how I did on achieving those goals. I also mentioned how I needed to revise those goals for 2020 based on my new circumstances, i.e. being self-employed.
Before I can even formulate new goals for the year, I think I need to spend a little time figuring out what the long term vision is for Ned in the Cloud LLC. The vision creates a strategy, the strategy determines goals. The fundamental question is, what is the vision for me?