Bye bye 2018

3 minutes read

It’s New Year’s Eve in Australia already and I thought, like many other people out there, it’d be a good idea to give you a few of my thoughts of 2018 and what 2019 might bring.

Looking back at 2018

I quit my very good job at Versent and decided to bet big on Microsoft Azure by starting Xirus, a company focusing solely on the Microsoft Azure cloud and helping customers make the right choices on this cloud platform of their choice through consulting and training.
It’s been another year of conference travel with some very exciting and new destinations like Riga Dev Days in Latvia or HighLoad 2018 in Moscow to just name two.
It was great to also meet a lot of new people that have been following my blog or myself on social media. It’s always awesome to see what people did with the information I put online here and just get some personal feedback. I was also very happy to for five years in a row again be awarded with the Microsoft MVP for Azure award. A lot of work goes into this to make sure that my contributions to the community are valuable to you (my readers/visitors here), my customers, my conference attendees but also to Microsoft, making sure that what feedback people give me is promptly and mostly unfiltered forwarded to the appropriate people at Microsoft.
A latest example of this is this Azure AD Logs issue I highlighted where the Azure team has reached out to me to understand customer requirements better and maybe address this. I will definitely update the article if anything changes.
Microsoft Azure, being the platform I work and focus on, has also made some great announcements in the last 12 months with lots of interesting additions to their services. Too many to list them here. Not everything is awesome, there are flaws in every system around, but overall I strongly believe that customers that fully buy in to the platform will be able to achieve some great outcomes for themselves, no matter what industry vertical we’re talking about.
I like the fact that Microsoft is focusing on Operations teams again and gives them tools to manage and maintain the cloud environment in a contemporary way. Great job!
What I don’t like is the Microsoft community’s own divide between so-called IT Pros and Developers and the fears that go along with these titles when it comes to cloud, where there is a perception that everything is just about Developers. That’s not true. The Cloud focuses on practices that help every single person working in IT. Knowledge from 10 years ago is still valid and required, but the person owning that knowledge needs to update their practices to the standards of today (or tomorrow).
I should stop here, this is better communicated in the form of a roundtable discussion or similar at a Meetup or a conference. Let me know if you’re interested in that ;-)

Looking ahead at 2019

For 2019 I have a few professional plans that I like to write down to keep me accountable:

  • focus on online training and webinars (paid and free)
  • keep the conferences up with around 4-5 overseas conferences in 2019
    • I have already submitted very interesting topics to some conferences for 2019
  • at least 2 blog articles every 2 months
  • focus even more on concepts and principles, less on tools, they change way too quickly

Personal goals for 2019

I am more than my job and as such I obviously have non-IT related goals.

  • get my Private Pilot’s Licence (PPL) with at least one extra endorsement (likely VFR night)
    • I’ve been flying for over 16 years now with other licences, it’s time for the PPL
  • travel more together with my wife to new destinations

Blog stats

Just some interesting stats for this blog to finish this off. While I lost a few weeks in 2018 where Google Analytics didn’t collect any data for my website, I can estimate the following (with some help of Cloudflare stats):

  • Visitors in 2018: ~150,000
  • My ConfigMgr/SCCM articles are still super popular, which is frightening, most of them are 5 years old or older
  • Azure and automation topics in general are picking up

blog top articles

This blog will likely move to a new home in 2019. It’s currently hosted on GitHub Pages, however, I’m planning to move it to an Azure based hosting model on Azure Storage (static website hosting) once they support custom domains and SSL natively. My company’s website already runs as a docker container on Azure App Services completely “serverless” on Azure.

Thanks to all my regular and new blog readers out there. Have a great 2019!


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