2020 Retrospective

Living within a short distance of two bodies of water reduces the chances of having a significant amount of snowfall. That’s why, on New Year’s Eve, while everyone in Northern Ireland woke up to a blanket of snow, I woke up to this:

While reflecting on 2020, I was drawn to this domain that I’ve owned for a few years. Behind it sat a self-hosted Ghost blog that I set up on Azure. Self-hosting Ghost requires a lot of overhead and, to be honest, I did it with no intention of using it to build an online identity or to build the next great influential tech blog. You can tell this because since I set blog up in early 2017, I averaged a post a year.

Maintaining a blog has been a struggle for me, mainly because I’ve not seen much personal value in writing long articles that express my opinion. In hindsight, that stance has been more fear than anything else. I’ve had the tendency to think what I’ve got to say is neither profound nor interesting, and that by putting something out there will inevitably result in me being called out as the impostor that I am. But all fear does is paralyse you from accomplishing anything.

One way to overcome that fear is to motivate yourself by the actions of others. I read a few blogs on online identities, impostor syndrome, and overcoming fear and I decided I had to change my attitude. I’ve decided to reinvigorate my blog and take it in a new direction, but with a particular focus. I’ve given the blog a tagline viewpoints and perspectives on leadership and software development which is intended to give the blog a clear purpose. It will likely deviate from these topics from time to time. If I come across anything that I find interesting, I’m going to publish it here.

On to 2021

As I look towards 2021, I am excited about the challenges that I will face in my job. I’m looking forward to developing my leadership skills while building and shipping quality software. Inevitably, I will have to learn a lot of new things and I intend to write about those here. Finally, in terms of my online identity, I’m going to continue to develop it by focussing on the following areas:

  1. Twitter; it’s my primary social medium that I’ve used over the last thirteen years. I’m going to make more use of the like button on anything I come across and lists to categorise my interests.
  2. LinkedIn; improve my profile and use it to share content that I publish here.
  3. Support groups; there are lots of networks for professionals out there. I’m a member of a few and I’m going to participate in more of them when and where I can.
  4. Blogging; of course, this is going to require a lot more discipline than the items above, but I’m hoping that a blog with a specific topic in its tag line will help my focus.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you will join me in this journey.