/ #personal 

2000 - 2020: Did I Time Travel?

2020…2020? Really? Already? Where did the time go? Think for a moment…it’s hard to believe that 2050 is as far as 1990! 😅

When I’m looking back over my shoulder, I have no idea where the 2 past decades went. I am now 37 years old, and I still remember our 5th grade (CM2) schoolteacher asking us how we see the year 2000 (which was 9 or 10 years in the future for my younger self): we imagined flying cars, people living on Mars, teleportation and other cool stuff. We were clearly ahead of our time. 🙂

Time perception

I know it’s a bit late for New Year post, but it’s still an excellent exercise to have an objective (?) look at this last year.

2019 Highlights

  • 20 trips where I traveled almost 180,000 km (approx. 112k miles). I was lucky to discover great cities such as Singapore, Moscow or San Diego, but also to fly again to Rome, Chicago, Barcelona, San Francisco, Las Vegas, and many others.
  • I started meditating: I started with 5 minutes daily, and I just switched to 10 minutes recently (more on the reason why I started meditation below).
  • I planted many trees with different non-profit organizations: I plan to continue that in the future.
  • You may (or may not) have noticed it, but I migrated my blog from a self-hosted Wordpress to Hugo hosted on AWS (leveraging services such as Route53, ACM, CloudFront, and S3).
  • I completely rebuilt my lab: I now have enough ressources to run and test whatever I want. \o/
  • I learned a lot in the DevOps area (Git, CI/CD pipelines and so on).
  • I learned a lot on public cloud, especially on AWS services.

2019 Challenges

  • I only published 1 article in January: I’m not very proud of that, shame on me!
  • I did not attended VMworld for the first time in years.
  • I started meditating. Meditation is not a challenge by itself, it's more the reason why I did it.
Meditation

I was feeling overwhelmed and stressed at some point last year. Call it IT burnout or something else, it's usually hard to notice the difference between regular stress and this by yourselves, particularly when you work remotely. I tried to asses the cause: I assume it was related to my work method, which never evolved in the past years, but also to the amount of context switching during my days. The combined effects would just drain my energy and impacted my sleep.

As a consequence, I ended up in emergencies on the other side of the world after a panic attack and convulsions during a meeting; this was the straw that broke the camels back, as the old saying goes.

It's all behind me now; what's important is to realize your condition before it's too late. Family, friends and colleagues can help you to do so. I have now a new work method as well as a new daily routine which help me to gain confidence, to achieve more in less time, and to better sleep. Mindfulness meditation is a pillar in my new daily routine: I won't say that it is THE answer as everyone's brain is wired differently, but it certainly brings me a lot. Sport is also another pillar.

While doing some research, I discovered that other people in the community had similar challenges and shared their experiences (such as Eric Shanks here and here, Chris Colotti or Eric Lee). Cody's article on the Imposter Syndrome is also definitely worth reading; this is also an area I have struggled in the past.

2020

As we wrap up this decade, I wanted also to take time to thank you. While I created this blog as a repository of ideas, tools testing and other CLI/API work, it has grown to provide valuable information to my visitors (I hope).

However, with a full-time job, a wife and 2 small children, a house to maintain and some travel (almost 100 days away from home), I didn't find the time to write as much as I wanted to. That said, as I reorganized my work methods, one of my long term goal is to be able to share my findings again.

I initially wanted to publish something weekly, but I don’t think if this is a realistic target. Let's just say that I have a ton of draft ideas or draft posts, and I hope to be able to get them out as much as I can…stay tuned! \o/

Thank you!
Author

Romain

Staff Architect & Member of the CTO Ambassador Program at VMware, focusing on NSX and Cloud-Native Applications. He is a double VCDX (DCV and NV, #120), VCDX panelist, frequent VMUG/VMworld speaker and contributor to the community via this blog or social media (follow him on Twitter @woueb).