SeeSmitty: Year One in the Books

sunsetting on 2022

Well, we made it. The end of Year One for the SeeSmitty IT Blog. The end of the year is a normal time for reflection and review. I’ve taken a decent portion of December off from the blog. Part of it is due to the holiday season, and everything being busy of course. However, I also felt it was important to look back on some key things for the year and determine what went well, what could go better, and what do I want to try and do in 2023. Obviously, this is common practice for many folks, and if this isn’t something you are interested in reading, then I won’t be offended if you click back and open one of my more technical and likely interesting blog posts. This one is mostly for me to have for next year. I’ve always done these informally in the past, and so this year, I’m actually putting my thoughts on “paper”, or at least my website. That way, if I ever forget the login, at least I’ll still be able to find what I wrote 🙂

Table Of Contents

What Did I Accomplish This Year?
What Didn’t I accomplish this Year?
What are My Goals for 2023?
Conclusion


What Did I Accomplish This Year?

Everyone likes statistics, right? Here are what I consider my most notable achievements for the year:

This may seem like a lot to some and not a lot to others. These are the statistics that I am most proud of, hence why I included them. I’m a big believer in celebrating achievements, whether big or small. Imposter syndrome is a real issue in the IT field, and I believe that one of the best ways to combat this is to find things to celebrate and remind yourself that you are better than you think at your job.

IT Certifications Earned: 2

This year I was able to finish these exams to become certified:

I am a big proponent of the Cloud Skills Challenge for Microsoft. I love the opportunity to explore the guided learning to find out something new Microsoft is offering, then being rewarded with a certificate voucher for an existing exam. I get it, that in many areas of IT, certifications don’t carry the clout that they used to. However, I still believe in the validation of understanding that comes with many of the Microsoft certs, and I will continue to get them as long as I can get the voucher to cover it. 🙂

Books Finished: 16

seesmitty year one book accomplishments

Look the honest truth here is that I gave up most of my podcasts this year in favor of audio books. There is some real value in staying up to date with trends and such with podcasts, and I had a few that I still sprinkled in this year. However, I felt like I got a ton of value out of the audio books this year, and I was so glad to have gotten into them. The Libby app combined with several public libraries meant that I didn’t even have to pay for any of the books. It’s hard to beat any kind of free education or entertainment.

Some of my Favorite Books for this year were:

I really enjoyed all the books I read this year, but these were my favorite. I was probably the most engaged with these books, and I had the most fun reading/listening to them. I highly recommend them all, and if you are interested on my take on a specific one, reach out and let me know.

PowerShell Scripts Published to GitHub: 11

This one is probably not a huge deal, but I don’t like to put anything out there unless I feel REALLY good about it. I don’t like the idea of uploading a script that I’m not 100% confident will work for someone else who might use it. I have found that there is value in getting community input though, as I had a few Issues raised that I resolved for some of the more popular scripts. That is something that will give me a little more confidence in the future when it comes to posting scripts out there.

Overall, though, considering I have probably 80+ that I wrote for a very specific purpose, or that I was writing to test or learn something, I feel pretty good about the fact that 11 were good enough in my eyes to share with fellow IT people on the internet. This will also be a new benchmark for me in the coming year, so I felt that alone made it worth including.

Blog Articles Posted: 30

This is another one that will become a benchmark for me. I set out this year after starting the blog at the end of February, to write 24 blog posts. Once it became obvious to me that I would hit 24 with plenty of time to spare, I upped that goal to 32. Ultimately, I accepted not hitting my revised goal of 32. I didn’t want the last few posts to seem cheap or forced. I actually have 4 posts in drafts that I started and haven’t posted because I didn’t feel like they were ready to post.

This one is important to me because I felt that I couldn’t really claim any kind of credibility until I had a decent amount of content out there. It’s really hard to convince someone you know what you are talking about if you only have one other article to your name, and it is related to something totally different. The credibility comes from the quantity and quality of the content. Someone could easily read other posts and get an idea of whether or not I know what I’m talking about. This means that starting is the hardest part. heck, some of the credibility comes from consistency.

Having these 30 posts for me gives me a little more confidence because I can point to that accomplishment as a “resume” of sorts for someone to judge whether I have that credibility. Now I just need to get the same confidence around sharing my posts on social media and with other people I know… (one step at a time).

Words Written for the Blog: 55,043

Not much to say here. I knew I was long winded but jeez that’s a lot of words!


What Didn’t I Accomplish this Year?

While I don’t think it is good to dwell on missed goals, acknowledging them is important because it gives me an opportunity to reflect and decide whether or not to change things for the next year. Since this is the end of my first year with the blog, I expect this will be a short section, but I want to lay the groundwork for next year.

I didn’t finish my Home Lab Series…

This one only stings a little for me because it was the basis for how I started this blog. It was a core part of the beginning, and the one series that helped me finish the first 10 articles that seemed so daunting. I may revisit the original post and determine if everything is still relevant, but I would like to finish that series this year since it was a pivotal part of the beginning of this blog.

I didn’t hit the arbitrary 32 posts that I wanted to hit…

I mentioned this above, and it is really a small thing, but it still stings a little. I think I made the right choice by not rushing things with a few posts, but I still feel a wee-bit sad that I didn’t hit it. Next year though, I’ll hit my mark.

Thats about it. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into when I started this blog, so at the time I didn’t have a lot of goals. Hoping next year will be a little different.


What are My Goals for 2023?

I’m hoping this section will be a little more fun. One purpose for this section is so that there is a record of my goals. I’ve read that writing goals down increases the chances that you will accomplish them. This is my formal record that I will use to hold myself accountable against this time next year. It will also be the guide for this next year when I am unsure of what to work on next. Thats how goals work. (I say to myself with a duh added on…)

I will write 35 new Blog Posts in 2023

This is only a slight stretch goal, since in 10 months I wrote 30. 5 more in 2 months’ time doesn’t seem unreasonable. It is still short of the one post a week goal that I want to get to eventually, but to be honest, I don’t know how I could manage that, or come up with enough ideas for that. Who knows though.

Some topics I would like to continue diving into in 2023:

  • REST API Access with PowerShell (MS Graph and others)
  • Home Lab Series (Finish from this last year)
  • Windows Server Hardening
  • Conferences I Attend
  • Cybersecurity Training I attend
  • Cybersecurity Tips and Tricks I Learn along the way
  • PowerShell Based Automation

Finish GIAC Certified Windows Security Administrator (GCWN) Certification

I’ve never mentioned anything about this on the blog before, but if you followed me on Twitter you might have seen one of the few tweets I made that mentioned this. I attended this training this past year and it was eye opening to say the least. I’m still studying and expect to sit for the test by the end of January. I’ll be sure to share when I am finished, but this is a big important goal for me this year. I tend to straddle the line between IT security and IT operations in my current line of work, and this will be a big part of what drives me to end up more on the Security side of things. Plus, I mean c’mon, it’s one of the few PowerShell related certifications that exist in the IT space. OF COURSE I want to earn this one.

Finish 20 Books in 2023

The books are mostly unrelated to the blog obviously, but since I included them in my accomplishments for the year, I think it makes sense to include them in the goals for next year as well. Like the blog, I have a varied taste in books, so I don’t know for sure what will come of this goal. However, some that I know I want to read this year include:

I like books that can stretch my thinking. I like being presented with new ideas and a different approach to how I have done things in the past. I enjoy having my ideas challenged and tested. Basically, I love learning. These books seem like they will offer me this and more. I highly recommend checking them out if you haven’t already.

And on the off chance you want to follow my progress to hold me accountable, you can find my Good Reads goal here.


Conclusion

There it is! My 2022 year in review. If I had to summarize my year, I would have to say it was a year of learning. Between the books, the posts I wrote, and the training I completed this past year, it felt like the underlying theme was learning. I’ve developed a love of learning that has gotten me pretty far in life. The excitement about challenging my thoughts and ideas always gets me excited. Plus, this year my PowerShell knowledge grew substantially. I never intended for this blog to be so PowerShell heavy (to be honest, I thought it would be mostly Intune related). However, I’m not at all disappointed with how things have turned out and I expect that my PowerShell knowledge will continue to grow as time goes on.

Whether you thought this was interesting or not, thanks for reading. I think this kind of reflection is important for many reasons; some I mentioned before and others I didn’t. Whether you have a blog or not, I hope you can spend some time reviewing the positive accomplishments for the year and setting some new goals for the new year. It doesn’t have to be big or drastic. It just has to be something that will keep you motivated all year.

I wish you the best of luck in this upcoming year, and I want to say thanks for hanging out with me in 2022. Hit me up on Twitter @SeeSmittyIT to let me know what you thought of this post. Or if you are avoiding the bird site, I’m also posted up on Mastodon @[email protected]. Thanks for reading!

Smitty

Curtis Smith works in IT with a primary focus on Mobile Device Management, M365 Apps, and Azure AD. He has certifications from CompTIA and Microsoft, and writes as a hobby.

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