2021 retrospective

Photo by Antonio Gabola / Unsplash

I usually spend the last couple of days of the year reflecting on the past 12 months, try to learn from mistakes, celebrate the victories and make plans for the upcoming year. Like so many others I would categorize this year as one of the worst in my lifetime. The COVID pandemic still going strong and it feels like the world have come to a halt while we just try to wait it out. But as I look back it is so clear that if this damn virus was out of the picture it would be my absolute best year, by far.

These posts are usually for the writer, but I hope that others also find something useful here. If anyone needs to talk about career or even some of the personal stuff that I will be mentioning here then feel free to contact me on Twitter or LinkedIn and I'm more than happy to help.

ADHD diagnosis

I have had some major problems with school, having a hard time concentrating and learning through conventional means. Before starting in IT I was 10 years without an actual job and I don't even know where I would be if I didn't live in such an amazing country as Norway that takes care of us that struggle. And even while going through all of this, no one ever thought to have me tested for ADHD which is really weird when thinking about it now.

I have kept to myself most of my life and much of my hyperactivity is mental, so it is understandable that no one had me checked for ADHD. At the same time, all the signs were there if anyone just had the capability to see it. My girlfriend did, and started to talk to me about this which led me to start reading up on ADHD. That made it very clear to me that it's by far the most reasonable explanation to why I'm the way that I am.

If anyone is considering getting tested, please do. Just the process helped me to better understand myself and how I work, which have helped me greatly.

Year of the first award recognition

When I started in IT, I quickly heard about the Microsoft MVP award. Microsoft is not the only one who has such award programs but as someone who was doing system administration in the Microsoft ecosystem, the MVP award is the big one that had a lot of inspirational people associated with it. I found a lot of inspiration from people holding this title and after a couple of years into IT I started to systematically work towards getting the title myself.

Most of us don't just work with one thing, and part of my automation work for cloud lead me towards HashiCorp Terraform. Even though the cloud platform was Azure, my preferred way of dealing with that platform is Infrastructure-as-Code and Terraform. One of the benefits of working against the MVP title was that I did blog posts and presentations on Terraform. That resulted in my very first award, the 2021 HashiCorp Ambassador. The 2021 award was the second one, and not that many have held or hold that title. I'm thrilled to be part of the ambassadors and I hope to see a renewal in 2022.

That was in the start of the year and even if it's really excited to be recognized for my work with HashiCorp, 2021 was not only the year that I got my first award but also the year I got my first MVP award in the Azure category.

Although it's not my first award, I have to say that it has always been the holy grail. The MVP program have been active for more than two decades, it has some of the most famous IT professionals on the list, and is by far one of the most known award programs in the business. It is truly an honor to be part of this community of recognized experts, and I will not take it for granted. I'm working really hard to keep up the momentum, and hopefully I will get renewed in 2022.

Thank you to everyone who has helped me by being inspirational, showing that sharing knowledge is the key to success. Special thanks to these individuals that have helped me in many ways in my journey to getting the MVP award:

Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Throughout the year I have been started to get involved in the CNCF, one of my favorite organizations in industry that enables many projects to do great things. Much of my daily work is done using tools from or built with components that is hosted in the CNCF so I thought it was the perfect place to start contributing back to the community.

What got me involved at first was the GitOps working group, where I have been part of starting the OpenGitOps project and defining the GitOps principles. When a new working group called Cooperative Delivery was starting up, I had the chance to get involved as one of the co-chairs to help run that group.

So far I have met so many awesome contributors to open source, seen so much innovation and true innovation.

Summary

Like I mentioned in the beginning, 2021 should have been another bad year due to the pandemic. I'm tired just like everyone else but I have been lucky to have some soaring heights this year to make it a bit more bearable. But even with all the good things that have happened, I can not wait for the day were we can return to something that resembles normality.

This year I got even more into programming, to the point where I could potentially be part of almost any project as a developer. I got very much more involved in the CNCF, learned a lot of new technologies, and I have had a great time doing so.

Roberth Strand

Roberth Strand

Norway