7 Bullets On What I’m Doing Now

  1. Focusing on health. Working with an excellent personal trainer since April 2023 to focus on core strength, flexibility, with weight loss as a helpful extra. Trying to eat wisely, after reading Dr Chris van Tulleken’s book Ultra-Processed People: Why Do We All Eat Stuff That Isn’t Food … and Why Can’t We Stop?
  2. Launching the course Terraform AKS baseline clusters - deployment walkthrough, using Terraform, bash shell scripts and Azure CLI to build a Baseline Cluster implementation in hours not days.
  3. Learning how to get the best out of AI assistants ChatGPT and, particularly for bash shell scripting.
  4. Learning React with Josh W Comeau’s The Joy of React
  5. Deepening my Linux knowledge by attending multiple O’Reilly Live Events, and keeping up with the Continuous Professional Development requirements to maintain the CISSP qualification.
  6. Re-building this website using Eleventy, and hosting with Cloudflare Pages.
  7. Listening to more music, and music-related content. I’ve been very impressed with Rick Beato’s long-form interviews on his YouTube channel, particularly Dominic Miller and Jimmy Webb. Found this great live version of Crazy Train by the Waifs. Amazed by the flat-picking of Billy Strings at the Opry and by Cody Jinks live at Red Rocks

7 Bullets On My Last 7 Years

  1. Started building with AWS. In 2016 at the end of a 9-month role with a friend’s new company, set up an AWS subscription for the first time. Hit the books to study for the certifications, beginning with Solutions Architect Associate, Developer Associate, and DevOps Professional, and haven’t looked back. I’m now “multi-cloud”, and very comfortable with Azure’s way of working.
  2. Realised DevOps was where the magic was - a belief crystallised by the novel The Phoenix Project - it was a pivotal book, and led me to go all-in with Cloud and DevOps.
  3. I started on the security track with the CompTIA Security+ certification. I passed the Security+ in September 2016, and was CISSP-certified by June 2017. I’d thought it was a hard exam, so it was gratifying to have it recognised as a “level 7” qualification, equivalent to U.K. Master’s degree standard. Built out the infrastructure for the Online Safety Alliance providing online training for Teachers and Pupils of U.K. schools.
  4. Rotated through different industries - from a web development shop, to a large retailer, to the UK Department for Education, to a provider of Guest WiFi to hotels, to a smaller bank (three times). In all these different industries, HashiCorp Terraform was the common denominator, which is my primary tool for working with cloud, and in August 2023, I became a HashiCorp Certified: Terraform Associate (003)
  5. Switched to remote working because of the pandemic, with the odd experience of 9 months working with a team and never meeting them in person. Learned to facilitate online webinars, taking two cohorts through the AWS Cloud Essentials course, and becoming an AWS Academy Accredited Educator and AWS Academy Certified Educator. Had the lovely experience of seeing colleagues I coached being made into permanent DevOps Engineers, and getting promotions.
  6. Realised that writing things down is a superpower. Writing documentation “for yourself in 6 months’ time, and your colleague next week” really does help. I’ve written hundreds of internal documents (in Confluence, and in plain markdown as READMEs, or for GitHub wiki).
  7. Learned Kubernetes more generally, and Azure Kubernetes Service in particular, which required becoming really good at Azure too. Went deep on the certifications, with the hands-on, nowhere to hide, Linux Foundation certifications:
    • CKA: Certified Kubernetes Administrator
    • CKAD: Certified Kubernetes Application Developer
    • CKS: Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist

Last Updated

6 January 2024

What’s a Now Page?

This page is inspired by Derek Sivers’ NowNowNow project