LinuxTek 2022 Retrospective

Introduction

I started this blog back in September 2020 when I set up some Minecraft servers on Google Cloud Platform for some online friends to play on. It turned into a good place to start documenting some of the technical work I was doing, both to save for myself, and to share the knowledge with others. I’ve had to refer to my own articles a number of time, so I hope they’ve come in handy for others as well.

In this article, I’ll go over some of the main accompishments this year that I’m proud of, as well as things that I look forward to working on in 2023.

Career Update

What started as a journey towards learning GCP switched to learning AWS when I changed job roles to one that focused on supporting an application hosted in AWS. I’ve also been working more with a number of technologies out of necessity from that role – such as Gitlab, Ansible, Terraform, Packer and Python.

In August, I changed companies and now work as a Senior Cloud Infrastructure Engineer at Cisco, supporting an internal container orchestration platform.

Because the platform is mainly written in Python and Go, and very CI/CD automated using Jenkins, I will be focusing a lot of my time on learning more about these technologies. I’ll also be working on improving my knowledge of AWS, Docker, and Kubernetes.

Hopefully as I learn more I can become more comfortable with these technologies and be more efficient at supporting the product I work with. I’m not trained as a developer, but I seem to have to do a lot of work as one, so there are definitely some improvements I can make on this front.

Amazon Web Services Update

A lot of the accomplishments I’m proud of this year revolved around Amazon Web Services. I’ve spent more than a year working directly with the platform, and writing articles for some of the features I’ve used. One of the articles I’m most proud of is my one on a Serverless Malware URL Checking Application. The application is an example which runs on AWS Lambda, but completely deploys with Terraform.

I was also fortunate to attend the AWS Summit in Toronto this year, and meet a lot of my connections from LinkedIn, while enjoying a number of technical sessions.

And of course, I was very fortunate to be accepted into the AWS Community Builders Program. Not only does it provide a number of resources and some awesome swag (see below), but access to valuable connections at AWS and others in the community.

Joining this program motivates me to experiement more with AWS and create more content to share. I’ll be doing an internal presentation on AWS Certification and Training resources for work in January, and I have a lot of good ideas for other articles I can publish in the future. If you have some ideas on AWS topics you’d like to see more about, I’d definitely like to hear it.

Hashicorp Update

I make no effort to hide that I’m a bit of a Hashicorp product fanboy. Pretty much all of the products I’ve worked with I’ve enjoyed using – Vagrant, Consul, Packer, Terraform, Vault, etc. Other than Terraform, I haven’t really had to dig in too deeply with any of the products.

I won this sweater from a Hashicorp Live Twitch stream with Cole Morrison and Jenna Pederson, where they were building applications on AWS using Terraform. I can confirm it is extremely soft and comfortable: so much so that I had to buy one for my wife to keep her from stealing mine!

This year, I spent some time reviewing and taking some courses on Terraform, and successfully passed the exam for Terraform Associate. I put up a post with all of the resources I went through and thoughts on the exam process. Hopefully this will be helpful to others on this journey.

I also attended my first session of the Toronto Hashicorp User Group (HUG) in November, hosted by PwC Canada. There were a few interesting sessions on infrastructure automation and observability with Terraform.

It was great meeting some of my LinkedIn connections in person. Also it was a nice suprise running into Valentine Okonkwo who works at PwC Canada now, and recognized me at the building entrance. I’m glad we got to catch up a bit after the presentations.

Looking Forward

For 2023, there are a number things I’d like to work on:

Conclusion

I think 2022 was a very eventful year for me, with lots of positive changes. I’m looking forward to doing more in 2023, both technically, and from a networking perspective by getting out and meeting more of my connections.

I wish you all the best for this new year!

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