For many of the past years I’ve written a retrospective (2016, 2015, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010) or look ahead (2019, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010) post to walk through my goals. This year I am a little behind but with some encouragement from my mentor Sean McDonough I will look ahead at what I have planned for 2020.
Ahead in 2020
Live life for others
A clip of Keanu Reeves on a late night show answering the question “What happens when we die?” has been popular on social media lately. If you haven’t gotten to watch this short clip take a minute to do so now:
In the clip Keanu doesn’t focus on himself (or his future self.) Instead he talks about those who love us and how their lives will be impacted by our passing.
This has been something that I’ve thought about more in the past years as my children have been born. I enjoy taking an hour or two once a week to do something with one of my kids such as going for a swim at the local gym, a library visit, grocery store run, or similar activity. I could / should do this more often, especially activities with my wife like our monthly date nights.
Hobbies (and music)
Speaking of my wife, we recent went to a marriage ministry event at a local church. In one of the videos for the night the couple presenting discussed keeping a dreams journal together. This dreams journal would contain things that you would like to do in the near term as well as the long term. My wife and I discussed each of our personal and collective dreams which opened some interesting insights.
For me personally I would like to get back into playing a musical instrument. In my younger years I played piano for 8 years and guitar for a few. I won’t claim to be good at either today, but I’ve always been drawn to music as a means to relax or inspire creativity. I’ve tossed around ideas of starting up drumming but that may wait until my kids are older and we have space to put equipment like that. For now though I’m looking into creating chiptune or MIDI music on my laptop.
Chiptune music creators for Windows 10
STEAM education for girls
Now that I’m the father of 2 girls (in addition to my son) I’m interested in ways to encourage both of my daughters in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics (STEAM) education. My oldest daughter is already very interested (and good at) art and math. As for the other areas we’ve bought a few Elenco Snap Circuits kits and I’m looking at a few coding applications that she can use in a year or two.
At a broader level, the Stir Trek Conference that I help organize has a related Stir Scholarship that is awarding young women with scholarships to enter into a degree in software. If you feel inclined, please donate and spread the word about this scholarship. I look forward to helping this program grow and continuing to encourage all young women to explore a STEAM education.
Building community at work
In addition to my normal customer work I have also been involved in building an internal community of sorts around Microsoft Graph. This community is focused on answering questions from my peers in the field as well as connecting people with product group members. Aside from the technical aspects of this community I’ve also been interested in helping others contribute to documentation (primarily Microsoft’s). In 2018 I wrote a blog post on the topic but I’m also looking at doing a workshop or recorded video to help others see the process.
How To Edit Microsoft Documentation on GitHub
While this list is not complete nor are they all measurable goals, this is a starting point for the direction I’ve pointed myself in for the 2020 year. If you have set your own goals or personal directions I’d love to hear what they are. Feel free to leave a comment and share. Thanks and have a great start to 2020.