2012 has been a crazy year for me. I’d like to briefly summarize my year and publicly  post some of my goals for 2013.

Accomplishments in 2012

Blogging - Monthly Views to Keeping It Classless increased by over 450% this year, and every single month had consistently more views than the month before. I want to thank each and every one of you for reading my articles - I really only got into this recently and the explosive growth is still hard to believe.

Certifications - This year, I passed the Cisco SWITCH and TSHOOT exams, making me a CCNP in August. I also became a VCP5, and somewhat recently, a CCNA Data Center (two weeks after the exam was announced).

Experience - I was mentored by quite a few highly intelligent technical professionals that taught me many, many things about the technology I now get to work with every day, but also the value of being excellent and high-energy at everything I do in life, technical or non-technical. These experiences undoubtedly impacted my life in a big way.

Career - Although I have been with my current employer since late 2011, my current role really only started at the new year. Since then, I’ve learned much about technology, leadership, and persistence. I continue to treat my “peripheral” outlets like blogging, and Twitter, etc. as extensions of the workplace. I am fortunate and lucky enough to get to do what I love for a living, and I only see this continuing through 2013 and beyond.

2013 Resolutions

Blogging/Social Media - I have been fortunate enough to see a very quick and very direct correlation between my involvement in the industry via my writing or the ever-present Twitter feed, and the quality of my day-to-day experience in the industry and with my peers. I am committing to writing more consistently in 2013, and with the same or higher quality of writing. I haven’t been doing this for very long, but things are starting to click for me now - I’ve discovered that I really do have something to contribute, and I have my readers/peers to thank for it. Thanks to everyone for being so passionate and so involved that complete strangers can meet and collaborate, and in the process, directly impact our industry. In 2013, I plan to contribute even more to this culture.

I also would like to change the look and feel of the site. It’s been great for me thus far, but I have been looking at it for over a year now, and I feel like the time is right for a change, something that will be conducive to further growth.

Certifications - I have had a lot of certifications come through in just the past few years. While I know that there will be a requirement in terms of quantity of certs, I want to point out that my goal for 2013 is to focus on some non-certification topics as well, and gain the experience that comes with time. That said, I do plan on pursuing the CCIE further, and will commit to passing the CCIE Written sometime this year. With the work schedule, it will be difficult to say for sure if a lab attempt can get fit in there, but we’ll see - it will definitely be on my radar. I also resolve to get my CCNP Data Center.

I like to keep my goals as SMART as possible, so this will go against the grain, but I would like to mention that I would at the very least attempt to branch out into some of my weak areas, specifically security and wireless. They’re both areas that I have a lot of exposure to, but I purposely separate myself from them because I don’t want to bite off more than I can chew. However, they still interest me, and the time has come to at least get somewhat familiar - if it means getting my CCNA Security and CCNA Wireless, then so be it. I just don’t like having blind spots.

Career - I want to use 2013 to grow myself even more professionally. I like working with technology, and it comes naturally to me. However, I still find myself with room to grow when it comes to communicating better with my colleagues. I want to commit to finally finishing my reading list to help with this. I will also improve my leadership skills, as they will be needed with what’s in store for me in 2013.

Part of my book list involves a little bit technical reading, but also some philosophy. I love the writing style of those out there that really think deep when it comes to the technology we work with, and I want to live up to the title of “technosopher”.

IPv6 - I’ve had this one in the back of my mind for a while, and Tom Hollingsworth’s post today really gave things a jolt. I was fortunate enough to have the opportunity at the end of my IT degree program to work on a team to present a senior capstone project. Ours was pretty much anything and everything IPv6. During that project, me and my team explored every aspect of the next-generation protocol, from migrations, to security, to design, you name it. Since then, I’ve had this little guy in the back of my head, gnawing at me to get back into it.

Since reading Tom’s post, I realized that I too want to be an agent of change, and I plan to impact the industry in a big way. I will be participating in more IPv6-related events, and of course, continuing the intense, but ultimately healthy and helpful debates about it’s use and implementation. I’ve known for a while that there is a lot of potential in this area of technology, and I plan to be ahead of the curve on this one.

Personal - I have wanted for a long time to get my private pilot’s license. I logged about 80 hours back before college while in training, but never got the license because the lessons were too sporadic, and I never got my flight physical. My eyesight isn’t that great, but it isn’t terrible - I want to commit to getting this physical taken care of in 2013 so I know if this is still a reality. I loved flying and want to get back into it again.

Summary

I accomplished quite a bit in 2012, but I also learned a lot and aim to grow even more in the coming year. Happy New Year, everyone - let’s make 2013 kick ass!


Matt Oswalt

Matt Oswalt is an all-around technology nerd, currently focusing on networking, software development, and everything in between. He is at his happiest in front of a keyboard, next to a brewing kettle, or wielding his silo-smashing sledgehammer. He spends his days diving deep into the intersection of networking and software, and likes to blog about his experiences when he comes up for air. You can follow him on Twitter or LinkedIN.