Closing the 2005/2006 PiP

Each year I put a small todo list up on Unixdaemon and see how many of the goals I can meet. The 20052006 Pragmatic Investment Plan is now closed so it’s time for a quick look back.

First up we have the writing of articles. I’ll come to this in a separate post as I’m still not happy with what I want to say. Training courses are an easy one. I did two main courses and I can’t remember much from either of them. The mistake is a common one, I didn’t actually implement any of the things I’d learned when I got back to the office so a lot of it didn’t stick. I’ve stored enough that I can find my way around both Exim and PostgreSQL but I can’t help thinking they could have been more useful to me if I’d have got my hands dirty when I got back from them. Still, I meet the numbers.

Conferences are always fun and this years is no exception, apart from EuroOSCON which I thought was a way too expensive let down. I didn’t go to this years (and I won’t be going to any in the near future) so I spent the money on a house instead.

It wasn’t quite that bad but it’s not on my list of recommended conferences and its pricing is… interesting. I missed LUGRadio (ill), the UKUUG events (personal commitments) and the 2005 London Perl Workshop (on-call) but I did get to my first YAPC in years, and Birmingham PM did a great job, a d.construct, which had a great audience and corridor track, and the highlight of the conferences (again) FOSDEM. Which was great. I’ll be booking next years tickets RSN. Honest. Not a day before like this years.

And on to the books, I’ve discovered while completing this list that the number of books I read from start to finish has dropped significantly. I now either buy a book for the last half-a-dozen advanced chapters, borrow an introduction to a topic from a friend or just sub to a planet or two and a lot of blogs. I’ve reached the tipping point where most of my technical information comes directly from my peers blogs rather than via printed paper. And with the exception of the Pragmatic Programmers line most tech publishers are less than interesting these days. I want one with some system admin topics that are actually worth reading. Not yet another command reference.

Lastly we have events. I dove in at the start of the year and ended up involved in organising nine different tech events (five were me working alone) in the first six months of the year. And then a change in my personal circumstances ate all my time and I’ve done pretty much nothing since. I’ve learned that I do enjoy organising them but I don’t like being a wingman. It’s too much like work when I have to organise with someone else. I do have plans for a London Linux Workshop next year. But I said that this year.

So do I pass? Sorta, a lot of last minute pushing and a number of mostly done tasks gets me a C+ this year. I’m not starting another PiP just yet. I need to think about possibly doing two things at once instead, one for longer term goals (of which I don’t really have any) and one for more iterative tasks, which’ll give better feedback with shorter delays.