2015 – Challenging but it’s only the beginning!

Ryan YatesConsultant & Microsoft MVP

Just a dude in his 30's doing things in Tech & trying to break the stigma's around talking about Mental Health

This is just a post on my own recent reflections of the events throughout 2015.

Each month in 2015 came with its ever more increasingly difficult obstacles to overcome and for the first 6 months of the year a lot of the obstacles had come about in the previous year or two and a lot of it was predominantly centred around my children.

People close to me will know just how hard 2015 was for me & how at one point it wasn’t looking like I might actually have gotten through it.

January – April was a bit all over the place because of a mix of things happening, some that legally I’m not really allowed to talk about in the open. However that will change one day, and you can bet that I will do. However I was also trying to get settled into my then relatively new Job at The University of Manchester, which meant that in those months can’t say that I really remember what really happened much of that time.

Though in middle of April I presented for the first ever time as can be read in this post

May – Now if I could delete 1 month (well 1 week if I’m truly honest) then this would be the one. Ask me why over a drink (of any type, just not shots) and I might tell you.

May was also the month that started the ball rolling for speaking and attending #PSConfAsia – so it wasn’t all doom and gloom. Although I didn’t commit until Mid-June when I had some unfortunate news. Needless to say from that point onwards I made a conscious decision that I needed to really start the ball rolling for a better, more flexible and more enjoyable future – so you could say that in June I made the decision that I would at some point in the following 6 months leave the University of Manchester in pursuit of something more fitting to what I wanted to be doing.

So a part of this involves me making what could be a life changing and seriously difficult time ahead as I move into self-employment but it is something that I have thought about doing now for almost 3 years.

About a month after I returned from #PSConfAsia I was illegally evicted from the houseshare I was living in along with another one of the sharers. As someone that’s been through the housing system, this didn’t really phase me, as it was more an inconvenience than anything else.

So that will be one big challenge of 2016 – however that is only the beginning as the first challenge is to find somewhere permanent to live. These last 2 months have been expensive although comfortable as I’ve spent most of the time in hotels. I dread to think how much this has cost me personally and with no real tangible gain from it at all.

2016 will see me continue the work that I started with the PowerShell User Groups here in the UK and I am looking to massively expand this where possible. This is mainly in part with the fact that I love presenting and meeting the community but also there is, in my opinion, a massive gap in the skills base of real understanding of PowerShell and in part this can be partially alleviated by increasing the number of User Groups across the UK. So I’ve already put it out there that if anyone thinks that they could co-organise then I will work with them to get these off the ground and running. I will also provide content to them and help get the community growing – the end goal is to be in a similar position to the SharePoint & SQL User Groups where there is a decent local User Group Community and then we can look at localised PowerShell Saturday’s at some point in 2017. Ambitious – but that is the way I am and with the help of those out there that want to get these things off the ground then we will achieve it – plus hopefully by this time next week I should have some good news about the future for these events – so hold on tight.

Also 2016 is the year when I will really Start-Contributing to the wider community, I’ve been promising a PSISE_Addons module for about a month now and the reason for it being delayed is because I’m just adding more and more features to it to make it better, that and I’m actually refactoring the codebase for it already. This will be one of the topics that I will be covering at the Manchester & London User Groups and I’m hoping if I’ve hit it right then it should be a major help to all that use it. Not going to give much more away than that until released (and blogged about of course)

Also 2016 will be the year that will involve lots more presenting. As it stands I have already been accepted for the PowerShell & DevOps Summit in BelleVue, WA for my 26th birthday so that will be an interesting and amazing event to attend, which I would have been looking to attend even if I hadn’t been selected to present just because of the sheer number of the PowerShell Community (and Product Group) will be there.

I’m also waiting to hear back from at least another 7 events on whether I’ll be presenting at them – a Variety of SharePoint, SQL & DevOps type events.

Then there is also #PSConfEU – which I am co-organising with Tobias Weltner and this looks to be another fantastic event – we already have a great line up of speakers and still a few slots to fill. Details about this will be posted in the next few days and I would urge you to Register at www.psconf.eu as soon as you can.

Then late on in the year I’ll be returning to Singapore for the follow on #PSConfAsia Event. And I can’t wait for that one either and hopefully there should be some good news in the upcoming weeks about this event. So again keep your eyes & ears open for updates.

That’s a brief overview of 2015 and overlook of what is to come in 2016.

But one final thing to remember – there is always a story behind every person and most of the time that story stays behind a firmly locked door. I’m happy to be open about it as being open about it all helps me remember that no matter how hard it’s been (and it’s been torture at times) I’ve got though it all and will continue to do so for years and years to come. One day the wrongs of 2015 will be corrected but the journey there for me is longer than I had originally anticipated and forms a solid core of the plan of my next 10-15 years.

So as we enter 2016 – be happy you got through 2015 and look forward to the beginning of yet another journey. This one already looks and feels like it will be amazing and the people that I meet along the way will be a fundamental core to that becoming a reality.