Reflections on 2018

26 December 2018

2018 is almost over! As I write this I'm hurtling across the Pacific Ocean, en route to sunshine in the midst of the grey Seattle winter.

Seattle Seasons

I wanted to look back at 2018 and what it's meant. A lot has happened in 12 short months.

The Good

There were some great highs this year. I am still working at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, working to speed up the pace of cancer research.

It's deeply gratifying to have work I can be proud of, work that is an undeniable benefit to the world.

In the process of doing this work, I've had to learn a lot, to stretch myself technically more than I have in the past.

There's too much to learn, to absorb, to grow. Not enough time.

Technical Learning

Data Engineering Tools - Streamsets, Zeppelin and Spark, Kafka, ElasticSearch, Solr, and of course Bash. I also had to troubleshoot OpenStack Swift endlessly, to my chagrin.

Kubernetes - In order to make scalable services, I've had to teach myself the basics of Kubernetes, including setting up a cluster, configuring storage and security, converting services and Docker files to pods, and taking the first steps towards CI/CD deployments. For a data scientist who's used to working on his laptop, it's a big jump.

Core AWS Services - S3, EC2, IAM, Lambda, Cloudwatch, VPCs

Oddball AWS Services - Batch. ECR. Landing Zone / Control Tower, Kinesis


Biology Learning

Cancer biology. Immunology. Cell expression. Data tools for genome processing and sequencing. Thousands of acronyms.

Apparently human professional society is turtles acronyms all the way down.

Terms as simple as read, cut, expression, and copy are now overloaded and context-dependent.

crying laughter

The Bad

MOU Tax. Data governance headaches.

Not enough business requirements. Bad PM. The Fifth Risk.

Risk aversion.

The Ugly

SeanB. People I won't work with. Smart assholes and presumption. Breaking a team sport.

"If you want to go fast. if you want to go far" <- finish the quote

US Politics.

2019 Dreaming

My plans for 2019 aren't well defined yet. More learning, as always. Hopefully less chaos and drama in my personal life.

One professional change: I'm hoping to blog more this next year. I'm not going to force myself to write my usual "research paper" style of posts. Instead I'll go for shorter, more example-heavy posts covering smaller problems I run into day-to-day.

Happy New Year

(IMAGE: fireworks)