Happy New Year, 2021!
2021 is here! Many of us have heaved sighs of relief, albeit colored with some trepidation.
Today, I invite us to shed 2020 behind. With one more trip around the sun, the earth carries us forward into a new year and hopefully a new time. The past year was fuelled with many challenges for me, likely you, and much of the global population. The world over, we shared in a solidarity created by COVID-19. This solidarity gives me hope for 2021. As we heal from our experiences, I'd like to share some of my personal moments of joy with you.
Highlights of 2020
* I got engaged to my best friend, Johan. In the background of wildfires and viruses, we chose love and we chose family 💍
* Jim Zemlin and the cloud native community honored me by giving me my dream job of leading the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. We are the fastest growing open source community in the world and are home to some of the most critical infrastructure technology including Kubernetes, Prometheus, and Envoy. I'm humbled every day by the diversity-powered collaboration in #teamCloudNative that is radically changing how we build, operationalize, and secure software 💪🏼
* Checked off my bucket list item of keynoting a KubeCon + CloudNativeCon. To be fair, it's a perk of the job 😊
My sources of resilience in 2020
Every new year, I build a collage of pictures that represents the past twelve months. This year is no exception but unlike past years, each photo echoes the narrative of resilience that I found in my life and that of others in 2020.
Top-left: Family. I could not have made it through 2020 without my family. Johan and I got engaged in September and have created a new home in San Francisco. My sister and the princeling, aka my dog Ollie, fill it with love and laughter every day. Without these people, 2020 would have been unbearable.
Top-right: Work. 2020 (and Jim Zemlin ;)) gave me the greatest gift of all. I started as the General Manager of the CNCF or Cloud Native Computing Foundation. A dream-come-true role, this job is more of a calling. I am honored to lead #TeamCloudNative, the fastest growing open source community in the world.
Middle-right: Friends. As COVID robbed us of the simple pleasures of human company, I survived because of my pod of people with whom I created a circle of trust. As two extroverts, Johan and I would have felt empty every day without my sister, Divyanka, and our friends Ayshaw and Zaki (not pictured because of a hatred of taking photos 🤷🏻♀️).
Bottom-right: Hawaii. The refuge. The respite. The reservoir. Johan and I had a chance to escape to Hawaii once this year and the Big Island infused us with hope, spirituality, and calm. My lovely friend, Amber, opened up her community to us and welcomed us there with open arms. Because of her, we had the honor of meeting Danny Akaka, a spiritual leader on the island who embraced us and shared beautiful stories of Hawaii’s history and culture. We hope to return again and again and imbibe from his fountain of kindness, wisdom, and compassion.
Bottom-left: Community. Last but not least, the cloud native community stood by each other, myself included, resiliently. We pushed the boundaries of existing technology to connect, collaborate, and create. 2021, just like its predecessor, will bring changes and challenges. I am confident that we as a community are resourceful and driven enough to find ways to keep building together and supporting each other.
Plans for 2021
I am honored to lead a Foundation of Doers (more on that in a blog post coming soon). It is in our DNA to constantly build, grow, and learn. In that ethos, I want to pursue the following in 2021:
* The Inclusive Naming Initiative. Open source was built for now as it is designed to seek contributions and collaborations from people anywhere in the world. While we have made much progress operationally, our language does not reflect our ethos. Starting with master/slave and whitelist/blacklist, we are working to build blueprints for how exclusionary language can be evaluated and changed in a sustainable manner without breaking changes. In 2021, I want to work with the community to build Inclusive Naming to be a ubiquitous initiaitive
* The Linux Foundation is a unique organization. As a market-maker, it is a non-profit inextricably intertwined with the blazing speed of for-profit innovation in our member companies. Leading the CNCF has given me the opportunity to lead the community and seek counsel from more experienced folks in open source when I need it. I want to build my management skills further as I have gone from a manager of people to an owner of a P&L and a manager of people's careers. The diversity of my staff, in terms of what they do, their passions, intellect, as well as demographics is a level of complexity I want to get better at managing and leveraging
* The Cloud Native community. 2020 was the year of the virtual events and at-home training and certification exams. We will need to iterate on how we come together as a community yet again in 2021. I look forward to collaborating with everyone to find federated ways of engagement, better online models, and hopefully hybrid events with a meaningful in-person footprint by the end of the year
* Understand the emergence of 5G and the telco industry better from a technical perspective. Hit me up if you want to chat!
* I want to kickstart my understanding of investing for my personal finances. I commit to reading A Random Walk Down Wall Street. Yes, I know I am behind and haven't worked my way through this classic yet :-)
* With a brand new family emerging, I want to get better at my Swedish so I can communicate better with my fiancé's community in Sweden. My goal is to have a casual, five-sentence conversation with Johan's mom and dad by the end of the year
I find the new year a delectable time. A new beginning the earth grants us every 365 days. The drastic effects of 2020 will create a new normal that is far from consolidated today on January 1st. I look forward to forging ahead with each and every one of you to build our future together. Pandemics may not bend to human will, but our will need not bend to them either.
Happy New Year!