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Gary Bell
Gary Bell

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My Goals for 2021

This is an entirely self-serving post, and is only about what I plan to achieve in 2021. This might not be the most interesting post for readers, but there's one reason for doing it so publicly.


Simply put, if my goals are public and I don't at least try to hit them, then I'm clearly just full of hot air. It also gives me a solid base to outline what they are, and my reasons behind them. Goals are easy to think of. It's reasons which then provide a grounding and give the foundation of success to a goal.

These goals aren't huge by some standards, but I feel that, with some work, are achievable for me given my other commitments. That's one thing people need to consider when they set themselves goals - what are their other commitments? Be that work, family, friends, or other hobbies. Adding more goals into a busy life is a recipe for failure.

The Goals


I'm going to increase the frequency of posts. I'll be doing two types of post:

  1. Tanuki Tuesday - a series of posts I dedicate to GitLab, and the functionality it has. This serves the purpose of getting me to learn more about GitLab, as well as allowing me to show the appreciation I have for the platform. It's a platform I love, with a lot of features at different tiers. I want to show others what it can do so it can bring them some of the benefits it has brought me.
  2. General Posts - these will continue to be my ongoing learning and thoughts. Some of these will also be GitLab related, mainly around CI/CD, so be warned there's a lot of GitLab love coming from my blog for the next year! These will be posted on Thursday's.

Open Source

I'm going to regularly commit to an Open Source project. More specifically, I will average 1 merge/pull request per month. It's not a lot, and some months may result in more. But that's my baseline, 12 merge/pull requests on open source projects throughout the year. That doesn't include my own projects, which are small, and largely unused.

It's been a few months now since the DigitalOcean Hactoberfest. I had signed up to take part in it, and even managed a single pull request - though it was after the event became an opt-in for repositories. Where I fell down with the whole commitment was I haven't found a project to regularly. I need to spend some time looking into which projects I feel are right for me, and then look at how I can help. Until then, I'll likely be working through some MRs on GitLab.


I regularly bring up and brush off the joke that I am a technical dinosaur. With technology moving at an ever faster pace, it's only a matter of time before I get left too far behind. I'm used to provisioning physical or virtual servers, but haven't had time to get into containerisation. I recently attended some of KubeCon, and enjoyed what I saw on there.

I use a basic level of Docker with my GitLab CI/CD pipelines, but I really want and need to learn more about containerisation. Firstly to help improve the performance of my pipelines both personally and professionally. But also so I can understand how I can best utilise the technology to benefit future projects I have - again personally and professionally.

Redis is a technology I only started using in 2020. I have come across it before, but never had the chance to explore its abilities. At the moment I'm working on an e-commerce project where it is used as both a cache system for improving page speed, and also as a fast-cart system. Looking at the different Redis Modules available, there's a lot of additional areas where I could implement it, and boost performance of projects. I want to learn more about those modules, and how they can be used, either individually or together, to provide efficiencies in data processing for projects I am involved in.

So there you have it, the things I want to learn this year are:

  1. Docker - how it works, and how to use it
  2. Redis - what modules are available, and how can they be used


So there you have it - my goals can be broken down into 3 simple statements:

  1. I am going to blog more about GitLab and technology - sometimes both at the same time
  2. I am going to contribute to open source
  3. I am going to learn containerisation with Docker, and also how to use Redis beyond its basic offering.

Photo by Ameer Basheer on Unsplash.

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