Thank You: The Top 5 Most Read Posts of One Year of SEV 1 Party

Herbig Haro New Star

Reboot” by Michael Giacchino from the movie “Speed Racer” 🎵

I have written 47 blog posts on SEV 1 Party.

It’s the end of the year so it’s time for a filler episode filled of gratitude.

I mainly write for mental health – there’s 0 gates for this blog.

Any spiciness caused is 100% my fault and any good it creates is 100% the community that powers it.

I am accountable and it feels amazing. I restarted writing in Feb ’22 on Medium by saying to an old boss, “I am going to start a blog. Will you read it?” I remember him saying something like “Absolutely!” which was enough. After a few Medium posts, I then moved to this website. SEV 1 Party has become so much for me. It’s a moment every week I hold on to as special.

It will always be there after Friday. A place for peace.
Born with no guardrails.
A place where I can race against time my own way.

The rules are abstract – a commitment to write weekly and to pick out a link to 1 song that goes with the writing or sometimes, the song goes with subtext between the lines. I mainly write to practice focusing on what wasn’t said. To make people laugh. To write knowing exactly who is or will be reading. It’s for you. My ultimate goal is to make the posts shorter, but by doing so, say a whole lot more.

While I don’t have subscribers or a Substack and I don’t have plans to monetize it, the reach outs have meant a lot. Thank you specifically to those at Zynga, AWS, Apollo, NBCUniversal, Datadog, Pluralsight, Unity, Google, and others who have said they read it. It’s a small group, but it means the world. This blog is yours.

My most popular blog of all time on Medium was “3 CloudOps Companies That Want You to Destroy Kubernetes in Prod.” I’m pretty sure it got thrown behind some ads, but I’ll never really know. In any case, I used to tell people “Write yourself into your next job.” and they asked what I meant.

This is what I meant: Never let someone stop you from writing, write about what you care about, until your people find you. It will give you so much mental health, connections, and opportunity. You must live as your authentic self. A million people will tell you ‘no’ in your life – find a way to give yourself a ‘yes.’

Alan Page wrote a great recap of his 52 blog posts this year on his Substack The Weasel Speaks about leadership and it’s probably time I say how much that blog meant to me. It’s not the only one I read (a full list warrants its own post), but he finally revealed that every blog title was a Taylor Swift song. Which, by the way, is why I lost a bet when I published “Living through Long Bets, Humor, and Trying Not to be the Asshole.”

The most popular blog on SEV 1 Party’s Top 5 is (1)ChatGPT Make Better Architects, but Don’t Approve PRs Yet” in Dec 2022 by far at 3x more views than the rest. I wrote it when people were just starting to explore its use cases for architecture design bringing my background as a former architect and realized that the outputs were all about 2 years old in microservices land but knew the potential was there. This made sense because the training data at the time only went up until ’21.

The most popular blogs after that, which does not surprise me, are (2)The Next 5 Years: Streaming Games to Smart TVs Backed by Kubernetes” and (3)I Know Places: In Defense of Less Clusters and more Node Isolation.” Special thanks to the EKS Newsletter, helmed by Jeremy Cowan and his amazing team of developer advocates as that’s likely the reason it’s that high. I’m a super fan of especially Justin Garrison, Sai Vennam, and Chris Short‘s work. Anyone would would be lucky to have them on their team. I am also so, so very happy to see K8s streaming in number 2. I don’t know what that means for me – as I mention in the blog, it isn’t what I’m doing today. I’ve never really been able to forget QUIC UDP. I’m sure someday I’ll know why.

My 4th top this year was, hilariously, (4)Don’t Worry – Your Daughters Will Figure It Out.” It was a sassy, personal tale about a hard pivot, not-pivot from working as a camera operator in the film industry to making games for iPhone due to the 2009 recession – a retrospective on infrastructure in brother-sister land and building websites since Homestead.

And the 5th most read post was (5) Yes, I love Ops: Because We Do Not Fear Production.” Which I wrote after hearing a leader I greatly respect say “But people don’t love ops” and a product manager I adore say the same thing. Disappointed, I had to write how much:

I flippin’ love ops so everyone knew exactly where I stood with that one as loud as humanly possible and pinned it to my LinkedIn. Be your authentic self and hold to your principles.

Thank You 2023

I am so grateful for all of you who read this year and so incredibly lucky in this world to wake up every day and have this job and this life.

I still plan to write some thoughts about the “Cluster Vending Machine” announcement from re:invent and the importance of namespace isolation, pod disruption budgets, and priority classes (shoutout to my team). There are so many other topics we have not gotten to cover together (and I say we, because, for me, this blog is a partnership across its readers). In ’24 I hope to cover everything from effective 1:1s to the challenges of designing fair on-call rotations and working in globally distributed teams. More than anything, you have taught me so much and in ’24 I’d like to mention some of you that have specifically done so with your permission.

If there’s a topic you’d love me to write about, OR if you are comfortable being mentioned in the blog, Please do let me know!! I have yet to feature or interview specific people and I’d love to do so. 2024 will truly be interesting.

But until then remember:

How we talk about what we do is the message we send to the people we care about and who they will become.

Header Image Credit by NASA from the James Webb Space Telescope in September 2023. More images can be found on Flickr. This is an image from NASA’s Webb of a Supersonic outflow of a Young Star. Specifically this is Herbig-Haro (HH) 211 and is about 1000 light years away (which is considered close). It is a Herbig-Haro object and is a newborn star forming a shockwave as hit hits other elements in space like gas and dust. You may have seen me use NASA images in my headers in a few of my posts – I use them as metaphors and so that you and others can get more excited about this huge investment from mankind, learn about space at the same time as leadership. I pick specific images based on the post and the metaphor.