Reflections on 2017

Thoughts on an enormously turbulent year.

For some strange reason, my best years tend to take place during turbulent times. Case in point: In 2008, as the financial crisis arrived in full force, I was completing what was by far my best year as a systems consultant and putting the polishing touches on the first version of Why New Systems Fail.

In this vein, 2017 turned out to be remarkably similar. In a political environment that one can best describe as challenging, I’m pleased to have completed my first year as a full-time ASU faculty member. I know quite a bit more about how academia works and what it takes to reach students. to this end, I made some tweaks to my classes and my student evaluations rose across the board. To quote Homer Simpson, “Self-improvement has always been a passion of mine.”

Beyond my “normal” teaching responsibilities, I was plenty busy outside of the classroom:

  • I wrote my eighth book—Analytics: The Agile Way.
  • I recorded the online version of CIS450—the capstone course for ASU’s analytics program.
  • I managed a project for ASU. A three-person team built a database for a large international organization.
  • I founded 5marbles—a new software-development shop. I also pulled together a team of rockstar developers. I can’t wait to get started.
  • On the publishing front, I advised several authors and sold Motion Publishing.
  • I wrote a bunch of posts for the SAS Data Roundtable and IBM’s IT Biz Advisor. Not surprisingly, I blogged less on this site.
  • I continued to interview people I find interesting on Huffington Post. (Interviewing Nick Bilton on his excellent new book American Kingpin was a particular highlight.)
  • I spoke at a few Arizona events and set up a few more for 2018.
  • I taught myself Pythonalthough there’s plenty more for me to learn.
  • I read a bunch of books.

Simon Says: 2017 wasn’t too shabby.

I’m curious to see what 2018 brings, especially with 5marbles.

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