17 Things That Didn't Happen To Me in 2017It’s that time of year again. The time when we find many “year 2017 in review”, “what to expect when you’re expecting 2018”, and “resolutions you will not follow in 2018” articles littered about the series of tubes known as the internet. It’s only natural for folks to wax nostalgic as 2017 fades into the sunset one final time. And I think we can all agree that 2017 was not the best of years, even when compared to the shit-show that was 2016.

I, however, have never been one to follow the crowd. Ever.

So as we close out 2017 it’s time for my annual review of things that didn’t happen to me during the previous twelve months.

As always, you’re welcome.

Didn’t sell my organs for Bitcoin

I’m not saying I didn’t think about it, though. But the Bitcoin bubble has been interesting to watch. It seems that everyone has a thought about Bitcoin. You can’t go through your day without some talking head giving your their analysis of the Bitcoin market. I just wish they would dive into the origins of Bitcoin: a virtual currency built for purchasing organs and drugs.

Didn’t lose my home to a flood

But others did. Houston received 51 inches of rain with Hurricane Harvey, which is a weird way of saying that because it’s not like Houston could refuse shipment on the storm. With my company SolarWinds based in Austin we had a lot of friends and family affected by Harvey. I’m also proud that we stepped forward as a group to provide relief in every way possible.

Didn’t WannaCry about being hacked

Back in May a lot of people were victims of the WannaCry ransomware attack. WannaCry targeted out-of-date Windows devices, leading to a nice discussion amongst us data professionals about the frequency of patching systems in our enterprise. Oh, and the frequency of your backups, too. If ransomware strikes, you can always rollback, as long as you have backups. If you are being told to hold off on patching because something might break, or are being told to wait until it’s time to upgrade, then you are doing it wrong. It’s 2018, you must be able to deploy changes with confidence.

Didn’t lose my job to the cloud

And chances are neither did you. AWS and Azure keep making things easier for us, and there are advances in AI as well, but the robots haven’t come for us yet. The Cloud doesn’t replace our jobs, it enhances them. But the Cloud does remove the need for humans to do operational tasks, such as backups and performance tuning.

Didn’t have my password breached in Equifax

Because the Equifax breach wasn’t about passwords, it was about leaking the credit information for nearly every adult in the USA. Besides, my password is my birthday, which no one can remember, apparently.

Didn’t watch one episode of GoT

Keeping my streak alive of never having watched Game Of Thrones, ever. There ought to be a badge or something for this accomplishment.

Didn’t get interrupted during my interview with the BBC

I mean, I *do* get interrupted. All the time. I work from home, which means I live at work. People assume that working from home is a strict progression of cause to effect, resulting in productive outputs, but *actually* from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint – it’s more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey-worky stuff. I’m just not in a position where the BBC comes calling for an interview. Maybe, someday.

Didn’t go blind watching an eclipse

Yes, people have gone blind from looking directly at an eclipse. Eclipse Glasses were a thing this past summer, as were the cheap imitation knockoffs that were being sold. At first, I was shocked to learn about the fake glasses. Then I remembered capitalism. And then I thought “who would ever think it’s OK to look directly at the sun, glasses or not”? The answer is even more depressing when you think that these same people are allowed to vote and drive cars.

Didn’t lose data in the Amazon S3 outage

But lots of folks did as they discovered how poorly they architected their business infrastructure when the East region of AWS went offline. I’m always surprised at how many people are surprised to find out that the cloud can go offline. It’s as if they assume the network is a constant thing, something that is always going to be there, like a utility or something…

Didn’t vote to end net neutrality

Because only three people did, showing just how silly our government can be when it comes to protecting consumers from corporations. Its absurd to me that three people can control the wishes of 300 million, but here we are. The debate for and against net neutrality will continue no matter what the FCC decides. I understand both sides of the debate, too. I also understand that technology happens at a faster pace than legislation. At the end of the day, I’d like to see internet service declared a utility. It’s a shame that the FCC just waited to have their vote and didn’t spend time putting together something to offer as a replacement.

Didn’t admit to throttling performance for my customers

But that’s what Apple did in December, admitting what we had already known for years: your iPhone got slower after 18 months or so, right around the time a new iPhone was set to be released. Choosing battery life or performance was the decision that Apple had to make, so they decided to “help” your battery. If they truly wanted to help, they could have included information about our battery and let us make an informed decision about how to repair or replace our equipment. By making the choice for the customer they lost a lot of consumer trust. About the only way to make things worse for Apple right now would be if their phones suddenly caught fire.

Didn’t purchase an autonomous vehicle

Because they still aren’t available. But when they are, I’m buying one for my parents, no question. I think I will always enjoy driving myself, but the idea of having a car that can drop me at the airport and return home for my family to use is Jetsons-level cool. Here’s hoping that autonomous vehicles go mainstream by 2021.

Didn’t have a wardrobe malfunction

I presented over twenty sessions at data events in five different countries and recorded many hours of video for SolarWinds Lab and THWACkcamp without any wardrobe malfunctions (bee costume not included). My next event is in Darmstadt at SQL Konferenz in February, here’s hoping the streak stays alive.

Didn’t get re-accommodated by an airline

In the race-to-the-bottom for airline customer service, United Airlines doubled down by dragging a passenger off a flight this past April. To make matters worse, the reason for his removal was so space could be made for United employees. Because airline crew assignments are more important than Dr. Dao being on time to work at the hospital the next day, apparently.

Didn’t get an explanation for Snoke

Then again, I’m still waiting for an explanation about canyons in Iowa. Apparently, J.J. Abrams likes to use the ‘mystery box’ writing device, which means that we aren’t likely to get an explanation for whatever is inside the box. After years of being burned by his stories, I hope J. J. Abrams is maimed by a mystery box falling on his car as he drives to the bank.

Didn’t eat a unicorn

But others drank the blood of a Unicorn, which is what I assume is inside those drinks from Starbucks. At 410 calories (and 59g of sugar), the grande-sized Unicorn Frappuccino is the latest reason why American’s have issues with obesity and health. On the bright side, these drinks allow me to have candid discussions with my children about nutrition.

Didn’t fall asleep while writing


There you have it, a list of things that didn’t happen to me in 2017.

I can’t wait to see all the things I won’t do in 2018!