Weekly Update - 20 Jan 2023

AutoSpotting intro video, Spot masterclass podcast, Twitter'ing, writing code, collaborations

Welcome to this week's progress update. Let's dive right in!

Savings calculator integration on leanercloud.com

I started the week by integrating the savings calculator spreadsheet I built last week into my leanercloud.com website. I also polished it a bit more and added a screenshot with some figures, to make it clear for people what to expect.

AutoSpotting Intro recording

I then started finally writing some slides about AutoSpotting, something I wanted to do for a long time but was reluctant to do.

The main idea was to articulate the main benefits of AutoSpotting for new users. I also explained why I took certain decisions when I wrote AutoSpotting, and how it compares to the alternatives in this space.

I first wanted to record this a couple of months ago, but I was somehow reluctant to record myself. Then I procrastinated for days and never could get myself to actually do it. I guess I was just camera shy, or maybe not confident enough about the level of quality of the content I'd produce.

But then as I started to record myself more and more for my podcast, this got very easy to me. This is something I couldn't conceive a few years back. It was even hard for me even a few months ago, after countless customer sessions and public speaking engagements. But only a few podcast recordings later, it became very easy to me and I'll keep doing this.

When I reflected on this it made me happy to see how much I've grown as a person over the last few months, and how much I'm learning all the time.

So I recorded myself presenting, I uploaded the recording on Youtube, then embedded it on leanercloud.com. I'd love to see your feedback about it.

New podcast episode - Spot masterclass

Tuesday I spent most of my day recording a new episode for my LeanerCloud podcast.

I'm not doing this for boasting, but very few people I know have as much experience with Spot as I am: first as a mere user, but then as builder of Spot automation software and later as Specialist SA for Spot at AWS, so I thought I'd share this with a wider audience.

So I put a lot of effort in preparations, to make this episode a masterclass in Spot. So in about an hour I compressed much of my knowledge and unique experience of over 7 years of using Spot from various perspectives.

Besides the concepts, I also covered the main Spot integrations and 3rd party tools in this space, each with its pros and cons.

And after all that prep, so far I only have 3 listeners on Anchor and 9 on Youtube 😀. And a couple of them are probably my own tests after uploading the episode.

To put it in perspective, my previous episode about EDPs, went sort of viral with 55 views so far. And for that I spent only about an hour, including prep time and processing, and I'm nowhere near as familiar with that topic as I am with Spot.

So this is a huge learning for this week, a reminder on how outcomes are so much decoupled of their inputs and chance plays a huge role. It's kind of crazy actually :-)

To be honest I have no idea why this discrepancy, could it be the fact that this was a so much longer episode? I don't know, but I'll experiment with various length of my episodes to see how that goes.

I'd also love to hear your feedback about the kind of content you'd like to see. After all, I'm making all this content pretty much to share what I know with you all, so let me know what you think about this.

But anyway, I won't let this discourage me. I'll keep recording episodes weekly, since consistency tends to pay off over long enough time.

But even though I like this in depth format a lot, I won't spend a full day on an episode anymore, it takes me too much time for too little returns.

So next week I'll start to record a similar masterclass episode about Graviton. But I'll try it in more bytesize chunks rather than a marathon episode like this one. Let's see how that goes.

More active on Twitter

Something else I started doing this week after having an interesting chat with someone was getting more active on Twitter.

I started to write longer threads on AWS topics, such as this one on the value of learning by doing, trying to articulate again my somewhat controversial opinion on AWS certifications, but this time in a shorter format. My second thread was about my approach to driving a cost optimization initiative in a company using AWS.

I don't yet have such a large following on Twitter, but these were already pretty well received, and I'll keep posting content there as well.

I find threads much easier to produce than podcasts and blogs, at least from the perspective of the time investment. Not sure about the payoff though, and that's going to be hard to quantify...

I've also started experimenting with tools that synchronize Twitter and LinkedIn, so I can write my content once and publish it on both platforms, let's see how that goes.

GUI tool work

On Wednesday I finally started working on the AutoSpotting GUI tool, after postponing it for many weeks.

In a couple of days of work I actually made good progress preparing the groundwork. I have code that goes across region, lists ASGs, and collects that data into a data structure. There was a lot of refactoring and deciding on the best way to design this data structure I use but I figured it out and like what I have so far.

There's still not much to see in the GUI yet, except for an empty new tab. But next week I'll look into showing some of that data into the GUI and calculating some cost estimations based on it, if I get so far.

Collaborations and partnerships

This week I kept having interesting calls about a few potential collaborations with a bunch of people and companies.

After a few slower weeks, I got again a few new promising leads and looking forward to see how they evolve over time.

One of the things I'm exploring again, after a few failed attempts, is helping startups as an advisor. I've spent a lot of time over the last few months talking to startups, and often find myself giving them advice.

I like that a lot and I'll keep doing it, but I started to see myself have more and more sessions I'm mainly helping them. I had such a session on Thursday, it went on and on for hours. After the fact I realized I could have better spent that time building something for my customers and I regretted it a bit afterwards.

So going forward I'm going to be more mindful of my time, and try to convert such longer repeat sessions into official advisory engagements. Hope at least I'll start to get some cash out of them if they last so long.

So if you're working on a startup and would like to pick my brain, I'm more than happy to do it, but after a couple of sessions let's try to make it official.

That's pretty much it for this week, all in all I'm happy with the progress and I'll try to keep this momentum for next week.

Have a nice weekend and stay tuned for the next week's update.