2017 Goals: Hope Is Not a Strategy

2017 Goals: Hope Is Not a Strategy

Rene Rubalcava | December 27, 2016

One of my favorite quotes recently comes from Chris Voss, author of Never Split the Difference. That quote is in the title of this post, Hope is not a strategy. That's how I want to approach my future goals. I can't hope I'll get to them. I need a plan and I need some milestones. I'll give you a rough idea of those goals today.

Year in review

2016 was quite the year.

Here are my 2016 goals. I've met quite a few of those.

I think I'm cool flying... maybe. I've flown a few times this year for work, with my longest trip being to Berlin for the Esri European Developer Summit. That was 12-13 hours each way, so after that, I feel less anxious flying now. Work at Esri has been going great, I have my hands in various projects and I'm loving it. I'm definitely kept busy.

I've been blogging consistently, on a weekly basis. I've also been doing a lot more YouTube videos this past year. I think I'm getting pretty good at it. I have some other ideas for video projects coming up this year that should be interesting. I have been republishing some videos on GeoNet.

I'm almost done with the Intro to ArcGIS API 4 for JavaScript book I self-published. It's tough to say when it's done done. The book will be updated throughout the whole 4.x lifecycle of the API, which is part of the reason I wanted to self-publish, but it also makes it difficult to call it finished at any given moment. I've really enjoyed working on this project.

Coming up

Let me try to clarify some goals for 2017.


This is my core blog and I'll keep putting out new content on a weekly basis. I'm going to also work towards putting out a blog article in addition to video on a weekly basis. I've been looking at pushing more content to Medium too, maybe even for some content that wouldn't quite fit into the geo-specific topics I cover here. With a little more planning, I think I can manage it. I might even use it for some book reviews, I typically do 3-4 books a month.


Intro to ArcGIS API for JavaScript 4 has been coming along really well.

intro to esrijs4

I'll have an update out next week to cover some features added in the 4.2 release. Like I said before, it's a little tough to call it done at any given point, but I think by the time the Palm Springs DevSummit rolls around, I'll call it content-complete. That will mean it will be done and will just receive updates based on new features added in the API.

One thing I've been working on in my spare time is an outline for an email course. Email courses are pretty interesting and I think can help me reach more developers. As this comes together I'll talk more about it. It's looking like this will happen around February or March of 2017.


As I talked about, I think I'm getting pretty good at making videos. I really enjoy doing it, and I have some plans coming up to do some more long-form stuff that should be done in a few months. It's a little something more ambitious than I've done before, but I think people will like it.

I've also been thinking about doing some non-geo videos on a couple of subjects. I'm talking about between 6 to 12 hours of content videos. This is still very rough, as it's a lot of content, but it also requires a lot of research on my part. This is on my maybe list.


Like I said last year, I now have the time during the week to hit the gym at 5am. Something I couldn't do with my old job and I hate working out in the afternoon. I'm definitely a morning person in every sense of the word. I tried some different kind high rep lifting the first half of the year. I hated it. I've always been more of a low reps, heavy weights kind of guy, so I'm sticking with what I know and doing more Dinosaur Training style lifting. One area of focus I'm working on is my grip strength. My lifting is fine, I just need to avoid the tortillas, burritos, and tacos.


Not much miscellaneous stuff this year. I'm staying pretty focused on the goals I've listed. I would love to do a podcast, but I think there might be some work conflicts involved with that. Although I might start upping my activity on Anchor, but we'll see how that plays out.

I'll be doing more conferences in 2017. In addition to Esri UC and Palm Springs DevSummit, it looks like I'll also be at the DC DevSummit and I might even return to Berlin in 2017 for the European DevSummit. I'll be at EmberConf in Portland in March and I'm currenly looking for a solid JavaScript conference to try and attend in 2017. If anyone knows of something good, please let me know.

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