Eric D. Schabell: 2022 Year in Review - Big Changes

Saturday, December 31, 2022

2022 Year in Review - Big Changes

As I wind down the year 2022, it's time to reflect and take stock of my activities to put it all in perspective. 

I find this to be one of the more enjoyable articles to research, as I was part of all events and content statistics that I collect. It's nice to see my hard work, code, writing, and travels all tied up in a single article with a pretty bow on it.

This year was one marked with a lot of change for me and for the world if we are honest. We all came out of a few years of pandemic lock downs, lack of mobility, lack of freedom to interact face to face, and wondering if the world would ever be the same again. On top of that, I decided it was time to move on to new adventures this year. This was not pandemic driven, but more about the changes to the company I was working for due to an acquisition. 

On 15 July, after +13 years at Red Hat, I decided to jump into the exciting challenges of cloud native observability (o11y) at scale with a wonderful company called Chronosphere.

All of these things meant that I was going to get back into the world of interactions with people, being on a stage, sharing knowledge, learning new things, and taking you all on the journey with me. Let's review some of my activities from 2022 as things started to get back to the new normal.

This year I spent my time split between two worlds, one of in depth architecture content at Red Hat and in the second I was exploring a new world of cloud native o11y. 

Travel & events

First up in this recap, the travel agenda picked up as things slowly got back to a new normal. We traveled, but not without testing before departure, showing proof of vaccination, and wearing our masks. While most of that slowly ebbed away over the year, we put our best foot forward and met again in person.

Just for reference, back in 2019 a normal travel year was over 138,000 km, 22 cities, and 9 countries. In 2022 it was 12 trips covering 92,872km, 23 cities, and 8 countries. For me it also didn't really start until mid-April, but travel was back:

  • Alicante, Spain
  • Raleigh, NC
  • London, UK
  • Dublin, Ireland
  • Washington, DC
  • Emerald Isle, NC
  • Boston, MA
  • Denver, CO
  • Portland, OR
  • Seattle, WA
  • Detroit, MI
  • Munich, Germany
  • Vilnius, Lithuania
  • Paris, France
These included both personal trips related to family and events or meetings. Some of the events I participated in on the road:
  • DevOpsDays Raleigh 2022
  • DevoxxUK 2022
  • OpenShift Commons Dublin
  • DevConf.US 2022
  • KubeCon NA 2022
  • Open Observability Day NA
  • Prometheus Day NA
  • PromCon EU
  • Trajectory 2022
  • London OpenShift User Group
  • DevConf.CZ 2022

Enough to keep me busy and enough to almost call it normal. Expectations are that 2023 will be full of new events, new travels, and more interactions for sharing what we learn together.


This year I was able to transition back to in person events, but that did not mean that the writing would slow down at all. I published just over 60 articles in 2020 on this site and many were syndicated on various sites.

It's hard to believe, but this year my site went over 2.3 million views and will turn over to 2.4 million views sometime in January 2023. This is based only on tracking since 2010. The top syndication site for me for years has been DZone which also topped 2.3 million views on my writing. Over on the JavaCodeGeeks site they have also continued to syndicate my content. It's always been for me about sharing my learnings with anyone interested, but it's very nice to see that it's having an impact. 

My newest target is finding a voice around the transition from application development in the open source world to cloud native o11y in the open source world. To that end I've been crafting a series known as the O11y Guide, with up to now six parts and still rolling. I'm using this to share my experiences as I transition, so that if you happen to be doing the same some day soon you'll know the path to follow.

My other writing hobby of sports journalism for the Boston Red Sox on slowed down even more in 2022 with just a few articles contributed, mostly just due to a new job and more responsibilities away from this hobby.

Coding and other content

This year I transitioned away from the Red Hat Demo Central repository work to new material around cloud native o11y in a new O11y Workshops repository. The plan is to provide content around the following in the coming year:

Stay tuned for more coming soon in the beginning of 2023, but you can get started on the Perses workshop right now as it's fully rolling under development.

Plan B projects

I always joke that I have a Plan-B skill that I am testing out, which in 2021 was mostly painting things as we were locked down at home and I had both the time and need to improve that skill. In 2022 I continued to paint all the doors and moldings that needed it, along with a few beams in the ceilings of our older rooms (in Europe you tend to see these in houses).

 I also did some smaller carpentry jobs like fixing a couch with a broken arm rest and other small things that tend to bug you but you never seem to find the time to fix them, well, I finally did.

I also wrapped up another season of pitching coaching for a local baseball club called the Gryphons. I've been doing that for many years now, but this was to be my last full time role where I'm on the field working with 30-40 different pitchers across all the youth teams four evenings per week. The plan was to scale this down to just the players that request offseason help or occasionally help a team with pitching sessions in the 2023 season. 

The freeing up of my time from coaching baseball means I can play more golf. Keeping that in mind, I taught myself how to regrip a golf club and spent a few evenings doing friends and family regripping of their golf clubs. 

Thanks again

Every year I say thank you to all the readers, session attendees, video watchers, and people who spend some of their valuable time chatting with me. It's always amazing, year after year, that we get to share, discover, and spend time together in whatever medium or venue you choose.

Without each of you, none of this would matter, and I truly hope that you find the help and answers you need in my content. I'm really looking forward to the new direction I'm heading into for 2023 and that you'll join me for this ride. There is so much new technology I'm going to discover, use, and share with you in the coming year.

Happy holidays and end of your year as you transition into 2023 and see you on the other side!