The photo up the top of this blog post was taken 259 days ago, 15 and a half thousand kilometres away in Budapest and with 1.3 billion records less in Have I Been Pwned. It was also taken in an environment that unbeknownst to all of us at the time, would be inconceivable just 6 months later; a packed conference room.
Last week I received my third biennial Microsoft Regional Director recognition for doing precisely the sort of thing I was up to in that photo. In thinking about what I'd write to share the news (as I've done for every RD title and every MVP title for almost a decade now), the obvious conclusion was how much the activities that earned me these titles have changed. It's a bit of a mixed bag for me: obviously I travelled a lot for conference talks and workshops, but then those are activities that have largely just moved online now anyway. Running HIBP hasn't changed at all nor has my blogging (and associated sponsorship) and most of the media stuff I was involved in before is pretty much business as usual (other than what I'd physically do at events in the past, of course). Ultimately, the community contributions I made over the years that resulted in the RD and MVP titles are all still there, they're just a little bit different.
On a more personal note, the resulting changes to how I work have been enormously positive and there's no more empirical way of measuring that than by the impact on my health:
Amazing how different my health stats are for the last month versus a typical month of travel and conferences last year. A lot to consider for the longer term, even as life settles down again. pic.twitter.com/4agkia7PM4— Troy Hunt (@troyhunt) June 11, 2020
It was sometime in early April that I last went a day without closing all my rings. Personally, I don't think the industry will ever return to the way it was last year and even if it did, I just wouldn't want to go back to that same lifestyle. Instead, it's a new normal doing most of the same things including for the next couple of years, retaining that RD title.
Thank you everyone who's read what I've written, listened to what I've had to say and encouraged me to continue doing what I do despite the many challenges of recent times.