23 January 2022

It's that time of the year again, when I make predictions for the upcoming year. As has become my tradition now for nigh-on a decade, I will first go back over last years' predictions, to see how well I called it (and keep me honest), then wax prophetic on what I think the new year has to offer us.

As per previous years, I'm giving myself either a +1 or a -1 based on a purely subjective and highly-biased evaluational criteria as to whether it actually happened (or in some cases at least started to happen before 31 Dec 2020 ended).

By the way, as of this writing, I'm still looking for my next great adventure (ideally as an engineering leader-of-leaders), so if you find my analysis here to be interesting or intriguing--even if you disagree with it--perhaps there's a role in which I can do this kinds of strategic and executive thinking on your company's behalf? Would love to hear from you.

In 2021...

... I wrote a lot of stuff. (That always seems to happen when I do these.) Let's start. I'll include the full text of what I wrote in each bullet point first, then put the Result after it with whatever insights or comments seem relevant. (Arguably none of them are, but hey, it's my set of predictions, so....)

We began the new year with chaos and tragedy, at least here in the United States. The Capitol Insurrection of 2021, fueled by blatantly-false claims of election fraud and whipped into a frenzy by a narcissist whose continued civic freedom depends on being "untouchable" by legal recourse, meant that a lot of us had things far, far more important than technology trends to worry about. It's been a rough two months since then, as well, as we struggle to balance hopes for vaccines and coordinated federal response to this damnable virus against the mess that the year-plus of deliberate neglect from the previous US Adminstration created. It was hard on everyone, and in a lot of ways we all just want to "get back to normal" for whatever definition of "normal" you care to use. Unfortunately, I don't think we're anywhere close to "normal" yet, though the massive rollout of vaccination programs will help, but I'll get to that in a second.

Well... yeah. I didn't want to be right about that last part about not being close to normal, but sadly, it held up. 2022 started much as 2021 did, adding in vaccines but also deep hysteria and distrust from the anti-vaxx crowd whipped up by right-wing agitators. (I honestly never thought I'd write those words in a sentence about the United States of America. I really didn't.)

Thing is, it's becoming more and more apparent that the "normal" we all knew in 2019 is probably not coming back. Frankly, we should be used to this--the "normal" we all knew in the first half of 2001 never came back, either. I remember a time when you could escort your friends and family to the boarding gate, or meet them there when they stepped off the plane. I remember a time before 20 years of armed conflict in multiple nations in the Middle East. I remember a time when you could bring your own water onto an airplane. I didn't care for the TSA, I don't think it actually makes us any safer, but it's now a part of the fabric of our traveling life, and it's pretty clear that it's never going away. Sadly, I think the same will be true of many of the things we've come to embrace (by necessity) from this pandemic (and it kills me that the crowd that insisted we had to make all these changes in 2001 in the name of public safety is now telling us that all these changes in the name of public safety is government overreach).

Interesting thing, though: Not all these changes were bad. Some will have ramifications and ripple through the next decade or more, and the results might actually be things we come to embrace and enjoy. More to come.

In summary:

... leaving me with five +1s, just a shade under 50%. Not bad, and about my average, it seems.

2022 Predictions

With that settled up, let's take a look at what I think will happen across calendar year 2022.

Overall, it's going to be "more of the same" with respect to the pandemic. Thanks to the intransigence of some selfish and closed-minded people, the COVID virus has plenty of people in whom it can mutate and incubate before spawing a new variant, and that will mean that COVID will, likely, remain a fact of our lives for quite some time to come. Hopefully we can get enough of a grip on it that it becomes more "comfortable" for us as a society, a la influenza, but COVID for the moment still represents a major threat to the lives and health of too many folks. For now, all indications are that there won't be a "cliff" that will indicate the end of the pandemic and a return to normal life; we will likely "taper down" slowly, masks and vaccine cards and boosters (and all the arguments that come with all of those) being a part of our lives for probably a half-decade to come.

Specifically, though, I think 2022 will show us the following:

Talk to you all next year... if not sooner.

Tags: predictions  

Last modified 23 January 2022