New beginnings.

I started a new role last week at Nielsen. I am super excited to be building their next generation platform. While I can’t talk about some of the work that I am doing, I hope that I will be able to contribute some of that work to open source. I will update later if I am able to

I am not use to my new title (Principal Architect)–it’s a stretch for me, but I am sure that I will grow into it over time. I really like my new teammates and boss. I have my own team now (nice to only have one team!), so I am anxious to get started building. Things are in the early stages. I am building POCs and getting the lay of the land. The work will be challenging. I am getting an opportunity to learn more about big data. This is something that I wanted to learn for a long time with Hadoop, HDFS, and Pig/Hive. Now I will be focused on spark, spark clustering, and Azure (new cloud platform for me, I had AWS and GCP under my belt). I will oversee dev-ops and micro-services for our team, so I am excited for this opportunity. Looking to put down roots for a couple of years and grow.

I am already thinking about what’s next (I am bad at that). I really want to become a V.P. of engineering or Head of Engineering some place in a couple of years. I am going to spend the next couple of years growing as an architect and team leader. I admire some of the boss that I’ve worked for. My previous SVP Robert Boxall had inspired me. I hope to stay in touch and learn from him, even though I am not working for him directly. He’s a good man.

I am just really thankful for my wife and kids. They are being super-supportive of this change. I am thankful for my boss who is giving me tons of opportunities to grow. I am thankful for some dear friends that have been with me since the very beginning. My wife is amazing. Not sure what I would do without her. We are team.

I am serving in church again. I took some time off last year. I am excited to be doing this again.

Started from the bottom, and now I am here.

Will write again in a couple of weeks.

Why I am leaving Gogo.

I saw an earlier post about why another engineer decided to leave Google. It was very therapeutic, and I was glad that he wrote it, and I understood where he was coming from. While I won’t share any disparaging remarks (Gogo is a great place to be), I felt like I needed to write something too, for my own closure.

Earlier this week, I gave my current company my resignation. I love Gogo. I love my boss. I love my boss’s boss. I love my team. I loved the technology. I loved being an evangelist for my company and team. I loved being in the city.

So why am I leaving? I am leaving for a better opportunity that will stretch me. Bottom line, I feel like I’ve gotten comfortable and want new challenges. I need a change, and if I didn’t change, I would get to the point where I feel stuck. Me being stuck is a bad thing.

As many senior software engineers know, you reach a peek where you want to go hire in your career and/or organization. Either you move up into a managers role where you are over engineers and hopefully making decisions that affect the companies bottom line or you become an architect. For me, I am a good leader (as I have been told), and I didn’t want to become a manager yet. I am an evangelist or architect. I lead small teams with large scale projects. I still love to code, the infrastructure, the cloud, and I love being a hands-on software engineer. But I am a geek. Always have been, always will be.

For my family, there is some gain, too. Most folks go home before five, and many don’t work most nights and weekends. That’s huge to my family because we spend so much time together as a family on the weekends. It’s valuable time for us. I am always in search of work-life balance, and, admittedly, I have fear of saying no, so I always take on too much. It’s the something that I am growing to confront. This time I hope to have it. I don’t mind working 12 hour days, most days I skip lunch. Hopefully, I can find that at my new place.

I was offered the opportunity to go build the next big thing as a Principal Architect. I will oversee teams on-site and offshore. I am excited to be a game changer for another company. I am excited about the challenge of leading developers through new and interesting projects. I am excited about the new tech that I will learn. So many cool things are coming.

Happy New Year!

Personal goals for 2018.

  • Pass my AWS Solutions Architect Exam.
  • Pass my AWS Developers Exam
  • Learn Apache Spark and Kafka, Thinking about a career switch to data and statistics.
  • Loose weight
  • Spend more time with my wife and kids and less time working nights and weekends

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas!

I hope that this post find you loved and warmly embraced by your love-ones this Christmas morning. May your day be filled with moments filled with grace and mercy.

As I sit here writing, it’s been a couple of hours since my children have been awake. They are off to their corners of our home exploring with their new toys. My wife lays in bed after a long labor of preparing for today. I’m pretty mellow, thankful for another Christmas to be alive. I just finished sitting with my son, helping him put a toy together. I’m listening to to Bethel Music, praying, and thinking.

This year has been hard on our family. My schedule with work, challenges with growing kids, the strains of marriage as we change too as we get older. Life has just been difficult. And, I couldn’t be more happier. Thankful for four kids that are growing. I’m so thankful that my wife and kids are all healthy and happy.

I’m not sure what 2018 will be for us. I’ve decided to make it a growth year. I have a list of things that I would like to grow in. I have some goals to get some aws certifications. Maybe I will explore some front-end frameworks. I want to really grow in my relationship with the Lord and become more kind and gentle. I want to spend more time with my kids and wife.

Merry Christmas!

Blogging again.

It’s been almost five years since I stopped blogging. At the time, I wasn’t sure if I was adding to the noise. I didn’t have a large audience, and I figured no one was reading what I wrote.¬† At the time I used my blog to express myself, my frustrations with life, and the things I was interested in. I am not sure why but I felt ashamed in some way to communicate on this medium for fear of not being accepted or being too vulnerable. What I’ve learned since then is that when you get older, you stop caring as much about¬†what other people think. Not in some arrogant way, but it is a release to be you. So, I’m blogging again.

Before I stopped blogging I had a safe job at a university. It was a job that I hated and a dead-end job. I left to go work for a start-up. I loved it. I found people who care about coding, design, and architecture. I wasn’t marginalized–it was the first time where I felt valued. It was like I was being rebuilt/revitalized like some gardening project happening in the hood. I think back over the last five years, and I often wonder why I didn’t leave earlier. It was five years, three kids, now four, and I wondered why I didn’t leave the first time I got an offer to leave. It was the first time I really fell in love with writing and using open source software.

So I hope to share my thoughts on development, the cloud, and everything open source.