The last couple of years I’ve given myself to my work. Six years ago I was working at a job that marginalized my talents and efforts. I was relegated to a corner where I wasn’t working on anything meaningful. I had enough of just maintaining this horrible code base. The things I was passionate about weren’t the things that I wanted to work on. In the middle of a major upgrade to some ancillary systems around it, I gave my notice, and I quit. I shocked my manager when I told him I wasn’t happy and wanted to leave.
I left to go work at start-ups and Fortune 500 companies that had created start-up companies within them. I found out that I was talented, and I stood among my peers with my work ethic. I was and still am working on the most hottest technology out there. I was aggressive, still am, and I wanted to lead. So I did.
I found that I was searching for an identity in my work, but I didn’t know it at the time. This cost time, energy, and my family. My kids suffered while I was on this chase, and I didn’t realize it until last year.
There were times where I wasn’t wise with the most important things in my life and those things suffered. A year later, I finally realize what I had done, and, by God’s grace, it wasn’t too late. My kids are amazing. They forgave me.
Now I enjoy their company. We play games, go to the park, talk, homework, watch movies together, and go to the pool. Instead of just working at nights or the weekends, I spend my time with them.
There are more important things in life than code or the newest technology. One of things that most people don’t consider about tech is the commitment needed to stay with it. For me long weeks with work crazy outages and bugs aren’t uncommon. Everyone see the demand, the money, but they rarely see the things that costs you.
You can easily lose yourself and your family in it. I had a friend that was a really good consultant–He was amazing. But he told me none of this is worth it without family. He worked so much to provide for his family that he was gone all the time. His wife had affair, and now he lives across the street from the house he paid for, and the guy she slept with lives her. He told me none of the work was worth it. His kids spends the night on weekends. He had so many regrets. Unfortunately, he passed away a couple years ago. I often wondered what his life would have been like if he was present, in the moment, stepping back from work. I wonder what his relationship with his kids and wife would have been like.
I don’t want that to be me. I don’t want this for my kids and family. Kids are amazing, but you only have so long when they aren’t kids anymore. For me, I don’t want to miss this.
We are the riches nation in the whole entire world. And we can’t make room for some kids and their patents so they can chase the American dream.
We are the greatest power unseen throughout history. Our influence unmatched and freedoms envied by every known democracy in this world. A nation of rule and law, with the largest deliberative ruling body can’t find room for these people. A fully self-correcting republic that is yet again ignoring its social contract for inspiring compassion, to be good that world is so desperate for.
Yet we do nothing. Our motto, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me: I lift my lamp beside the golden door.” Now go home or will take your kids from you.
It’s pure madness. It’s greedy. It’s insane. It’s racist.
Go home America. You are drunk.
I haven’t posted here in a while. I guess it’s been three months or so. Lots of things have happened in the last three months that I didn’t think would. I started a new job–I think I mentioned that three months ago. So far it’s been a good change. It’s not without it’s challenges.
I had a chance to write this morning. Or, I made time to write this morning. I feel like it’s therapeutic in many ways. My boss suggested that I write more. I am glad he did. Will be starting a workout plan, too. His suggestion also. I need to make more time for myself.
I am leading a team of six. So all the challenges of getting to know new people, meeting deadlines and demands is there. I think it’s been a good change. I am hoping to stay put for a couple of years. I am building and architecting a new big data ingestion framework. Hopefully it will be in place by the end of July/August. Most of time is spent leading scrum calls, fixing bugs, designing and developing new things at night. Hopefully that will end soon–the bugs :-). I feel like this role is stretching me. I love my boss. He is a source of encouragement and allows me to lead without a leash. We are aligned, and we think similarly. I am able to be home two days (sometimes more) a week–I think I am finally finding work-life balance. I like the work that I am doing. I’m enjoying my teammates. The nights and weekends are easing
Being in a large company is challenging. Things aren’t as nimble as I would like. I mention frequently that in the start-up world, we don’t have to ask for permission–we just do it and get the job done. Two words have been challenging to me–two words to a person who is driven, like me, would drive them crazy: organizational patience. Something that I am growing in. A colleague of mind reminded me that it’s not about the technology; it’s about the impact and interaction you have while making these solutions. He’s right. I want to be the kind of leader that makes a difference while showing empathy. It’s nice to be in stable company. In the startup world, or companies that just went IPO you are always worried about losing your job. I can just focus on delivering solutions with excellence.
I miss my old teammates. I miss talking with a couple of the managers/directors that I was fond of. Alex, Joel, Doug, Steve and there devops crew were my friends when I needed them. God I miss their skillsets with devops. They made my life so simple. I miss the guys on my team Reebu, Anand, and Ravneet. If I could hire them on my team, I would do it in a heartbeat.
I just turned 38 almost a week ago. My wife spent the day making it fun. I enjoyed being with my kids the whole day. As I get older, I am reminded not only of God’s faithfulness towards me and my family, but that my time is running out. That can be stoic for some people. I guess I am indifferent to all of it. I am hoping things are building to a point in my life where I have a greater passion for Christ. I am slowly learning not to find my identify in my work. It’s hard. I am a better engineer than christian or father or husband. I am passionate about my work. I can’t forget that this job, this life, my desires are all temporary. I just want to be a good daddy and husband. Everything else pales in comparison.
Gotta go. Deploying some new feature to cloud and make the kids lunch. Sorry for the long post.
Occasionally I will share something I found interesting or inspiring.
Here’s this week’s:
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.
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.
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
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.
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.