Life is busy.

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.

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

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.

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