Hi All, I have been into technology since kindergarten, when I got to play with “Logo” on the Apple IIs. This passion eventually lead me to a career in consulting as a software dev, records management systems, and eventually architectural advisor for mid and large size organizations. I spent several years self-employed providing creative & technical solutions for small businesses. For the past two roles, DevOps engineer and manager of a DevOps team at a “Unicorn” hyper-growth startup and am now seeking what’s next.
CNCF, K8s, DevOps
Kubernetes, Docker and good CI/CD pipelines instantly captivated me. I remember how hard it used to be to get code on servers. My personal “worst-case” was more than a month after the code was “done.” The feedback cycles were slow. Anyone else remember handing the USB drive or burnt CD to the sys admin who would “yup” or “nope” the stats of a deployment with little other information? Remember how you were left to guess what changes to configs or security settings might be needed? I’m still amazed how all that went away with Docker, and equally amazed that so many developers haven’t dove in to learn how containerization can make their job so much easier.
I also am continually amazed and super excited by the cool ( and useful ) development paradigms k8s allows. Yes, there are great tools for startups and getting off the ground at low cost that don’t really on Kubernetes. However, I am not sure how beneficial they are in the long run. It is hard to beat the Lego-like reuse that container orchestration allows. I suspect most organizations and engineers are just scratching the surface of controller based orchestration.
This untapped potential makes me excited, just like the first time I saw Logo’s “Turtle” fly across the screen. Engineering is going to dramatically shift over the next 5-10 years with the advent of AI, and I suspect WASM. Now mix this with amazing tools like Backstage that help us understand, organize and automate our distributed Dx platforms, I can’t wait to see what creativity is unlocked.
Managing & Leading
I lead with openness and candor. I believe in as much transparency as possible, because this is also what hope to find in my peers and superiors. I’ve been lucky that one of my first managers always had my back outside the team, while giving me direct feedback privately. This let me know mistakes were part of life, but grow from them. I have found as a leader this mindset creates an environment of trust and safety. Direct feedback ends the anxiety inducing guessing game of “am I doing good? did I screw up? what if…? what if….?.” In turn the team takes more ownership and calculated risks. They grow faster because of the safety net when mistakes occur.
We spend more than a third of our waking time with our colleagues. In a way, we’re responsible for this huge proportion of our team’s lives. As managers and technical leaders how can we not strive to build an environment where we can connect as humans, explore and be creative?
My passions outside of work are an eclectic combination of Freemasonry, Buddhism and Guitar. The common thread amongst all of these is personal growth and learning to understand oneself (or the lack there of).
On most Sundays you’ll find me teaching an Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy course at the Indiana Buddhist Center covering the the three paths Renunciation, Compassion and Correct View.
I was the “Worshipful Master,” of Millersville Masonic Lodge where through lectures and experiential learning we aim to “make good men better.” By that it means better parents and members of society. I am particularly passionate about the organization’s ability to catalyze to replace the outdated and harmful arch-types of western masculinity with one that identifies masculinity with the characteristics of compassion, reflection or inward looking, emotional openness and equanimity.
In one of the few recorded radio interviews before his death, Duane Allman said (paraphrasing) “The guitar lets me say things that words can’t.” I relate to this as playing an instrument like the guitar, is a way to slip past discursive thought and tap into an emotional side of your personality. This allows you to become aware of the emotions and physical sensations of the mind and body and understand the otherwise inexpressible part of yourself on a deeper level.