Friday, June 14, 2019

Can I come back to blogging?

So, I've been debating with myself if I want to go back to blogging again.  I tried switching to wordpress for a little while, and I even hosted my own wordpress blog on my home computer (pretty much just for personal journaling, not really to share.)  I keep wondering if anyone really cares what I have to say.

So, in the meantime I've: had 2 kids; bought a house; changed jobs... 3 times?; gotten what seems like a dozen certifications; Jaani died; and firmly established that I hate mowing the lawn.

Some of these things have not been completely positive... Jaani died on my birthday last year, which was a pretty traumatizing event; I'm just happy my older daughter didn't cry too much, because I would have lost it.  My younger daughter has officially been alive for 4 weeks as of today.  That's kind of an accomplishment; even if a really low bar.  My marriage is going really well; it appears I married super mom, and it just adds to the immediately apparent things that have gone well (however, improvements to our financial situation is probably still more immediately apparent... despite taking a 30% pay cut to work at the County.

So, let me break out to talk about the work situation.  In April of 2016... oh man, I had just left Avanade... that seems like a lifetime ago.  My wife was still pregnant with our first daughter.  So, I had left Avande on April 1st... they announced in the previous January that they were outsourcing our team to India... I spent the next few months teaching unqualified people in India how to do my job.  I honestly don't think any of them knew what they were doing, and inside sources tell me the project was scrapped as a result.  Avanade offered me a lesser job on April 4th... literally the next working day after April 1st.  I interviewed for Rightside, Amazon, and Avanade in the middle of April.  Avanade wasn't really so much of an interview, because I had interviewed for that role the previous February, but a check in to see if I would come back.

I told Avanade I would take the roll so I wouldn't lose unemployment for the next few weeks before I could start there.  Amazon and Rightside spent a week or two deliberating as they interviewed candidates; they responded within a day of eachother, and I chose Rightside because they had the most competitive of an offer as Rightside did...  So I ended up accepting the Avanade role, worked for three days, and quit when Rightside made an offer.  I worked at Rightside's team until January 2017, when our team was sold to Tucows, and they laid off everyone. So, after a short search, I moved on to a contract with Expedia; I stayed there for about 10 months.  My manager there actually left after a month, so the whole 3-month contract-to-hire idea got messed up, and the team didn't have a budget to bring me on full time.  At one point, I saw a job application for the County, and just applied to see what it would be like.  They made me an offer, but it was a full 30% less than I was making at Expedia.  Honestly, I probably should have stayed at Expedia to see if they would make an offer once things on the team stabilized again, but - with some pressure from my wife - I decided to try life at a government job.  To be honest, it's stable, predictable, and low pressure most of the time, but I fear it doesn't challenge me enough.

So yea, that's my work story for the past 3 years...

Things are heating up on the training side too.  Last year, I did Microsoft Technical Associate certifications in Python and Computer Science; I got my ITIL certification, and I took 2 Peoplesoft classes covering PTF and Peoplesoft Security.  This year, I completed my Six Sigma Yellow Belt certification, and I'm committed to getting my ISTQB certification in mid-July.  I also signed up for a Google Cloud 12-week challenge to get a Google Associate Cloud Engineer certification, which makes me wonder if I should just go ahead and get my MTA for Cloud Fundamentals just because it's free...  I am also thinking about getting the Amazon Cloud Practitioner certification just to be well rounded.

 In addition to those certifications, I also finished a Professional Certificate in Six Sigma and Lean from the Technical University of Munich, and I will probably get the Google Cloud Architecture Specialization from Coursera because I can get a free month to work on it, and I will probably have some time with my upcoming parental leave.

Life with kids is different too.  I was starting to get used to having one around, and now that we have two, I feel like I need super mom to gain some upper body strength (the one area she is lacking...)  It gets hard to carry both of them around, and she is already overpowered by one 2 1/2 year old...imagine a 2 year old with a 4 1/2 year old...  But the kids are great overall.  They have their moment.  Right now they compete to see who can cry louder at 3AM... or how many times they can make mom go back-and-forth between the two bedrooms.  However, with the older one being able to talk more... and form sentences.  They say the darndest things.

anyway... that's a huge update.  Let's see if I can keep this up to keep things brief in the future 'eh?