I’m a writer, software engineer, and systems engineer who has primarily worked at software first up-start companies. I’ve been writing code casually since I was about nine or ten and my first Linux server went up around then too.
This is the part of myself I generally don’t get to talk about in interviews, which is usually when people ask about my story, so forgive me if I bathe in some nostalgia.
I primarily hobbied in PHP Development while learning some Perl, Bash, TCL, and mIRC scripting. In those early days I wrote a lot of channel automation bots for IRC on GamesNET/GameSurge, QuakeNet and FreeNode. My PHP development was mostly restricted to websites for esports teams. While it was a lot of fun, and a cool way for me to contribute because I sucked at gaming, it eventually became a career.
After working at several places I landed at an R&D firm that was working on an interesting project that I devoted much of my time to. I wrote tests and automation code for the device. Soon after the 2008/9 collapse hit me and I was jobless. As a Junior developer I was in no shape to be employed, Senior devs were taking salaries of junior devs back then just to pay the bills. I subsequently enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps where I worked as a Ground Radio Technician and was stationed with Sixth Marine Regiment in Camp Lejeune, NC. Upon completing a year long deployment with RC-SW (Regimental Command-South West) I was separated honorably.
Many people don’t understand the struggles of military separation. There are the struggles most people know which are anxiety and stress related, however, for someone that comes from a white collar career field and is returning there is a special struggle all it’s own not so well dedicated to the public spotlight. The best way I can describe it is that your career, for better or for worse, must start over. All the experience you had piled up is no longer relevant in your new post separation world. For me this landed me accepting a series of contract roles that grew in complexity and pay until I reached the Software Engineering world again. I’d like to tell you that I had that all planned out but I certainly didn’t. If you’re a veteran that’s recently separated: believe me when I say just keep doing what you’re doing. There are people that are watching and you just don’t know it. Society has this weird way of asking you to prove yourself again and you have all the tools to do so.
Since then I’ve worked in DevOps as an infrastructure automator and software engineer as well as a Site Reliability Engineer.
It’s come to my attention a lot of folks don’t know that a Site Reliability Engineer is a software engineer, just one that focuses on applying SWE to what used to be operational tasks and concerns.
I’m still very much growing as a software engineer. I specialize a lot more in infrastructure architecture and low level Linux concepts such as the kernel. I have also worked in Network Engineering so software defined networking has been something that’s come very natural to me. I like to say that I’m a Systems Engineer who uses software to drive automation, increase resiliency, expand problem detection, and further analysis but then people somehow conflate that I’m a Systems Administrator, so essentially I don’t say that anymore /s. I have some really cool philosophies along the lines of DevOps, SRE, and Production Engineering that so far I’ve found fit most use cases. I absolutely love talking these philosophies with people, sharing is what I do because I like to grow. That’s really what this website is about.
On a more personal note, I have a deep love for home automation. Who would’ve thought, right? I have two dogs named Sammi and Rogue (Also more notoriously known as Peach). If you can figure out why Peach is named that way I’ll buy you a beer, your first and only hint is that she’s a rescue.
In my free time I’ll frequently go shooting. If you’re in Dallas for any reason then feel free to give me a call. I’ll take you shooting at my favorite range and if you’re lucky I might teach you something about archery too. Shooting is soothing for me. It takes a lot of skill and it’s more of an art than people think. The laser focus that you experience while shooting is the same focus you feel when you’re under the gun (no pun intended) and writing code.
Aside from that I love the lake and so do my dogs. I like traveling to experience the world and I like camping as well. I’d like to visit five more countries by the time I’m thirty. If you can help me do that, I’m interested in speaking with you.
That’s where my story kind of leaves off. There’s definitely more to come though, I frequently attend meet ups in Dallas/Fort Worth and have been looking for speaking engagements as well. All in all I’ve met a lot of really cool people and am looking forward to all the people I’ve yet to meet.