California Living

13 Dec

You might have noticed I’ve been very quite for the past couple of months. That’s because I was / am going through a major change in my life.

In October I accepted an exciting offer to work at my favorite fruit tech company out in California. This has been the biggest change to my life since joining the Air Force in 2001. It’s entailed moving to California; Being separated (physically) from my wife as we work out the logistics of her job / move; Selling our home and finding an apartment (insert Bay area housing cost rant here); Resigning from my full time position in the Air Force and transitioning to the CA Air National Guard as a weekend warrior; Not to mention meeting all new co-workers, making new friends and trying to contribute as best I can in my new software engineering role.

It likely goes without saying that the first month or so was incredibly stressful. Luckily I have a fantastic boss and incredible co-workers that have been very welcoming and helpful. In fact, the personal connection I felt to them, as well as their respect for each other and family is largely what made up my mind to take the this leap in the first place.

Software engineering can often be a solitary activity, but to me its best when it’s a social activity. I do my best work when I can quickly, and freely, bounce my ideas off of others without fear of negative feedback or harsh judgments. No one has all the answers, and often we can get laser focused on one solution, sometimes to the point of gridlock. Having an environment that promotes open discussion is key to getting the best work and better moral.

My lack of any CS or CE degree has often made me feel inferior to other developers. I know there is value there that I’m missing. Not necessarily in the degree itself, but in the experience I would gain and the skills I would develop if I had gone down that path. While I lack the academic experience, I’ve got years of practical experience instead. There is value in both, and I’m slowly realizing that. My biggest hurdle so far, with the lack of academic experience, boils down to vocabulary. There are terms and descriptions that I’m simply not familiar with. Once explained the concept I can understand; but it slows me down and leaves me lagging in some conversations. I’m confident I can pick up these missing bits over time, and I’m as certain as ever that there is a world of knowledge out there for me to learn beyond that.

All this has left me with very little time to blog; Though, I’ll still try to post from time to time when I think I have something worth saying.

That’s it for now, I’ll be back as soon as there’s something interesting to say.