Become the Master, or Go Away

Excellent post by Don Jones. The most rewarding experiences in my career (and otherwise) are those where I’ve been able to coach, mentor, and share knowledge. (tech or soft skill related, life situations, etc)
With that, I’ll put this here: Can I help you? (and no, I won’t fix your tech gear – but I can teach you how to fix your own things so that you can teach others ūüėé)

Don Jones¬ģ

We all learn. We learned to walk, speak, and math. We learned how to do the tasks that we now do in our jobs, every day. And most of us, along the way, had the benefit of learning from someone more advanced than us. We were the Apprentice to their Master.

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Modern toiling with soil – Part one

Definition of “toil” (Merriam-Webster)
: long strenuous fatiguing labor

Genesis 3:17
“Then to Adam He said, “Because you have listened to the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree about which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat from it’; Cursed is the ground because of you; In toil you will eat of it all the days of your life.”

Genesis 2:7
“So the LORD God formed the man from the dust of the ground, breathed life into his lungs, and the man became a living being.”

Man was formed from the ground.  In toil we will eat of the ground.  What can be said about the ground and of toil these days?  How does it relate to our work present day?

I have been blessed to know a fair number of farmers in my life. ¬†There’s a deep respect between farmers and the resources they steward. ¬†When it comes to a growing crops in a field, there’s always something a farmer must address and tend to.

Keeping any livestock out of the picture, here’s just a handful of things I’d like to relate between farming and other types of work:

  • Planting
  • Equipment and tools to maintain
  • Large rocks or sinkholes
  • Pests and weeds
  • Brush and trees that border a field ( have come down over the winter
  • Harvesting

Farmers work in a constant cycle of activity that includes things on the list above. ¬†Rest and enjoying some of the fruits of labor are available at some point, but historically that’s not always been the case.

Maintain. Prepare. Sow. Reap.¬†And don’t forget all of the relationships and various obligations to keep up with. ¬†Does the farmer have a family? How tied to their local community are they? ¬†There are needs to tend to all around before, during, and after soil is prepared or crops have been planted.

Stay tuned for my next post where I’ll try to draw some analogies among the toil of Adam, farming, and present day work from my experiences to date.

In the meantime, have you thought about your work like this? ¬†Do you have some other analogy for how you relate to your work? ¬†I’d love to hear from you if you have.


CYOA: Deal with Brain Drain or Go Brain Dead

Growing up I used to read a LOT of the Choose Your Own Adventure ¬†(CYOA) stories. ¬†They’ve been coming to mind a lot lately as I contemplate a variety of adventures to be had in several spheres of my life.

Recently, I was typing up a bit of communications to powers-that-be concerning my team’s future use (if at all**)¬†future of public cloud use earlier this evening. ¬†I realized that much of what we used to have hands-on experience with is now largely abstracted from us. ¬†Network switches and routers, proxies, and even mundane (usually headache producing) things like hard drives, memory, and physical disk are becoming a distant memory to most of us.

I currently work at an institution with a private-cloud-rich environment. ¬†The team I work in has absolutely no hardware we’re responsible for. ¬†While thinking about all the things coming at us through public cloud offerings such as Microsoft Azure or Amazon AWS, I realized that the less I deal with public cloud, the more harm I do myself. ¬†The skill set necessary to move from physical hardware to virtual hardware was a small gap compared to what I feel the gap is between private cloud to public cloud – purely because of the abstraction.

It’s time to start building in the public cloud.

I miss the land

I miss the land.

I miss the smell of it.

I miss walks in the wild around sharp bends¬†navigating around twisted trees and through thorns leading into clearings. ¬†It does my legs good to hike up a hill and then back down another. ¬†It does my mind even better to listen to the quiet land inhabited by birds and bugs. ¬†When I speak, it’s to make memories while sharing with my children the wonders of creation.

I miss days when the grass is sweet and you can smell it in the valleys between hills at the end of the day.  Blades of grass were enjoyable to chew on while smelling wild onion nearby.

There’s much to glean from the land, but I know it takes hard work. Undoubtedly harder than the worst days I’ve had in my current technical job. ¬†And it’s hard work that requires skills¬†you can only gain through time and a good mentor or parent¬†who has learned them before you.

I miss the land.

Let’s get started

It’s been years since I’ve written to a blog, but it is time I get back to it. Maybe some of what I write will interest or encourage you. ¬†Hopefully we’ll exchange ideas and we’ll both be the better for it.

I plan to¬†write about a myriad of things I’m involved or interested in. This includes:

  • Faith &¬†Family: The “why I do what I do.” Everything else is secondary.
  • Hobbies: It’s a rare treat to enjoy these anymore. ¬†I currently count cooking, fishing, photography, and reading¬†among those within reach and available time. ¬†They’re also those I try to share with family and friends.
  • Technology: This category will likely¬†be the largest portion of this blog. ¬†Everything from parent/child technology issues, thoughts on current events in technology, and technology¬†career related topics is fair game.

I’m looking forward to this new adventure.

He who receives an idea from me, receives instruction himself without lessening mine; as he who lights his taper at mine, receives light without darkening me.

Letter from Thomas Jefferson to Isaac McPherson: August 13, 1813