Blog Restart
@ Theo | Friday, Jul 27, 2018 | 2 minutes read | Update at Friday, Jul 27, 2018

It’s been over 10 years since I had a blog, or at least maintained one. I want to promote my personal brand but have often not put forth the effort. I have a significant amount of experience, so it’s just a matter of putting my experiences down “on paper”…and having the right tool to publish.

Enter Hugo. I’ve been a fan of Markdown for awhile, and make avid use of it for projects on GitHub or written for mkdocs. I wanted something that could deploy to a static site since my actual code rarely changes, and to save overall costs. My current site is built on GitHub Pages, but does not allow me the necessary capabilities, and I wanted something similar to mkdocs but that I could easily deploy a scaffold and work.

While I often travel with a laptop, I’ve also been looking at my mobile productivity, and I feel that I could accomplish more by using my mobile device. When I have an idea, I want to commit quickly. My tablet is an easy way to do so since it takes up less room and has less time to boot, but has lacked a sufficient productivity tool.

I’ve typed up this post partially using Working Copy. For me, it has the right blend of git integration and file editor (with Markdown syntax highlighting). You can’t push without the in-app purchase, but the free version plus a 10-day trial lets you test before buying, which let me make sure it fits my workflow.

For my blog content, I plan to document my experiences through my IT journey in hopes that it will also help others. I’ve always embraced the IT community, and a blog is my latest way of giving back. I’ve always struggled with trying to get the best structure and methods before pushing something new, and that’s always led to me never launching. This time, I’m accepting that the blog may not be perfect, but it’s out there and functional. I’ll be able to make improvements over time and grow this into a resource for all.

About Me

Self-described technology enthusiast working with containers, DevOps, networking, load balancing, etc.

Career

After college, I came back to the family business, this time to force-feed technology into the business instead of passing around a QuickBooks file and design templates on a Zip disk. This ended up as a good trade–I was able to both freely learn and implement new(er) technology and gain powerful business experience. I am fully capable of explaining any technical topic to a non-technical audience. I taught my mother about files/folders on a hard disk by showing her the files and folders in her file cabinets.

I spent a short time as a law firm doing more of the same, but wanted more. I joined a state-level government agency and began to specialize in networking. I quickly moved through the ranks moving from Junior to Senior status, and spent a few years as a Network Manager. I dove into “network service” technologies and tools like load balancing, name resolution, monitoring, logging, and analysis. My success there came from four principles:

  • Work with the customer–ensure your decisions are for their benefit.
  • The borders of your responsibility are soft–learn about how your department affects other departments. A little cross-team knowledge goes a long way.
  • Don’t waste time repeating processes–if you’ll repeat it, script it and let the system work for you.
  • Automate yourself out of a job–if you do, they’ll give you a better one.

College

I went to Florida Institute of Technology in Melbourne, FL, USA and received my Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. While the degree is a great résumé builder, the knowledge and experience gained were much more valuable.

We didn’t just focus on learning a programming language–we learned WHY a language was developed and what separates it from others. Concepts were more important, because that led to a language-independent programming skill. As a result, I can now write code in any language.

I also got a taste at other IT-related skills. The program provided enough electives for us to branch out and “test the waters” around different disciplines. As a result, I got a breadth of skills to help complement my degree: cryptography, computer vision, system administration, OS concepts, database design, etc.

My senior project was a collaboration between Aerospace, Mechanical, Computer, Electrical, and Software Engineers. We built a scale model of a V-22 “Osprey” with a design for mid-air transition while carrying heavy cargo. Since it was a scale model, we also used a wireless serial transmitter and ground interface to control the osprey using a Radio Controller hooked up to a computer screen. My job was the GUI/software for the Flight Control System and interface as well as the scripts to perform the advanced aeronautical calculations. It was a great team experience that further expanded my breath of skills and abilities.

Moving

My family and I wanted to move from Tallahassee, FL, USA, to Charlotte, NC, USA and we got the opportunity when I was offered a Network Engineer position with an insurance company that had a regional headquarters in Charlotte. I joined the Network Services team and found my passion for improving processes through orchestration/automation. I also got my first taste of cloud and cloud networking, which required a new education on cloud networking. For many years, I had watched other network professionals accelerate their knowledge and experience on networking to a point, then stick with that knowledge until otherwise forced to change. I realized that I’m not an “old school” networker, as I think being an expertise in networking doesn’t mean knowing every command in a CLI. Cloud networking is different, and requires a new way of architecting–traditional networking tools only work until the cloud border. Ultimately, I spent a short time at the insurance company because I was recruited by Amazon.

The Early Years

Ask my mother, and I was always going to work in technology. At age 5, I set the clock on the VCR and programmed it to record my shows.

My family owns a swimming pool contracting business in Tallahassee, FL, USA and I spent my childhood and teenage years learning how to run a business. Technology was a hobby, and I had fun exploring building my own gaming rig, writing plugins for software, and begrudgingly providing free technical support to friends and family.