Retrospectives and Resolutions

This has been an interesting year to say the least. I’ve been in Portland for a close to a year and a half. Things have changed a lot in the past year. My wife and I bought a house, which I didn’t really see myself doing any time soon, but it just kind of happened – it was stressful as hell, but I’m glad that we bought the house. We got a new puppy, she’s a ton of work, but most of the time she’s well worth it. I’ve written a ton of articles, read a wide variety of books, and I’m looking for more to read (if you have suggestions feel free to comment, my Good reads is on here too).

Work has been a roller coaster though after starting out so positively things have continued to change for the worse. This year I saw the departure of my boss’s boss, our team being pushed under a new leader. My boss leaving with and then reporting to this new leader. Massive changes to a very complicated and uncertain project all throughout and now most recently the departure of two Business Analysts – one of them I really enjoy working with, so that’s a serious blow. I think the next step is that a contractor is going to be let go and that’s going to make things even crappier. I’m not sure where my career is going to be going in the next year because in my current role I don’t feel like I have any control whatsoever.

So, what am I going to do about it? Well in the up coming year I plan to do a few things. First, get better control of my health. I’m going to work out on a consistent basis, eat healthier and drink less. My goal is to drop 30 lbs within 4 months and to keep it off for the remainder of the year. I hope to do this by working out 4 or 5 times per week right after work. I plan to eat healthier by eating a better breakfast, selecting healthy snacks while at the office while avoiding candy my co-workers have on their desks, and eating healthy lunches and dinners.

Second, I plan to do a few things with my manager. I will directly tell my manager that I’m unhappy with the current situation and that we need to change our working relationship because it’s not working for me. We need to come up with a plan together to figure out what “my next steps in my career” means to her as much as to me. If that doesn’t work, well it might be time for me to move on as I won’t grow in my current role. Finally, I plan to spend my free time split a few ways, first with my wife, second working on my app that my friends and I are working on, and third writing. After talking with Rocko today I kind of got excited to start writing my fiction book more – possibly figuring out a non-fiction book to write too. Last but not least, I want to start brewing again, so I plan to buy some equipment and start within the next few weeks!

Hopefully I can stick to these goals over the next few months. I plan to write some blog posts here and on my other blog, look to find my gluten free brewing there. Keep me honest readers!

A retrospective, 250 posts and counting

I’m on my 250th post. Quite the milestone, I haven’t done a retrospective post in a while about the history of my writing. I’ve tried a few different tact from the beginning and I’m happy to say that I’ve managed to gather a bit of a following on twitter, largely driven by my association with KBMOD, but I’ve found a decent number of my own through tweets and retweets.

My initial goal with this blog was to write about a lot of different highly technical topics that I felt that would have some sort of impact on people I know that might not really understand what’s going on. I’ve gotten a bit farther away from that as I’ve changed life situations. When I first started blogging I was in my master’s degree in the Netherlands, which really lent my writing a bit more of a scientific perspective. During the first year or so of my blogging (I’m on year 3 now), I frequently sited the scientific articles that I was reading for class. The important piece wasn’t that I was citing these writings, which I did at the time feel lent some weight to my writing, but was that I was actively and continually applying my education to real world situations.

I was hoping that this blog, along with my education, would help me find a policy position either in the Netherlands or in the US. This turned out not to have happened, which after about 6 months of looking for a job, while still living in the Netherlands, I quickly realized I needed to switch to looking for a job in my field of Business Process Improvement and/or Lean Six Sigma. This impacted my writing, because I got a job at AMD, where I tried to applied what I had learned from the University to a corporate position. I believe my writing reflected this to some extent. It was a frustrating year. My writing suffered, I reduced my blogging and tended to focus on writing more about how internet things rather than some of the other things I used to write.

Now I’m at yet another company and I’m struggling to figure out what I want to consistently write about. I’ve bounced around a bit – I tried a consistent schedule but quickly fell off the wagon. I’ve tried keeping up with current events, but I’ve found my interest in many of the topics to have waned. This has made writing much more difficult and caused me to bounce back and forth between topics and to be focusing more on cultural aspects rather than other technology, innovation, or science topics.

I’m not sure what that means for me or for the future of my writing. I’d love to have my readers to contribute suggestions or topics that they’d like me to write about. I think that’s a lot of fun and really helps direct my writing to topics my readers enjoy and are hoping to understand better.

I plan on writing about some topics related to two books I’m in the process of reading, People’s Platform and then Capital in the 21st Century. I’m hoping to help people understand the impact of the internet more and an economics book that a lot of policy makers are talking about. If you have any book recommendations shoot those at me too!