General updates

So, life has been happening at the speed of life. I am now living in Philadelphia’s greater area (I really am outside of the city proper, so also learning how to be a suburbanite), and I am an office denizen on a daily basis. But I’ll get back to my Philly experiences thus far.  Continue reading

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I’m moving my #GwenPlays from Facebook to here!

I decided to move my #GwenPlays series from Facebook to here, where it’ll be easier to find and peruse. That means you’re about to see a bunch of updates of back-articles from me onto here. I’ll add a “original date” onto them for reference.

For those who aren’t watching my Facebook posts on those, I started writing about how I (mis-)play video games now that I have a Nintendo Switch. They are meant to be entertaining, not educational in the slightest.

Ditch My Car for a Month

Well, it seems I just won the Lyft Ditch Your Car for a Month contest, so I guess I’m ditching my Jeep for a month (starting Oct 8th.) This is convenient, since I want to put my Jeep into the shop for repairs this month anyway… but I figure I’ll blog about my experiences not using my Jeep.

Caveats and clarifications:

  • I will drive the Jeep to the shop during this month. It needs some work and inspection to be done anyway.
  • Also, I need to move it on Thursdays to get it out of the way of the garbage trucks.
  • I did get Zipcar credits, so I will be driving sometimes… just with Zipcar instead of my Jeep. This will be very useful for getting groceries. (Related: I should really find my ZipCard.)
  • I got a HealthyBike subscription with this contest as well, but I don’t see using that as much as my own bike. Especially since I have a new speedy bike!
  • I will start this on Monday, Oct 8th. I don’t have Lyft credits until then, and getting to Carnegie on a Sunday is obnoxious without a car.

Anyway, let’s see how this goes!

New job!

As most of you may know, I started a new job a few weeks ago. What you may not know is the story behind getting this job.

While I was taking time off between jobs, I found out that GitHub was looking for volunteers for RailsConf. I signed up, and for a few hours of volunteer work on the first day, I got a free ticket. I knew that I was going to this event, not knowing Ruby or Rails, with the aim of learning new things and shaking hands. And that is exactly what happened.

However, the fun part was during a break in sessions, we were all given cheesecake to enjoy during a bit of a social hour. I sat down at a table and introduced myself to the folks there. At this point, it was just for social reasons, I was trying to do all my hand shaking at the vendor booths.

One of the guys at the table was a really nice guy I talked to for a long while. As we got up and exchanged business cards, I found out he’s the VP of Engineering at his company. Wow! I had no idea! He did email me the following week asking me to interview there as well, and … well .. he is now my boss.

I am now officially a DevOps Engineer, and I really like all of the people I am working with at this new job. So — the risk I took in quitting the last job worked out.

I am counting my lucky stars on this.

Taking a risk, professionally

I’m doing something I have never done before, something I never thought I would or could do. I quit my job without having something to go to. This is a tremendous risk, but one I think I can undertake.

Why? Several years ago I did quit my job at the time to go back to school, an action similar in nature to what I am doing now, but it still felt like it had less risk. I didn’t own a home at the time, so I could return to living with my Mom to ease the financial burden. I also would come out of that with a degree that I could use to further my career.

At least, that is what I thought.

Unfortunately, since getting that degree, my career has careened further and further away from programming, my first love, and the more architecturally technical elements of computers, my second love. I mean, I have done technical work in all of the jobs I had, and continued to script up things for myself and others to automate routine tasks, but this is not the path I wanted after getting my degree.

So enter Wombat Technologies, and their acquisition by ProofPoint. I got a bit of money from the stock I had with them, enough to survive for a few months without pay. Enough months that I figured I could work on getting back on track with the career I really want. So, the idea for this risk was born.

I am now taking this risk, I quit, and I am working on at least one AWS certification, and coding more. I even revamped my resume this morning with the help of many sources. It is a scary risk, but one that I feel I needed to do. Wish me luck!