Category: Personal

Technically, I cheated. I used the holiday “break” to get a jump start on fresh learning in 2018, but it’s a streak I’ve kept up for about two weeks now, so I’ll give the new year credit for inspiration. Anyways, languages.

One thing that I feel has held me up from making progress with languages is an accessible platform for frequent study. In an ideal world, I’d take an actual class with peers where I could collaborate, ask questions, and hopefully accelerate through mutual give & take. But work life doesn’t quite gel with a uni semester.

Then there’s the laptop/PC, which is pretty reachable, but after staring at it all day, I sometimes just don’t want to hop back on. That leaves the iPhone (or Android, if that’s how you roll), which is the ideal for frequent touch points and even gamification.

And that’s how I’m pursuing both Python and Spanish currently. Mind you, I’m not learning Python in Spanish–that’s nuts.


I hit the App Store in December looking for a way to get started with Python. I’d used Treehouse before, and love the videos, but the cost was high and the videos were also a burden/obstacle to learning in short segments. That’s where SoloLearn shines.

It has concise nuggets that teach individual concepts using code examples, foundational explanations, multiple choice questions and fill-in-the-blank stepping stones. It also has forums and Q&A wrapped around each module for deeper discussions.

For further collaboration, you can challenge other learners in head-to-head competitions and share coding projects for review and feedback.

All in all, and for the low price of free, SoloLearn is a nice tool so far. Hopefully I’ll be posting again soon with substantial skills to show for the time invested.

Personal Scripting

It’s been far too long since I’ve posted content of significant substance, but it isn’t for lack of experiences. At a week out from 6 months on the vendor side and start-up life, in particular, I’ve discovered that there’s much more behind the veil than the email correspondence and meetings I saw from the customer side.

Before I started at Rubrik, I naively thought to myself, “How will a bunch of emails and customer meetings & installs fill up 40 hours each week?” Ha! Those are the easy parts, the toppings of a cake that requires a flurry of internal baking and development of all sorts.

rubrikPart of what I enjoyed as a customer was being able to influence products and hopefully encourage them to deepen in value and utility. Since customers are “unbiased” and control the revenue flow of vendors, their voice tends to carry farther than industry, competition or internals. I joined Rubrik because I believed in and had proven out the product, and I truly hoped I wouldn’t lose my impact by taking a paycheck.

Six months in, I think a few of my colleagues might secretly wish I was back on the “outside”, at a distance with my customer voice again :). We have a very open communication culture at Rubrik and I’ve had fun poking my fingers in a lot of pies, speaking into more areas of the product than I knew existed pre-January, and doing everything I can to fan the fire of excellence that first drew me in.

sw_logo198x67Every couple weeks I get an opportunity to put on my User Experience (UX) hat that I first wore as a SolarWinds customer, which is great. Everything makes sense to creators, but a second, third, and fourth set of eyes help reveal assumed mental leaps that result in customer frustration if not caught. This is a big indication to me of a quality company–humble invitations of customer (and staff) input to tell them what is and isn’t intuitive in a planned (or existing) design. It’s why I keep mentioning SolarWinds–Kellie Meachem and team model it to a ‘T’.

Personal Technology

After nearly 10 years of pushing the bleeding edge of infrastructure at ExponentHR, I am turning a new page in the career playbook. On January 18th, I begin my new journey through the vendor landscape as a Field Engineer at Rubrik.

ExponentHR_logo_paddedrubrikIt’s a bittersweet change, as I transition from a decade of great memories and an amazing team at Exponent. Misha Vyazmensky, CTO, manager, and friend, led our group through an incredible era of technological changes, always open to new ideas and ready to push the limits of “why not?” Over the years, we explored so many products and ideas “for sports interest,” and through his leadership, created the sleek platform that runs ExponentHR today.

Personal Technology

Thank You, Lord, for this day, another completed year of learning, growing, loving, and being. One year ago, I was not yet a father, not yet a homeowner, not yet…

Personal Ponderings

3hh-wsIt brings us great joy to see Will and Sarah embark on this wonderful journey of adoption, and as their friends, we want to help and encourage them along the way. As you and we know, asking for help of any form can be very humbling and often a bit awkward, particularly with finances. Thus, we’ve asked our dear friends to let us write a few words and advocate on their behalf.

For years, Will and Sarah have been dreaming and working towards this end of bringing a child into their home–to be parents. We’ve watched them prepare and yearn and hope. Now they have stepped out and it’s our turn as those who know and love them to cheer and pave parts of the way.

Personal Ponderings

Miscellaneous Personal

This morning (June 14), Time Magazine posted an intriguing analysis of the emerging ethos of hacktivism among those of the Gen-X and Millennial generations. These idealists, as the article “The…

Miscellaneous Personal

“But there will be no poor among you, for the Lord will bless you in the land that the Lord your God is giving you for an inheritance to possess–if…

Personal Theological

This week of Thanksgiving has been filled with more events, people, and emotions than most in the months preceding. Expectations have been joyfully upended, while others were left wanting. And a myriad words remain to describe it.

In The Valley of Vision moments ago, I read a few of those words that aptly serve as a backdrop. It is titled, “Contentment”:

Heavenly Father,

If I should suffer need, and go unclothed, and be in poverty,
make my heart prize thy love,
know it, be constrained by it,
though I be denied all blessings.

It is thy mercy to afflict and try me with wants,
for by these trials I see my sins,
and desire severance from them.

Let me willingly accept misery, sorrows, temptations,
if I can thereby feel sin as the greatest evil,
and be delivered from it with gratitude to thee,
acknowledging this as the highest testimony of thy love.

When they Son, Jesus, came into my soul instead of sin, he became more dear to me than sin had formerly been;
his kindly rule replaced sin’s tyranny.

Personal Ponderings

Four weeks ago today, I married my bride, and it has been better and harder than I imagined. We’re still settling in–our apartment, our routines, our preferences, and our love.…

Personal Ponderings