Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Reflecting on my birthday

Reflecting on my 36th birthday this morning.  I feel incredibly grateful both in my personal and professional life.

Focusing on the latter, this is a professional blog after all, the news that Sun/Oracle's SPARC program was shut down brought up some thoughts.  I started my career on that team.  They were doing interesting work.  The challenges were both technical and non technical.  Getting things done required less coding and more engineering; the aspects of the profession that are not taught in school (e.g. sourcing requirements, gathering data, engaging with partners, and establishing consensus).  I recall the exit interview with my then director.  What stuck in the conversation was the level of pride that the director had in having assembled a team family, many of which had already been working together for 10+ years.  Maybe it was a retention tactic (ok, of course it was!), but I was extended a very genuine statement that I was valued in the team family and a promise, that within this environment, I would continue to grow, etc.  Obviously, I didn't recognize any of this at the time.  Many of the my ex-colleagues did remain in that team and, post layoff, I think back to the growth potential I would of had in that organization.  I've since been happy to refer a handful of these people to my connections.

My life (including personal life) may have been very different if I continued on that path.  Alas, I made a different decision.  For a short while, I chased happiness at work, but over the past 5+ years, my focus changed to becoming my best self and doing my best work.  This has never been more true than today.  I am grateful that this endeavor is the third most important area in my life (following my self care, and wife/family).