2019: Year in Review

Howdy all,

It's been a long time since I've posted an update to my blog. As you might have gathered from that I've been busy and kind of forgot about writing for awhile.

I originally had a huge post planned to kick things off again with all sorts of ideas, but instead I'm just going to write something that's a bit word salad in the organization that comes to mind, and we'll see how long it is when I get to the end.

Career Updates + Talks

So as I posted long ago, I started with Percona in March 2017 as a Product Manager. Since joining Percona I've worn many hats, been in several different groups in the company, and have learned a lot along the way. I've also gotten to travel on behalf of the company all over the US and Europe for various reasons.

Along with all that, one of the things I found out that I'm pretty good at is giving talks. Percona has enabled me to do just that quite often, both with the Percona Live and Percona Live Europe conferences that they host themselves, as well as at other conferences around the world I've been fortunate enough to speak at.

My crowning achievements on that front mostly happened in 2019 with my first time keynoting a conference at Percona Live Austin in May 2019 to announce the launch of the Percona Kubernetes Operators which I was involved in from ideation to GA. Secondly in 2019 I got to speak at KubeCon, which was really an amazing experience as a conference I'd wanted to attend and speak at for a long time. Finally, I also was invited to guest lecture for 2 hours in the Computer Science department at Texas A&M University - San Antonio. I'm writing this now less than 5 days from departing for Brussels, Belgium to speak at FOSDEM, the one of the largest open-source conferences in the world.

At some point I intend to upload PDFs of all of my slides and links to videos if I have them, but right now this is pretty much all I've gotten done. I'm not sure what that will look like just yet, but I enjoy giving talks and I think the list is going to grow.

Additionally throughout 2018 and 2019 I was lucky enough to be interviewed by tech journalists and asked to contribute articles, sometimes written by my own hand, sometimes outlined by me and ghostwritten by someone in the company's Marketing department. At any rate, the end result is there are several interview quotes out there as well as articles run in several tech magazines and news sites where I have a by-line.

Motorsports / Hobbies Update

Some of my fellows in RY know about my love of motorsports, but it's something that I have never really got to indulge deeply in. I purchased a really nice sim-racing setup in 2012 in an attempt to stem my desire to go further, and that worked for quite some time. As a Christmas gift for myself at the end of 2017 though, I bought a sports car for the primary purpose of going on track. I'm happy to say my first track day with instruction was while I still had paper tags and the car was bone stock. I chose to buy a 2017 Subaru BRZ Limited w/ an automatic transmission (I know, I know) after much deliberation and test driving 17 different cars. Since that time I've been on track many times, and the car has now been modified quite heavily.

In light of that, I started a new company at the tail end of 2019 in partnership with a friend and trusted mechanic locally to improve the motorsports and car scene in San Antonio. The company is called Flex Motorsports, LLC and as we progress through the starting up phase we'll begin offering a curated selection of the highest quality motorsports performance parts for common track and autocross platforms as well as quality advice and repair/installation services here in the San Antonio area. We'll also be doing custom in-house fabrication with exotic materials.

The new company isn't my main job, but it provides me a pathway to help reduce the costs of my hobby while improving the community where I live and making use of some of my business and product acumen to improve the global community around my platform of choice.

Photography Updates

I am still out there taking photos, but I've transitioned more to using my phone as a camera rather than a DSLR. There's many things where I still think a DSLR is the right choice, but mostly thanks to my girlfriend (more about that in the next section) I've learned how mobile cameras can produce amazing shots and make it easier to edit and share near instantly, rather than dealing with hours of postprocessing afterwards. Thanks to that, folks connected to me via social media have been able to see some of my new photos over the last three years that haven't been posted on Flickr. I still use Flickr though, and at some point I will find the time to go through all my post-processing backlog.

Personal Life Update

I saved the best for last. I'm incredibly lucky to have met my wonderful girlfriend at the end of 2017. We've been together since, and we're deeply in love. I could write a gushing essay, but we prefer to keep our relationship relatively private. Everybody who spends time with me locally has said I'm a completely different person after we've started dating, and I agree. She makes me a better human being, and I am truly overjoyed that I found her.

Thanks for reading!

Til next time…

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