Working remotely during COVID-19 has been an incredible experience, but moving more than 1,600 miles from Minnesota certainly added an interesting aspect to the whole experience. When you mesh all that with (in no particular order):

  • trying to keep a team and a variety of legacy projects from coming apart
  • and taking on a new team whose project had security and privacy opportunities
  • and hiring four new engineers
  • after being passed between several managers
  • and stepping in as a manager without title
  • then actually getting the manager title
  • ... and so much more!

It should suffice to say that 2020 was intense. I've gotten some stories out of it, though. Lots of stories.

You'd be surprised the stuff you learn when you're just minding your business, working at a growing start-up-graduate flexing into its new corporate digs when you're suddenly acquired by a more mature corporation. One of my co-workers uses a lot of war and military metaphors and they generally feel rather fitting.

My journey to western Washington really goes back to my youth and being born in California, I have always been drawn back west since being moved to the Midwest. But the serious effort starts after Manda and I took our 4th anniversary trip to Seattle in 2014. I'd been working, commuting, for a mature corporation that was, on average, a two hour round trip each day, and often more like 3+ hours in the Winter. That's the year my wife and I decided we wanted to get out of Minnesota and head west. It's also the year I decided to agressively seek remote work  

Manda and I in front of the Great Wheel at Pier 57
My lovely wife and me in front of the Great Wheel at Pier 57 in 2014

It's been a hell of a 6 year adventure since then, that's for sure. We’ve been through a lot together. But we made it!

And now I finally have some of that time I've been looking for to post to this very blog.

So, this post isn't exactly about being an Engineer or manager, rather it's about celebrating the culmination of the incredible journey I've been on for the last several years. It’s important to recognize your wins, to observe how far you’ve actually come.

So this post exists as a way to pat myself on the back. I worked hard to get here and now I’ve finally done it! :successkid: