Category: tech

  • I just had my last lab today, probably for a long time. I’ve been on and off again about finishing my degree in CS for 14 years, and I’m finally buckling down to finish the work. Part of this work was the second lab in the physics series, the heat and optics lab. I enjoyed it more than I anticipated I would, and now that it’s over, I’m a little put out.

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  • I graduated high school at 18, back in 2010. I started at Eastern Washington University in the fall of 2010 without any real issues. I had a calculus professor that spoke English as a third language, and her _very_ academic lecturer not a teacher attitude made understanding her explanations of complex and new (to me) mathematics nearly unattainable. I dropped that class because I wasn’t handling it to well, as I didn’t have the time required to study math outside the classroom. I was focusing on my computer science classes, and didn’t really care about calculus at that time. Little did I know I’d have to face that course down again, and now I’m doing it in 2023.

    I’m returning to school part-time (9-10 credits/quarter) at Eastern Washington University. I dropped out in Fall 2011 after getting an internship at F5. I was learning so much more and making great money, so I didn’t see the point (at the time) of continuing with a degree that I thought was actually getting in the way of my work.

    Now, I’m fortunate enough to have a flexible work schedule, allowing me to work 7am-6pm, with a two-three hour block in the middle of the day to account for classes and transit.

    I promised that I’d treat myself with something for returning to school, so I got an iPad mini (6th Generation) w/5G Cellular, in conjunction with an Apple Pencil (2nd Generation). This has been perfect tool for the little fold out desks in lecture auditoriums. I really don’t like those desks because most favor right-handed individuals, and leave out left-handed people. I have a few friends who write with their left hands, and I heard all about it during high school and college. Anyways, the iPad mini fits perfectly on those tiny desks.

    My note taking app of choice is Notability. You can record a lectures audio in real time while you’re taking notes. The audio turns out pretty well when you consider your distance from the source.

    Handwriting digitally is a must unless you want to carry paper notebooks around, so I’m working on my penmanship so that the built in OCR can more easily translate my notes to searchable text (it’s a pretty amazing if you don’t have chicken scratch handwriting like I do). I never thought good penmanship could be an asset.

    I’ve been able to take notes for calculus and computing ethics (a degree required, specific philosophy course) with ease. Notes are dated, so everything is in sequence like it would be in a paper notebook. It’s nice, because I can group lectures by topic as well.

    I’m able to use Canvas to access everything from the iPad, but I do most homework on a MacBook Air (M1). Notability shares notes between devices, allowing me to use the desktop app to access notes I took in class on my iPad. I use a Cengage textbook and homework site for calculus studies, and that’s best on the laptop. The mobile experience is not quite as good. I’m able to have the assignment and textbook open simultaneously when I need to reference an equation.

    I use Pages on MacBook and usually export it to Word for writing assignments. I’m not a huge fan of Pages, but it’s a decent word editor. Why can’t CS teachers accept markdown files?

    All in all, the iPad mini and Pencil have been a fantastic, compact alternative to pen and paper, or a larger tablet. I have large hands and find all the devices comfortable to use. The price tag is a little steep, but seamless integration between the Apple ecosystem made it solid choice for me.

    In


  • It’s taken less than 2 weeks of ownership to experience a fundamental shift about personal vehicles. Electric is the way to go for most, with few excuses. I can understand making exceptions for having to tow heavy loads or needing a utility vehicle for work (using it on the job site, not simply commuting). For the typical commuter, town runabout, or even the long road trip however, I can see no reason to not utilize modern electric vehicles.

    Fuel is an expensive pollutant, requiring in most vehicles an engine with hundreds of moving parts (pistons, cams, transmission gears, pumps) to burn fuel and gain only about 20% of the potential energy stored in fuel. 80% is lost, and that doesn’t factor in the energy required to convert oil to gasoline and the energy then required to transport it from refineries to gas pumps. Electric cars have an efficiency of 80% after factoring losses to AC to DC back to tri-phase AC. This alone makes electric vehicles 4 times as efficient as internal combustion engine vehicles. Electricity can be produced in a multitude of fashions, from hydroelectric, to wind, to solar, to nuclear. Notable exceptions like Chernobyl aside, nuclear is a clean and safe way to produce electricity.

    A common detraction about electric vehicles is that they will become an untenable strain on the electric grid. This infrastructure, already in place for at home charging, is augmented by charging stations at destinations as well as Super Charger destinations along common long trip routes. Strain on the grid can be alleviated by scheduling cars at home to recharge during off-peak hours, such as between 11pm and 6am in most cities. Further alleviation can come in the form of home solar panels, such as the Tesla Solar Roof, which after seeing recently I think would be a lovely addition to any home.

    When it comes to cost, there’s no getting around it. Teslas are expensive, and even considered luxury vehicles. I’m not going to assert any differently. However, there are 6 options from the list below that fall under $30K after tax credits, with the Nissan Leaf S falling just under $21K. With the average price of a new sedan being $23K, I don’t think it’s unfair to say that a consumer looking for a new car shouldn’t consider electric.

    Credit to Inside EVs for this list

    Noise pollution is another area where EVs surge ahead of ICE vehicles. After driving an EV, already I detest hearing loud exhaust clearly designed to amplify rather than muffle. Performance vehicles can now be whisper quiet thanks to electric.

    What about road trips, you say? Thanks to an ever-growing network of Super Chargers, and L2 charging stations around the US, chances are your closest charger is only a mile or two away. Sites like Plug Share allow for travelers to find charging stations, and Tesla’s in car navigation allows for planning to charge en route. I would also encourage people to consider taking the train or flying for trips, as these options are typically less damaging to the environment.

    You will save on maintenance as well. Regular oil changes, radiator flushes, and fluid checks are a thing of the past when driving electric. In fact, Teslas only have a scheduled fluid maintenance for checking and changing the brake fluid every two years.

    I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest my entire life. I have always traveled from point A to B in a front or rear wheel drive car, without needing all wheel drive. I’ve owned two Camaros, which I’ve managed to drive successfully in the snow and ice as well. I have owned a Tahoe, and I did not notice a huge advantage to driving a truck with 4WD over a sedan or coupe. Given EV’s superior traction control, even driving on the ice with a Tesla has been a breeze, and I have the rear wheel drive model. Get the right tires for the conditions you drive in. A rear wheel drive car with good all season tires will beat an all wheel drive vehicle with balding snow tires every time.

    I would like to offer the notion that we should re-evaluate how we perceive cars. They’re a vehicle to carry passengers from place to place, nothing more. They don’t need to be large, they don’t need to be lifted, and they certainly don’t need to have massive wheels. They’ve become a part of culture, and that makes change all the more difficult. People see cars as a part of their personality, an extension of themselves, when, pragmatically, that’s simply not the case. They’re a tool to do a job, and they should do that job as efficiently as possible.

    I look at ICE commuter vehicles as relics now, to be replaced by EVs at some point (2035 if legislators have their way). There are problems to solve, such as sourcing enough rare metals to construct current generation batteries, and how we can recycle and reuse components from those batteries for the next generation of vehicles. I’ll leave you with this perspective. ICE technology has had over 100 years to reach where it’s currently at, improvements continue to be marginal at best. EV technology is only 15 years old, and improvements over that short time have been staggering. We’re only just beginning to see what potential EVs have to offer society.


  • Using Fix Health’s ‘The Outbreak’ is a Pain

    My employer recently started a company fitness challenge in the form of a daily steps competition. They decided to use ‘The Outbreak’, a mobile app that gamifies getting steps. Installing the application was the easiest part of interacting with the application.

    Read more: Using Fix Health’s ‘The Outbreak’ is a Pain

    The UI

    The first time you open every view, you are drowned in a deluge of “helpful” notifications, explaining how to use the app in such baby steps that even a braindead monkey could use the application. Even Clippy was not as annoying. Fix Health: Treat your users like they have at least two IQ points to rub together.

    The interface is kludgy, requiring users to click on avatars to see information instead of providing helpful team rosters. It’s as if the UI team took the “what not to do” rules, and then discarded them. Everything you’d like to know is obscured behind an unusable collection of touches and swipes.

    Manually Uploading Steps

    The unholiest of transgressions is that this fitness application requires you to log in every day to upload your steps. This lack of automation is inexcusable; any modern fitness application will automatically import your steps from your mobile device’s native health app.

    There is one, and only one, reason for this decision. By requiring users to log in and upload their steps every day (oh, and if you forget one day, you get no credit for that day’s steps), they are driving the one metric that drives modern application development. It’s all to make sure they have a captive audience of Daily Active Users.

    This application is transparently manipulative, incurring the ire of coworkers on your team if you miss an upload, regardless of if you did the work and got the steps. This is a disgusting practice, and to my mind, immediately disqualifies this application as a viable or appropriate platform for company fitness.


  • I’d like to preface this rant unbiased and fair comparison with the following: I’m a software developer, and a nit picking one at that. It was immediately apparent that Teams was trailing behind Slack. After years of enjoying Slack (despite them taking 6 years to implement a desktop dark theme), Teams felt clunky, disorganized, and disappointingly immature coming from the largest creator of professional corporate software the world has ever seen. Given that Teams comes from the tech titan that is MicroSoft, they should be all the more embarrassed by this paltry offering.

    Let’s start with the frustration of setting your status and using an emoji

    So, you open up “Edit Status Message” and you want something fun like “working remotely 🏡” or “lunch 🍕”. Both of these are out of the box included with Slack. The good people at Teams, in their infinite wisdom, couldn’t fathom making a few clickable presets, so you must type every single status you want to set. No recents, no suggestions, just type it every time. What a wonderful age of feature rich technology we live in. 

    So, accepting your fate of carpal tunnel syndrome coming in a few years earlier because of this, you type “working remotely” and use `windows key` + `.` to open the emoji popover, and type house to filter down to a few options. You choose one, hit enter, and then, you hit escape. That’s when you’re hit with one of Team’s secret treasures: escape closes _both_ the emoji popover *and* the set status message popover. Wow, stellar stuff MicroSoft!

    So, you then must repeat the above process, thinking now there’s now way you make it past 40 without reconstructive wrist surgery, and think that repeating the windows key + period combo should close the emoji popover. You know in your mind that it doesn’t, but you just can’t accept there’s no hotkey shortcut to close this popover. Must you click on the X close button every time? The answer is nay, and I will show you my secret power here.

    The solution: enter TWO emojis, then use backspace to delete one, which also closes the emoji popover. 

    If you’re thinking it’s ridiculous, that this production product surely cannot have such a flaw, you’re not alone. It’s true, and I would ask anyone who can prove me wrong to call me out. I’m not holding my breath.

    Oh, and for those of you who are wondering how this works in Slack: hitting escape successfully dismisses the emoji popover while leaving the status message modal in place. 

    Point 1 for Slack.

    Moving on, let’s touch on memory and resource consumption

    Double – from my limited ability to compare the two (a surface go laptop), Teams pulls up to 1.1 GB of RAM when channel surfing. Slack barely ever peaks for 500MB. Slack is also faster in loading new channels, and presents a smoother experience (my opinion). Teams struggles to keep up, 

    Triple – I pushed Teams up over 90% CPU utilization! I had to work harder to get Slack to push itself over 30%. 

    Teams appears to have been so poorly optimized for its own, native, home operating system (Windows). Slack works great on any OS, and certainly outclasses Teams in terms of performance on Windows. 

    Point 2 (and 3) for Slack.

    Teams, Channels, and how they sneakily collapse without asking

    Have you ever wanted to have channels that you’ve joined to just hide automatically? I haven’t, but if you have, Teams is the perfect choice for you! Let’s back up a little first. 

    The assumed team structure structure using Slack is that everyone is part of the same unit, with differentiated access channels depending on factors like role, projects, interests, etc.

    Teams scopes this out further, assuming that everyone joining is a part of an organization, but must be broken into teams, and from there you can have channels. It’s not a way of grouping channels, it’s a way of separating users. 

    I much prefer Slack’s approach here, I believe Team’s teams is too abstract to be useful. 

    The layout, then, is that channels are organized under teams, which is one of the sidebar options. If this sounds a little cluttered, that’s because it is. You can click on the team names to expand/collapse the channels underneath. Teams takes is a step further in the app though: clicking on other teams will RANDOMLY COLLAPSE another team. This is completely intolerable, as now I have to click twice to get back to that channel, if I just wanted to quickly bounce between a few channels. 

    You also cannot drag/drop or rearrange your channels like you can with Slack. Slack allows you to create group sections, and choose how the channels are organized. Teams gives you zero customization options. 

    Point 4 for Slack.

    The Layout

    No contest, Slack has it all in one view: Channels, DMs, Threads, and Activities (Mentions and Reactions) all in one view. You switch between them like you’re changing channels. It’s very simple. 

    Teams doesn’t do this. DMs (Chats) are in a completely separate tab view from Teams/Channels, same with activity. More clicking to get to the same thing. More context switching, more view loading. More inefficiency.

    Point 5 for Slack.

    The uselessness of Team’s Activities

    Imagine getting push notifications on your phone, tapping on it, but it doesn’t drop you into the app or context of that notification. It just tells you about it. That’s exactly the experience using Team’s Activity notifications. You get to see what happened but, unlike Slack’s notification which take you to the context when clicked, clicking on an Activity notification opens a milquetoast version of the message/conversation you can reply to, without the rich context of the rest of the channel. 

    Point 6 for Slack. 

    Channel Names (better get it right the first time)

    So you go to create a channel (project-thing), only to realize you didn’t make it a shared channel, or some other kind of channel. You figure, no big deal, I’ll just delete this one and recreate it the correct way, using the same name since I’ll be removing this channel.

    In a sane world, that would be the end of it. In Teams world, once a channel name has been used, it is protected in perpetuity, meaning that the handy name of project-thing must now be changed. To fix this, you actually have to rename the old channel (z-trash-1), delete it, then the name project-thing will be free to use again.

    This kind of janky fix is unintuitive, and unnecessary. Say I really wanted that channel back, I would choose to free up the name when that channel was deleted, then bring it back as project-thing-1 or project-thing-(restored) and rename from there.

    Point 7 for Slack

    Wrap up

    It’s fair to say that Teams is lacking compared to Slack. It might be even fair to say that Teams and Slack are in different echelons when it comes to collaboration tools.

    Slack and Teams go beyond being just chat clients, they are the future of work. ChatOps, the practice of setting up workflows and status updates to all be delivered via chatbots and web hooks, is the future of work. Slack does it best right now, but there’s much room for improvement. Perhaps MicroSoft will rise to the occasion to fill that void. Perhaps not. I’m not holding my breath 😉


  • I was starving, and I decided to call in an order for burritos (you can usually save a few bucks calling in person, instead of using ripoff middleman services like doordash and uber eats.) when I was connected instead to a Sprint customer service line. The problem was I was a boost mobile customer. So began my march to the horrible realization that my boost mobile account had been compromised, and that the party that had done so had ported my number to sprint. Then came the deluge of emails, all asking if I was trying to reset my account. I had to act quickly, so I made the call to treat my old number as compromised.

    The first step to reclaim my accounts was to call boost and get a handle on this. This is where they lost my business, because at first they tried to tell me they had no record of my number. I told them to check again, and I talked to a rep one more time. I was then put on hold, and the next person to pick up the phone was a paralegal from boost saying they’d filed an injunction to get my number back.

    The second step was to change passwords on all of my banking services, and to replace my contact phone number with a trusted number temporarily. This is huge, as SMS password resets are a popular strategy for hackers attempting to access monetary information. Then, I reset my email account passwords for extra security, and began keeping an eye on incoming reset emails. The attackers even tried to break in to my Etsy account. I’m still having some difficulty with services that I was only logged in to over mobile, and it’s turning out to be a minor headache to changing your phone number w/out access.

    My third and final step was to replace both my phone and phone number, in the case my phone had been compromised by malware as well. I’m with a new carrier, and they allowed me to restrict my account so that in order to make any changes, I have to show up in person with photo ID. This is a huge relief, and massive peace of mind compared to the pathetic 4 DIGIT PIN and phone number combo “security” that Boost mobile has.

    I have never experienced this before, and I have to say, I never want to again. I’ve been reminded of the importance of cyber-security, and I would go so far as to say that Boost Mobile is actively criminally negligent in their account security practices. I was extremely lucky; to my knowledge, I haven’t had anything stolen as a result of this security breach. I have rethought my position on SMS 2FA, and I deem it an unacceptable, restrictive, vulnerable, and antiquated method of identity verification.


  • Just wanted to share my current work setup.

    • 2019 MacBook Pro 16″
      • Linux without the hassle, and I get great integration w/my phone and watch
    • daskeyboard 4 w/gel wristpad
      • I used to hate the wrist pad, but it’s necessary for me when I’m standing, and it’s not bad while sitting either
    • Logitech M510 (with Logi Options driver)
      • Using Logi Options, I almost prefer this to a magic mouse. I can change workspaces and open mission control through a Logitech mouse that’s comfy.
    • Dell 43″ 4K monitor
    • beats studio3
      • They came with my iMac, but I was really surprised by their comfort, sound, and longevity. I have no plans to replace them

    All of this sits atop a 48″ standing desk. My butt is kept off the ground by my own two feet, a standing chair, a kneeling chair, and a classic office chair. Humans weren’t made to stay in the same position for 8 hours!

    Another important aspect of a work setup, and one not often discussed, is distraction prevention. I listen to familiar or background music w/noise cancellation, and I’ve isolated my work space away from any visible distractions. I use a browser extension to keep me on task and not spend too much time on reddit or ycombinator.

    I’m usually rocking a t-shirt and pajama/lounge pants and slippers. That was before and after COVID when working remote.

    In


  • Like many in the tech industry, I’ve had the following conversation:

    Me: Hey boss, I want to work from home. Here’s how I can do all aspects of my job remotely. 
    Boss: No way, letting employees work from home would be disastrous for the company. 
    Me: Yeah, ok. Thanks anyways.

    If that conversation sounds a little familiar, it’s because you’ve either tried to ask to go remote in the past, or you’ve been the boss in this scenario, unwilling to even try. Hey, who’s going to blame your boss for sticking to tried and true? I know I’ve worked for my share of bosses left over from the Reaganomics era[1]. If you’re like me and early on got a taste of working for a non-traditional company, then you know there is more to life than wearing a cheap suit to a 9-5. The truth is, at least for the last 5 years, we’ve been able to work remotely all along.

    Software development was already very web based. Download the repo from source control, make changes, consult the myriad of help sites, and push your changes. Make a pull request so your boss can review your changes online. Test out deployment by pushing to testing and staging servers. Update your scrum tasks, take another one… you get the idea. Software developers already used a setup ideal for remote work prior to 2020, in fact, prior to 2010! So you can imagine the frustration of being denied the permission to work from home, when in fact, the nature of our work made it perfect for that.

    Tools like Slack, Jira, Trello, and video conferencing have been not-so-quietly laying the foundation for remote work over the last decade. Each one has it’s own part to play, and just through combining a few cherry-picked vendors, you can have a remote work ecosystem in place in hours! I say it in jest, but it’s really true. We’ve been ready for remote work since Slack, really. With built in file sharing, voice/video conferencing, and all manner of communicating via text, you can run a lot off just one program. It seems that we, the workers, have been artificially held back over the last two to three years. In reality, companies and managers were mostly likely too scared to try going about work a new way. Fear of failure significantly curtails progress, and how the workforce does their work is no exception.

    I haven’t even touched on the benefits of remote work.

    • Improved mental health
    • Fewer commutes, saving time, gas, and the environment
    • It’s greener, as you’re not paying to heat/cool and office
    • Not paying for an office space saves money
    • The ability to attend meetings in casual clothes that would otherwise have been in business attire
    • The ability to work for a dream company that’s in another city

    That’s just to name a few. I myself have benefited from the last item on that list – I’m lucky enough to have landed a Tech Lead role at a New York company, something that I never dreamed would have happened. It’s a better work/life balance. It makes employees happy, which in turn makes them better workers, which in turn will make managers happy.

    So now we’re there. It’s a shame that it took a pandemic for us to realize it. I have to say, there were some stumbles while feeling this new realm out. I wasn’t too hipped on losing out on the office benefits (espresso, snacks, team lunches, frosty beverage Friday) that made office work bearable. As soon as I readjusted my head, however, I began to realize that I get to make the coffee that I like, not the grounds that are at the office. Just on the gas savings alone, I could take myself out to a nice restaurant for lunch or dinner. I missed my teammates dearly, though I have to admit it was easier to work without all the hubbub in the office[2]. Ultimately, I think remote work will stick around. It might even gain traction. All I know is that I don’t think I’ll ever work for a company that requires on-site presence again unless they are willing to pay through the nose.


    [1] I know I’ve worked for some bosses that were just cold leftovers from the Reaganomics era. They’re not leaders, they’re bosses. They say do something, you shut up and do it. They don’t listen to suggestions, they don’t accept any different ways of doing things. <hot-take>They’re sad excuses for humans, as good humans possess ingenuity, and are open to trying new things.</hot-take>

    [2] If you’re someone that brings their dog to work and it barks more than once a day, screw you. Your coworkers that are trying to concentrate on their work are probably thinking the same thing. Also, like me, your coworkers with allergies are probably thinking something a little less polite than “screw”. As a society, we’re good about respecting food/latex allergy boundaries. Those of us with dog/cat allergies get treated like lepers when we don’t pet whatever domesticated critter.

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  • I’ve had an echo dot hooked up to some speakers for a while, but it hardly works, and doesn’t like pairing to my iMac. So, I recycled an otherwise dormant Raspberry Pi 2 unit and now it’s an AirPlay receiver .

    Why would you want to do this?

    1. AirPlay is a fairly robust media streaming protocol, and there is open source (unofficial) software for building your own service.
    2. The Echo Dot wakes for odd reasons.
    3. Even when you have the Echo’s mic off and brief mode turned on, it will still blast “NOW PLAYING FROM DENNIS’S IPHONE” at top volume. This happens every single time you stop playing music for more than 5 or 10 minutes.
    4. The Echo Dot keeps making “beep boop” noises if my phone loses connection.
    5. The Echo Dot does not want to pair with my iMac. Whether this issue is just with my setup or not, it makes it semi-useless as a bluetooth speaker to me. I don’t want to manage my music from my phone while I’m working on what should be the all-in-one center of my attention.
    6. The Raspberry Pi doesn’t update itself automatically. It will run the same airplay service, the same OS, and the same way – 27/4 – until it loses power or network connectivity. The same cannot be said about Echos, or Google homes, or even the iHome. It’s something I get to set up once and forget about until I replace it with something else.
    7. Lack of vendor lock in. Slight ironic when talking about anything Apple, but to my surprise more and more non-apple devices are shipping with AirPlay compatibility. This inspires hope that Apple may release AirPlay as an official software kit that developers could use.
    8. Cost. A raspberry pi 3 (can’t buy the 2) kit costs less than $50, and it has the audio ports and more than enough computing power to handle an AirPlay service. Considering that the raspberry pi could handle other common server tasks (perhaps as a smart home brain, file server, media server, etc.) in concert with AirPlay, I’d call that a bargain.

    The list could go on, but you get the idea.

    There are a few articles out there, the one resource I want to point out is the actual software making this possible: shareport-sync at https://github.com/mikebrady/shairport-sync

    The Results

    Now, all my devices see the raspberry pi as an airplay device.

    Appears nicely on all my iOS devices

    The sound comes through just fine for office/background, but I wouldn’t use it to actively listen to the music. This can be remedied by buying sound cards for the pi, but I don’t see the need to currently.

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  • Inspired by Elizabeth Irgens’s note, here’s a brief stroll down memory lane where I’ll touch on previous jobs.


    The Upsell

    My first real job was working as a retail clerk for Best Buy. This was in the days before their current CEO (2020) revamped their approach to pricing and customer service. As a checkout clerk, we were held to conversion metrics such as selling a certain number of protection plans, and getting customers to sign up for terrible credit cards.

    I learned that it’s not as hard to upsell people if you instill a little doubt about the quality of the product they’re buying. In all reality, most people didn’t need the protection plans, or the protection plans that were sold didn’t offer the coverage we were told to imply.


    The Internship (absolutely nothing like the movie)

    My second job was during Sophomore year of college, and it was one of the best ever. F5 Networks offers technical internships, and I was lucky enough to land one. 

    I learned a lot of what I know about working with bash, building and maintaining server racks, and web development. I also learned a bit about office politics, and that internships don’t always lead to job placement in a company. That was a rough lesson to learn.


    The Warehouse

    Shortly after my internship was over, I started working for a medium sized business in stores/receiving, later to switch to shipping. Here I learned what a hard day’s work really was, how to stand for 10 hours on end working through freezing temperatures.

    My takeaway was that I’m not really cut out of blue collar labor on the regular. I’m an office man, through and through.


    The Money People

    I worked for a time as a database/server admin + general IT guy for a small financial advising firm. It was a stuffy business, both the clients and my fellow coworkers were mostly super conservative religious types. In fact, my boss even tried to get me to join a church so I could get free health insurance through them.

    I didn’t, and I learned a powerful lesson. These guys paid me $10 / hour in 2014 for skills that took me a long time to hone. Just because a door is open, doesn’t mean you walk through it – and if you do and the room isn’t to your liking, walk back through that door.


    The Medical Field

    After a struggle of conscience and will, I decided that I needed to dip my toes in the medical field to see if it was right for me. I became a CNA and worked in an assistive living facility. It was all pretty hands off, save getting to help with med pass.

    I highly enjoyed my time at this job, and I learned compassion for those struck by degenerative disease. I also feel pity for all people in nursing homes / assistive living whose highlight of the day is to go down to the dining room an hour early to just sit and wait for a mediocre dinner.


    The Addiction Recovery Center

    Much like my work as a CNA, working to help addicts through their recovery process was a very pivotal point in my life. It taught me compassion and understanding for those suffering from addiction, and changed my perspective in a huge way.


    Triad Behavioral Health

    Once I completed web development certs, I started to work for an e-learning company. This was my baptism by fire for Laravel, and I was really able to flex my PHP skills. I also learned how to work with people who were remote.

    I would have stayed with this company longer, but they shut our department down.


    The Dev Shop

    Almost immediately after I left TBH, I started working for a development firm in Spokane. They were on the small size, 12 employees in total, with about 7 full time developers. I learned about networking, and how to work remotely with other companies on a daily basis. Ultimately, I found that I wasn’t happy jumping from project to project, being unable to take long term ownership of any products/projects, and having to kiss ass to rude customers. 


    And onwards…

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