About Me Personally

My life's goal consists of three words: interested and interesting. If at the end of my life that's part of the conversation, I will count my time here a success.

I'm fiercely loyal. Some just call me fierce. (...sometimes in a good way, sometimes not...)

I care. A lot. I care enough to try, to have hard conversations, to say difficult things, to give honest opinions and real thoughts. It's often not appreciated, but I keep trying, and I keep caring... because otherwise what's the point of any of it?

I don't believe in work-life balance. For two things to be balanced presupposes that they're opposing factors; that they're different things. Work and Life are not opposing factors for me. My life informs my work. My work informs my life. Being "me" in the various pieces of my life makes the other parts more effective. Being great at my job makes me a better person, which makes me a better parent and friend. Taking care of my people makes me a better employee. Spending time with my teenage daughters or my mom makes me see different perspectives, which makes for better ideas. They're not different things; they're all part of what makes me successful.

I'm a big believer in the 80/20 rule, as it applies to solving tech problems and life in general.

I could never be considered a perfectionist, but I do not accept "good enough" as an escape hatch when things get hard. "Good enough" is when it's actually good enough. The scale I try to live by, personally and professionally is basically: Is it right? Is it good? Is it beautiful? I don't always get to the 'beautiful' part, but it's the goal.

I'm non-traditional. I've always been a "non-traditional" student. I was a Software Engineer with a CIS degree rather than CS. I'm a data engineer, but most of my experience is with custom-built tools. My hair has been mostly purple for a decade. I'm self-taught (mentor-taught?) in most things. I'm perspicacious.

I ask questions. A lot of questions. I'm not one to simply invoke "industry best practices" or the like... It's easy to fall back on "the way things are done", which I think is used often because it's easier than thinking for yourself. There are certainly good ways to do things, and I don't think wheels need reinvention at every turn, but I like to take a beat to think about things before blindly stumbling forward. In the IT world, as in the rest of the world, there's rarely a "right" way to do something. There's an expedient way, and an easy way, and a cheap way, and an interesting way, and an efficient way, and a fun way, and...and...and... Thinking is often a messy and thankless business, but is worth it.

I'm an all-around data nerd. I'm the one in the room that is giddy with delight at the prospect of wading into millions of rows of data while everyone else is staring with glazed eyes hoping for the salvation of a fire alarm or natural disaster.

I'm a thinker. I see both the forest and the trees. With a little context, I can see down the road a ways to what might happen and what to expect and how pitfalls might be avoided. Yes, that's what any engineer-type would say, and it's not always true. In my case, of course, it absolutely is true. (You'll just have to trust me on that point, until we get to know each other.) I've been accused of over-thinking, which I won't say isn't accurate, but it serves me well in analysis, planning, and solutioning.

I'm a word nerd. Which is not relevant or particularly useful to a data or technical career, but I find a full vocabulary helps with communication of all kinds, a skill which is very useful in any career. In addition, having 'the right word' in mind helps with the creative aspects of design and solution development. For the record: I'm team #oxfordcomma all the way, and I think there should be t-shirts.

I've read a lot about the two-factor / motiviation-hygiene theory, and Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory and I think both are sound and applicable. Dr. Herzberg posits that certain things lead to job (life?) satisfaction and others that lead only to dissatisfaction if not present. Maslow's work talks about human needs; the premise basically that if you're starving or freezing to death, whether you have an appropriate creative outlet in your personal life is a little less top-of-mind.

In that spirit, my needs and motivators are:
  • To be respected and be with people I can respect
  • To be with people who think and to have room to think myself
  • To be with people who understand and respect what I bring to the table
    I know, I know... "ego, much??" I get that.
  • To be part of creative and innovative endeavors