Archives 2019

Vision for the IT Guy

I spent over seven years in IT before I really started to understand the breadth of the industry. Technology gets a bad rap for being such a deep field but not necessarily a broad one. In fact, when I was attending college in 2009… Hold the phone… I graduated from DeVry University A DECADE ago! When did that happen!? Ugh, nothing like a personal revelation in the middle of a blog post. Any-who…the career advice I was given was there were two paths in front of me, eventually they would lead to: 1) becoming an architect, the system-designing ninja guru of a major enterprise or 2) becoming CIO of a major enterprise. Said another way, either you go the technical track or the manager track. It wasn’t ever really explained to me there were forks in those roads. Quite a few of them really! (In fact, a funny aside was that my the advisor for the first college I attended told me I wouldn’t ever be successful in IT because my higher math grades like Calculus, Trigonometry, etc. weren’t good enough. Jokes on them!)


While I am making light of a couple situations, these illustrate some very big issues in our culture, the corporate world, and our education system. (Disclaimer, I am not calling out DeVry in any sense. I loved my education and it set me up for great success. In fact, I was even crazy enough to go back and get a Masters from their graduate program.) In fact, any one person should only be limited by their own imagination or to quote the great philosopher, (Captain) Jack Sparrow: “The only rules that matter are these: what a man can do and what he can’t do.” Our rum-loving friend had a great insight. The more I learn about my career the more I realize I didn’t have a clue when I started out.


So, here’s the deal, I have been around the industry long enough to watch the shift from hardware to virtual machines to now cloud hosted workloads. I have worked within IT operations long enough to go from carrying a pager to two phones to an app-based on call rotation. I have seen the Internet go from a dial-up access to email and AIM to an essential element for virtually every industry. I have learned a thing or two along that journey and I really feel like I would be doing the industry a disservice to keep those lessons to myself. Heck, even writing that out made me think, “Hhmm, maybe I do know a couple of things!”


So, here is what I plan to bring your way. I want to address some issues that weigh on my mind: work/life balance, operational priorities, marketing buzzwords, career pathing, just to name a few. I want to share my experiences, make a few jokes, and deliver relevant news, content, and maybe a few tutorials along the way. I want to make my content available via blogs, vlogs, podcasts, conferences, whatever medium I need to use to help my fellow technologists find out where their passion and skills could best take them.


So…How about it? You ready?

DevOps KC: Communication in an Open Company

I had the pleasure of speaking at the Kansas City DevOps Meetup in downtown Kansas City! It was kind of like a coming home party. KC DevOps Days is where I got my start at GitLab and set me on a path towards a career I never imagined possible. This event, in the vault of the downtown library was my chance to share GitLab’s story to my local meetup. It was well received and even led to an impromptu demo of the GitLab product!

In the IT Industry, many incidents have been misunderstood or blown out of proportion due to poor handling of communications during and right after a crisis arises. The how, when, and how much communication can be the difference between a media frenzy and an outage that people work through and forget about. Ever since a database outage in January of 2017, companies and contributors have received timely and effective communication from Gitlab.

SELF2019: Busting Open Source Security Myths

I gave my Busting Open Source Security Myths talk at DevSecOps Days Denver to a packed out auditorium. If was so well received, I decided to bring it back for Day 2 of SELF 2019!

Developers are constantly being asked to make more and more powerful applications. The more feature-rich the application, though, the more prone to risk it becomes. Many have thought the solution is to keep the code base locked up tight, that open source is undesirable. The truth, however, is quite the opposite! More eyes on code has proven to increase the quality and security of the modern application.

SELF2019: Getting Started with Open Source

This talk defined the voice of the IT Guy for me. This was the moment when the Sudo Show got its wings, when I realized that I was on the right track towards re-inventing my career. I had people in the room I respected a great deal nodding along in agreement. This was where it REALLY started for me.

So, you are interested in technology, you want to contribute to something bigger than yourself, you can’t wait to join a global community…but where do you start? Is coding the only way in? Let’s take a practical look at how to go from consumer to contributor!

SELF2019: GitLab Takes you from Idea to Production

South East Linux Fest 2019 was an amazing test of the IT Guy…not as a brand but as the person I wanted to be in my career. I gave 3 talks in 3 days and spent a lot of time chatting with different folks, sharing stories, answering questions. It challenged my introverted nature and my public speaking skills.

The entire conference was an amazing experience that I will always cherish!

Now more than ever, developers have more tools to pick from than hours in the day. It is so easy to spend more time maintaining the development pipeline than it is actually developing. What if the planning, coding, building, testing, and deployment could all be handled from one tool in one interface? Well it can! Gitlab can cut down on tool chain bloat and decrease cycle times!

DevOps Days Des Moines: Communication in an Open Company

Getting started in my career, I never imagined I would work in sales or go speak at conferences! I was very nervous and I think that showed. What was worse is I had the first breakout after lunch and the next room was a dive into chaos engineering! I learned a LOT from this event and later revamped my talk to present to the DevOps meetup in Kansas City.

In the IT Industry, many incidents have been misunderstood or blown out of proportion due to poor handling of communications during and right after a crisis arises. The how, when, and how much communication can be the difference between a media frenzy and an outage that people work through and forget about. Ever since a database outage in January of 2017, companies and contributors have received timely and effective communication from Gitlab.

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