Three Life Lessons From: My second job

My next gig was one-year as a software analyst on a small team for a federal contractor. This was my “big step” job because I finally broke into the IT industry. I knew software was eating the world and I wanted a place at the table.

The differentiator in the hiring process was not my computer science experience. That’s good, because I barely made it through Computer Science 101. Rather, the key was my major in Philosophy, because one huge task would be teaching users how to use our software. My manager thought my communication skills would be a good fit. I am grateful for her trust!

Photo by Christina @ wocintechchat.com on Unsplash
  1. I learned what Software-as-a-Service is (SaaS). There are products and services, which are typically viewed separately. However when a software product and corresponding customer support enables a process to happen, the result is SaaS, encompassing the product and services that makes the process happen. This was important to understand because most IT companies seem to be SaaS companies.
  2. I learned about the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). I learned how software goes through a process of creation, from problem to design to requirements to development to testing to delivery to support to training, and repeat. Typically this process happened one at a time as a Waterfall, but the new Agile methodology smushed everything together, reducing scope, time, and cost to bite-sized chunks. Even if I’m in Sales, now I know what I’m selling: not a static widget, but a growing widget.
  3. I learned about the differences in style and work-life balance of other team members. Some people go hard 25 hours a day. Some people clock out at 5pm to spend time on things outside of work. Then there are many people in the middle. I learned that every style is ok, and that the job of a manager is to ensure that a team can operate well together even with all these differences. I also learned that my own style does not work for everyone else just because it’s my style.

These lessons have helped me to develop my career and dive deeper into software advisory projects and teams.

The new school model: Learn-Streaming in three steps

Live-streaming is a growing pastime of all generations. It launched with video-games on Twitch, but now there are livestreams of any activity like ballot-counting or night sky-gazing.

This new medium gives rise to a possibly new and better learning model, which could be called “Learn-Streaming.”

  1. Livestream my learning
  2. Teach someone else what I learned
  3. Condense the results into a short summary
  1. Learn by myself while live streaming my progress and talking to the community to learn the new thing. This could be a video game, mathematics, cooking, anything.
  2. Call on a lucky community member and teach them my learnings while live streaming this progress to get live feedback. Teaching something is the best way to learn it.
  3. Number three. Create a concise, refined summary of my learnings in the form of a short video or blog post for others.

The old learning model skips to #2 or even #3.

With the new learning model, we can watch the progress of people striving to gain mastery in real-time. We can see how long it takes to do step #1 and how many mistakes that amateurs make to become masters. Instead of splicing the movie montage in between the entertaining bits, we can now see the blood, sweat, and tears from hard work.

This process ultimately benefits others who struggle with failure in step #1. It reassures those who need more patience to learn slowly and foolishly. Slowly and foolishly is how to learn. There is no skipping of steps #1 and #2.

All credit to FollowGrubby via Youtube Channel

FollowGrubby (Grubby) is a Dutch gamer who made it big while playing Warcraft III. Now, his occupation is live-streaming video games for hundreds of thousands of followers and millions of views while receiving donations and subscriptions. He serves as a great example of the learning model. Imagine you want to become a better Warcraft III player. I’d recommend to Grubby for three types of content:

  1. Livestreams of his video games, testing, and practice on Twitch. He watches a replay after every game, analyzing his mistakes and improving.
  2. Long recording of the livestream of teaching the basics (2 hours).
  3. Short, sweet, quick videos showing the results of all the learnings (20 minutes).

Have you ever seen the same car twice?

 

Maker:L,Date:2017-8-14,Ver:5,Lens:Kan03,Act:Kan02,E-Y

Northern Virginia, 2018

Have you ever seen the same car twice? How did you know? It’s likely you remembered the license plate.

License plates have great marketing potential. It’s only around $30 a month to maintain a custom 6-8 digit message on a license plate.

You can bring awareness to your personal or business brand at a low cost.

Which would I pick?

BEAWOLF
B3AW0LF
B3AW07F
133AW07F

I’ll think of something.

License plates are awesome.

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May 20, 2017 — Cruising to the (west) coast

I really like license plates. They give cars a fun extra bit of uniqueness.

I often imagine what states people come from, why they’re here, and where they’re going. Especially if they seem out of place.

How is a Hawaii plate in the continental US? Or a European plate? Some questions don’t have answers.

But this one does. Did you know: I recently discovered that rental car agencies will often have cars with out-of-state license plates. Agencies re-allocate their supply due to shifting demand for certain car models in certain areas and times of the year. This explains why I get the impression of more out-of-state drivers driving to and from the airport…

Gratitude to the heroes

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“Grandpa’s 104th”

Heroes deserve encouragement and love before, during, and after their journeys. Veterans are examples of such heroes. They often leave the safety of home to seek out the unknown and bring order to chaos.

When we spend most of our lives stationary and digitized, we often forget how fast life moves around us. How quickly a fire can spread or an ambush can explode.

Check in on someone who may need you today.

Thank you to veterans everywhere.

I live my life as a journey into the unknown parts of the Great Narrative

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Grant and Sahyli in Koh Samui, Thailand

My narrative is the reality I know. The Great Narrative is the reality I know and the unknown I don’t know. The moment I incorporate unknown bits into my experience, those bits become known in relation to things I already know.
The best humans incorporate the most unknown bits from the Great Narrative into their known personal narrative. They speak fresh truths, combine disparate concepts, and discover connections.
I live my life as a journey into the unknown parts of the Great Narrative.
To accept the hero’s journey is to make a choice to leave the safety of comforts. To journey into unknown chaos. Where I don’t know where the fuck I am. Where demons rip me to tears but treasures glisten around corners. Keep on taking in the unknown.

I live my life as a journey in the Great Narrative.

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“Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding” – Chengdu, China

What about a role within a greater Narrative? My actions fit within the societal wheel producing and recycling life. We give and receive belief in individual autonomy among other actors.
• Human life has value.
• We respect common law.
The Great Narrative needs actors. These actors have two attributes, which give the story drama:
• The ability to recognize the Narrative.
• The ability to believe they live apart from the Narrative.
A Narrative has a writer, or writers. The writer sets the story in motion. She never knows where the story will go or whether it will end.
The Great Narrator whispers to me through the shimmering essence of things in the Great Narrative. The voice floats at the edge of order and chaos. My conscience begs me to burst from underneath the surface of my expression.
Maybe you’ve lost touch with the voice that percolates through the silent noise when you’re bored with nothing to consume.
But I haven’t.
It’s there.
I listen to it.

A Poem: “Light tightly grips”

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Photo by Samantha Lynch on Unsplash

 

Light tightly grips the frayed, crusted rope.

Tugs lightly prick the rent hands that grope.

 

Alone, a lone canine stalks bonds built of trust.

Though windows, glassy pictures, paint kingdoms of lust.

 

What value does a sun feel while stars line its sight?

Not knowing luna mirrors its partner at night?

 

Recognize resonance, vibrating strength,

Echoing energy, manifest length,

 

Incarnate attraction, perspective of view,

Imagined appearance, extensions of you.

 

I stowed the best, eyes towed the rest.

My words are powers, my worlds are ours.