• Beau Steward

Here Comes 2020

I considered titling this something like "And We're Back To The Roaring '20s" but let's be honest, it'll be nothing like that. That aside, let's get to the purpose of this post: Life update and going into the new year.

I'll be honest, I didn't think I'd return to blogging. And I'm not sure if I'll be sticking to it. I'll try. I don't remember where I left off with blogging so I'll just go with the current state of things.

First, the dogs. I'm pretty sure I posted about Benson, my first greyhound, in my previous blog. Well, he has an adopted sister now, named Leeloo. Yes, named after the character in The 5th Element. I was a fan of her racing name, Marylin Seide, so I changed it. When I got her home, she was only about 2 months out of racing, so the name didn't matter to her.

Everyone say hi to this weirdo

She has quite a lot of personality. And she has so much trouble holding it in.

As kind of a recap, I got Benson February of 2018, so I've had him for almost 2 years now. Leeloo has been here since May of this year, so not quite a year yet.

Leeloo and Benson never really had a lot of trouble with each other, but they have definitely bonded at this point. Neither are terribly use to being close to other dogs so spending time relaxing with each other is still a bit of a rarity. But it happens.

More recently, Benson has become quite a lot more playful. Not only has he become quite the cuddle bug with me, but he really enjoys his toys. This is a stark contrast to his time with me in the beginning.

Leeloo is a bit velcro with me. She has some separation issues, but we're still working through it. She definitely is much better about separation than she was in the beginning. We still have occasional accidents, but thankfully just on the cheap rug in my living room, so it's easy to clean and I'm not too worried about the rug.

So what's going on professionally? Well, things are going quite well at my company. It has evolved so much since the acquisition and I'm kinda glad I stuck with it through the really difficult project right after our acquisition. I went from Senior DBA to Lead DBA, and I now have a team rather than flying solo.

For a while, I was working towards management, since that seemed to be the path forward for me. However, our organizations have been evolving, our technology stacks are growing in complexity, and we're doing a lot with our data, particularly around moving it between the various products we offer. So data has become a very massive deal. A lot of attention has fallen to me and my team as a result. And the company has found a need for someone to be dedicated to the architecture of this area of technology.

I was invited to go the architecture route instead of management. I accepted it. I was actually happy about this because, honestly, I'd rather stay technical than go into management.

So over the next year I will be moving into architecture. Management is working out the progression plan as I'm not replacing someone, this position is being created and I will be the first to fill it. Exciting times are ahead, and I'm excited to be focused squarely on architecture.

What exactly will change? I mentioned in the past when I went into databases that it felt good to focus on an area of technology rather than have to spread my mental energy across a huge landscape of workload. This is a similar evolution in my career. As a DBA for this company, I have done all aspects of database work. I mean I was support, administrator, engineer, and architect. And I did this alone. Now I have a team, which is great, but my workload landscape hasn't changed. Moving into architecture further narrows the scope of my workload. I will no longer be support nor administrator. To some degree, I will continue with engineering, but my primary focus will be architecture.

Additionally, I will be removed from the Linux DBA team. There's a pretty big positive in this for me, but it does worry me. My focus for a while will be on getting as much of my knowledge dumped into documentation as I can. But my departure from the team will hurt. They depend heavily on me.

Along with documentation, however, I've been working on applying what I've been learning from The Coaching Habit by Michael Bungay Stanier. I've found this to be a great book as it intends to solve that very problem where the team depends heavily on the leader to get things done, especially when the leader is a person like me, who is out to solve the problems rather than coach the team on solving the problems.

So what's going on personally? Not a whole lot, really. I'm still single, living in an apartment, and all that.

I think I posted about breaking my foot in my previous blog. Well, I'm no longer seeing my orthopaedic doctor as it's no longer needed, but in my last visit I was still not quite 100%. I had to use a bone growth stimulator to get healing to go faster, which, to my surprise, worked. The device is expensive and sounds like a bunch of woo, but the first month of using it showed more progress than the previous several months without it. At this point, I'm no longer using the device, and I've removed the carbon composite plate from my shoe.

I currently have 2 cars. I've had my FRS since late 2012, and I'm now considering selling it. I hate to do it, but it's simply impractical. I've been driving my Impreza about 90% of the time these days so the FRS just sits there. And because it's parked on the 4th floor while I live on the first (requirement for second vehicles to park on 4 or 5), it's mostly out of sight, making it even less likely to be driven. It would also be nice to recover some of that monthly expense.

I'm currently starting the process of house shopping, researching mortgaging, and all that. I was planning to wait another year to save up more for a down payment, but I simply can't stay at this apartment. It's gotten so bad here that even if I don't find a house to buy by the time my lease is up, I'm leaving to rent elsewhere. It's just ridiculous how poorly The Connor Group runs their apartments. I will definitely never rent another unit from them. I'm sure I'll be posting dedicated blog posts about this at some point.

So yeah, I'm house shopping. I'm working on figuring out my budget. I'm also deciding on whether I want to stay close to work or if I want to broaden my search. I have some pretty good buying power so I'm not looking for something super cheap. Right now, my rent is that of a $300k mortgage, so finding a $250k to $300k house would be a pretty lateral move. Yeah, there's also property taxes, insurance, etc, and that's being considered.

So what's up with 2020? As I noted, my career is due to advance, and that may happen pretty quickly. I'm hoping I'll be able to get some personal time back so that I can potentially volunteer for Greyhound Adoption League of Texas. Personally, I don't really know what's to come and I'm not really pushing any agendas.

2020 is going to be a big deal for me professionally, for sure. I intend to focus on this and make sure things remain stable through that transition.

2020 could also mean a change in my living situation. The great thing is the professional change should happen earlier in the year while the living situation should change later in the year, keeping those massive changes separated.

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