I have been thinking hard about the purpose of this site. Starting something is always the hardest part of any journey. This project was initially a challenge to myself as I took on a new position at my company, transitioning from a software engineer developing a custom CI/CD solution to the infrastructure engineering team managing the company’s cloud infrastructure, Kubernetes clusters, and everything in between. This was my way to show that I can stand up a cloud-native stack utilizing the tools of the trade. Coming from a more “traditional” software engineering team focused on building a single product, I had a chance to leverage my existing skill set by setting up a project in GitHub, spinning up tickets, and getting to work. You can follow along with this project on GitHub.

Once I had a successful page up and running, I looked back at the project and made sure I delivered everything I sought out to deliver. A project with a roadmap utilizing a version control system, check. All of my infrastructure hosted in the cloud, check. Everything managed with Terraform, check. Not bad, but now what? This is the never-ending question all engineers eventually run into. How can I make my project more streamlined? Automate all the things! Get a decent CI/CD pipeline set up. Make sure everything is tested. Keep adding some nice-to-have features to make the SDLC smoother. These are all things on my roadmap, no doubt. However, as I sat there pulling up this page on my computer, then on my phone to make sure everything looked reasonably clean, I thought to myself this could be more than just a place for me to host my resume.

If you know anything about me, you know I am an avid reader. I devour books, mostly fantasy these days, but if it has a compelling story with morally gray characters, I’m all in. Recently, I have started dabbling in philosophy, most notably Stoic philosophers. Right now, it’s a lot of Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. The Stoics talk a lot about following your nature, honing your disciplines, and living with virtue. One way to hold yourself accountable is to write about your experiences. After reading Seneca’s “On the Shortness of Life,” it came to me. This blog will be my outlet. I have decided to write about my personal and professional growth. I am thinking of it as my cloud journal. The theme that I am going to focus on is “know your systems.” As an engineer, I am constantly striving to understand how things work fundamentally. This will be a space where I can explore those ideas. I will first talk about the systems and tools that were used to build this cloud stack. I will be sure to focus on the things that I struggled with and how I overcame those obstacles. Then I will talk about other systems, not just software-based ones, such as working in a team, the mind, etc. I will discuss the tools and processes I implement in my day-to-day as I try to navigate through life.

I am not doing this for views or ad revenue. This will be my space to think deeply about the world in my personal and professional life. I hope to be able to look back on this project and see what systems I have gotten to work with, what tools I have learned to wield, and most importantly, how I have held myself accountable to the ideas I think are worth living out. If you happen to stumble upon this site and want to talk about anything I discuss, please feel free to reach out to me! I can be found mostly on GitHub and LinkedIn nowadays. I’m not on social media, which may be something to write about in the future. I welcome you to Know Your Systems!