The Sledgehammer – Version 2.0

November 25, 2015

Going Around the Table, 2015 Edtion

Filed under: Family, Holidays — Tags: — Brian Lutz @ 11:39 pm

Yes, I am well aware that I haven’t posted anything on this Blog in, oh, around 6 months or so.  It seems I’ve been a little busy.  During that time I’ve managed to move to a new apartment, get engaged and married, go from having zero cats in the house to having some indeterminate number  between 1 and 3 at any given time (it’s a long story, don’t ask) and started a new job as a contractor that turned into a full time position six months later.  Naturally, it’s all taken quite a bit of adjustment, but I certainly can’t complain.  And yes, I know I need to Blog more, and when things settle down a bit I will try to get back into a more regular pattern, but since this is one of the few posts I do on a yearly basis that I use as something of a checkpoint to look back at where I was, I think it’s important that I get it posted.  Oh, and there’s also the part about being grateful for things too.

At the beginning of this year, I had a pretty good idea that some big changes were coming, but didn’t quite know exactly when they would get here or what form they would take.  The contract at Airbiquity that I had worked in for the past two years had ended, and although it was a good opportunity at the time and paid quite well, it just felt like the job in general and the project in particular that I spent most of my time there working on was going nowhere.  The product I had been working on at the time did eventually ship in some form, but I seriously doubt anyone was particularly happy with the end result, and some of the subsequent stuff planned for the project (including some things I actually thought were working pretty well) ended up just getting cut.

I knew it was getting to be time to start looking at my options, but around the beginning of last December I got informed that they were ending the position at the end of the year.  I was grateful to have plenty of notice, and grateful to be in a position to not have to be in a big hurry to get into something new.  Fortunately the job market for my skillset is pretty hot around here right now, but it took a little longer than I anticipated to find something that both sounded interesting and paid the kind of money I was looking for.  After some delays for assorted red tape I know little about, in mid-April I ended up starting a contract position at Groupon doing mobile app testing, which subsequently became an FTE position at the beginning of last month.

Even though it doesn’t pay quite as much as the last place I worked, I’m enjoying it a lot more.  I still get to play with all the latest and greatest devices, I work with a great team of developers and testers, the stuff I work on actually gets released (most of the time anyway), and there’s a lot more flexibility and room for advancement than I’ve had in the past.  One of the best parts of this job compared to some of the others I’ve worked in is the fact that our entire team is local, which is a refreshing change after having spent years dealing with offshore developers.  This isn’t so say anything bad about any of the developers I’ve worked with over the years (I’ve actually worked with some very smart people in China, India and Ukraine), but it’s just so much easier to get your bugs fixed when your devs are two desks away instead of twelve time zones and potentially a language barrier away.  I’m grateful to have landed at Groupon, grateful for what I’ve learned and accomplished so far during my time there, and grateful for the opportunities I have in the future.

Of course, the job is far from the biggest change that has happened to me this year.  That honor would go to my new wife, to whom I was wedded on August 15th at the Seattle LDS Temple.  Having spent the previous ten years living on my own prior to this, married life has definitely taken some adjustment for me, and at times it has been difficult for both of us (I’ll refrain from discussing the little incident that resulted in adopting another cat as part of the apology) but I’m especially grateful for my wife and her patience with me as I learn to be her husband.  I do not talk much about her either here or elsewhere because she prefers to keep to herself for the most part, but she has changed my life in ways I could not possibly imagine both before and after I married her, and I’m grateful to have her as a friend, companion and spouse.  I know we’ve both faced challenges, but we can get through them together.

As another Thanksgiving arrives, I’m grateful for the opportunity to spend it with friends and family, and to reconnect with people I see often and not so often.  I’m grateful to know that I was raised well, and have come to realize over the past few years that some people are not afforded that luxury.  I know that in my life things tend to work out one way or another, but I rarely see it until it actually happens, and I also know that for some people it can be tough to see it happening.  Nonetheless, I know how blessed I am, and even if things aren’t perfect (or even sort of perfect) I know there’s still lots to be grateful for.

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