So, it’s been a while…

It’s been a full year and a half since I published anything to my blog.  What have I been up to you ask?  Well, I switched companies and I switched back to a Quality Assurance role working for a big data company closer to home and in the field that I am truly passionate about: security.

For the record, I am not a qualified security engineer. I simply find working this this space to be the most demanding and in turn the most rewarding.

Why? The challenges and demands are far greater in the security field than they are in say…social media or content delivery.  Those fields are plenty rewarding and have some big data challenges of their own, but, when a social network screw up, it might make headlines but it probably won’t kill the company (there are exceptions to this rule).  In the security field, if your product doesn’t do what you claim or if there are quality problems, your reputation is immediately affected and it can make or break you.  So the stakes are much higher and the quality must register with the user else you simply won’t make any money.

Also, after spending 3.5 years doing front-end LAMP stack development, while I enjoyed working on solutions and designs I found some of the design process to be tedious and emotionally draining.  I learned so much at my last gig so I’m extremely grateful for the experience. And in the end, by the time opportunity came knocking, it was too good to pass up.

journeyOne major change for me was shifting from PHP over to Python. At first I thought the change might be too difficult. I had only done two projects in Python previously: some simple ETL processing and a more complicated web scraper integrated with WordPress plugins to extract post data (which I wrote about here).  Both were very fun projects and I noticed immediately how easy it was to code in Python. But coding with it full time was a different story.

Since diving in, I’ve learned quite a bit. Mostly I’ve been building robots to do my evil bidding, like, interrogate web services, test system components or even some Selenium/WebDriver solutions.  At this point, I’m completely hooked on Python but I still have a great deal more to learn.

So, my software quality engineering journey has resumed.  One additional twist is that I’m also now a manager again. Have I mentioned that I’m hiring?  I’m hiring!  So if you got strong quality engineering skills or security/penetration testing skills, you should reach out to me.

One thing I’ve found is that by being in a managerial position is I get to help bring out the best in individuals on my team.  Sometimes it’s through enthusiasm, sometimes it by assigning big tasks, sometimes it’s by finding ways to make life easier for my team to excel.  I still get to use my creativity for problem solving and I get a chance to improve my communication skills which I felt had fallen off a bit anyway.  Sometimes I feel like a teacher, sometimes a cheerleader sometimes a dad.  For certain I get pumped when someone on my team really digs into a problem and comes up with a solution. It’s fun to be a part of the process but also try to solve bigger problems from a position that can affect my team and others.

So, that’s my dear diary update for those who come visit.

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