The last year has had a lot of big changes for me. The year has gone by so quickly that I've not blogged about most of them, but I'm starting to blog more frequently, and I wanted to catch you up on what I'm doing and where I've been.
This site, Agile Artisans, has suffered from neglect. I'm not speaking at nearly as many conferences and have intended to convert the speaking column at the right to a Twitter feed. I post a lot of quick items on Twitter than I would've put into a blog entry in years past. I've not updated the writing pages, etc, either.
My professional status has also changed a great deal. Last year at this time I was working with NFJS One, but I resigned last fall. Shortly thereafter I was no longer speaking at the NFJS events. :( Not unexpected, but disappointing anyway. Over the last six years I've met an incredible array of attendees and speakers. It's a great experience that was a great career move for me.
Last fall, after leaving NFJS One, I took a job at a local company. The idea was to be involved with coaching and test automation, but it wasn't quite the job I expected. To be fair, I don't think it was the job they thought it would be either. The economic downturn hit them as hard as anyone, and after three months, a third of our site was laid off, and I was job hunting again.
This time I tried something different. Instead of emailing my network, I posted my job availablity on Twitter and Facebook. Facebook, as expected, was a flood of "Oh dears!" from friends and family. Not a single job lead came from Facebook despite being connected with a lot of my professional network there.
Twitter however was a bit different. I had 17 potential opportunities within an hour! One of them lead me to a company named Pillar Technology, and about a week later, I was working at Pillar! The Pillar connection came via Todd Kaufman, who heard me speak at a user's group a year or two ago. Public speaking is a great way to land that next job!
I'm also the new Agile Zone Leader at DZone. I've talked with them on occasion in the past, but I've never worked with anyone who saw the value in having me "out there" in public. Pillar sees the benefit to them, as well as to me, so I'm writing for DZone a few times a week. Most of the posts will be short articles that are about the length of most of my blog postings.
Finally, I realized over the last year that my increasing headaches weren't really normal. It was gradual, but over the last several years I'd built up to hurting 24x7. I hurt when I woke up and hurt all day long. Low-grade headaches with occasional migraines. Btw, if it's a migraine, it's not just a bad headache. You sit in a dark room and cry until the pain stops.
My lovely wife had been encouraging me to visit a headache clinic for a long time, but I'd been resisting. I finally gave up and went. And it was a very smart move. After a few weeks of experimentation we found a medication that has lifted ~most~ of my headaches. I still have relapses, but I'm so much better than I was last year at this time.
I'm in a much better place now. I'm working with a team that has done much more with Agile transformations than I had in the past. I'm learning from everyone I work with... And they don't think "work life balance" means that work outweighs life. :)
I'm sorry I haven't kept in touch lately. I'll do better.