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So lets start off with I am an old dog and I am learning new tricks. My entire career I have avoided the dreaded programing. In college I slid by my degree requirement for a coding class by taking Visual Basic for Industrial applications. I hated it. Debugging drove me nuts and there is still a hole in my bedroom wall at my parents where that brick of a VB found itself one night around 2am. From there I was just gun shy and honestly had plenty of other things going on that could afford to ignore learning anything outside of the basics of HTML and CSS.
Cut to today, I am in my late 30’s and going through a career transition of sorts. My timing for the transition is decent because the network industry is also going through a bit of a transition. For awhile now all the cool kids have been doing automation and Dev/Ops in the Server, OS and application space. But networks are trickier. I will leave out all the discussion of why because that horse has been beat dead a few times online. In this transition over the past six months or so I have found myself doing things I would never have guessed even a year ago.
So what types of things you ask. Ok for one I am now doing dev work. Mind you it is not great dev work and I will never be a professional developer but I have been writing code. In one case even some minor code for a library that is now in production with clients…scary huh. But mostly I am coding to learn and help move other people along the Path to Automated Networking including myself.
One of the lines that I have taken to heart in Life is “your only difference between now and ten years from now will be the books you read and the people you meet”. I read it years ago and since then I have doubled down on my reading. Prior to this I was reading lots of fiction and technical documents around doing my jobs as a network engineer. Since then I have expanded into Finance, Marketing, Strategy and more. I can’t begin to tell you the difference in my life it made. While I won’t go into details actions I took as a direct result of what I was reading helped me go from a mid five figure salary to a solid six figure salary and on a pace that made me part of the businesses I was with not just an employee. Read more
Ever since I saw Dave Ramsey at Catalyst a few years ago I have been a huge fan. Then last February we went through Financial Peace University. From that point on I have pretty much become a zealot. Yeah I’ll admit it. Since February we have led two more FPU classes and until our local talk radio show moved to a new format I listened to Dave everyday. As it is I continue to listen on the net and the podcast.
One of the lines that I have taken to heart is then Dave talks about one of his friends saying “your only difference between now and ten years from now will be the books you read and the people you meet”. I think there is something to this. For me I meet new people everyday and in the past two years I have been lucky enough to not only meet new people but actually interact with them and grow my sphere of friends and colleagues. One thing I have not been doing though was reading non-fiction outside of the technical material need to do my job. In January though I committed to changing that and if you will notice the sidebar of the the blog or choose to click on this link you see what I have, am and will be reading.
If you take the time you will notice that much of my reading focus is on marketing, business and sales. Part of that is me wanting to be better at what I do as a Network Engineer in an expanding market. But I won’t lie by saying that there isn’t a bigger plan to my reading madness and I look forward to sharing that with you all in the next few months. Until then what have you read and who have you met? Because 10 years from now what you start doing today could change your life.