…and in closing…

This week I am wrapping up my final days at a SaaS company I have been working at for 2.5 years, called HealthTrio. Next Monday, I begin the fire academy as a full-time Firefighter Recruit. Now it’s for real.

I have worked in Information Technology since my first semester in college at NAU. I’ve done entry-level computing, worked for IBM doing various engineering and support roles, I’ve worked private retail e-comm, contracted to the DoD, taught college courses, and everything in between.

I don’t think I ever truly found my calling in I.T. Each position seemed grasping and self-centered. The end-goal was money. The driving force that brought me to work each day was income. I did my job to the best of my ability because that’s who I am, but it left me feeling empty at the end of the day. I felt like a tiny cog in a large machine at most places I worked. At the end of the day, I did not feel that I had made the world a better place in any way. Even when I was teaching, I was lacking in satisfaction. I realize that that still sounds self-centered. It really is. The thing is, there is no real “community” in I.T. any more. The open source community used to feel sort of cohesive, but by definition is like the diaspora. I.T. has no union, no brotherhood. Each man is an island. Each man has to fight for his (sometimes meager, sometimes ostentatious) wages often to the detriment of his compatriots. It’s really a me vs you environment. There is no unifying purpose.

When I signed on to IBM at the beginning of 2001, I was in it for the long-haul. From day one you hear stories of how “this isn’t the IBM it used to be”. Over the following years, it became obvious to me that the technology culture had fundamentally changed. There was no longer any loyalty between the employee and the company. Each was disposable. Relationships were tenuous as long as they were convenient. This was a very rude awakening for me and a trend that I saw continue at every company I have worked for. Everyone is a hired gun, just in it while the money is good. Can I spell disenfranchisement? Disillusionment?

I have wanted to leave I.T. since 2006 I grew frustrated with it as a whole, but being the responsible adult I am (with a wife and three kids at home) I couldn’t just up and walk away. I had to have a plan.

God has given me a dream and has begun opening doors. He opens them. I storm the gates. He has carried me on this journey so far. I’ve documented this at every step of the way. It has been glorious. Incredibly difficult, but deeply satisfying in a way that I don’t know how to describe. I’m not there yet, but I’m on the threshold of a career being an agent for good. Between it and me is an arduous gulf called “academy”.  I’ve completed academy once, but the difference between what I did and what I’m going to do is night and day. I’d love to say “oh I’m so ready for this” or some other platitude or bravado. The truth is I’m nervous. I would go so far as to say scared. I’m still wondering “do I have what it takes?” With that being said, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. I will dig deep and give 100% every day.

I’m having dreams of Tucson every night now. I’m dreaming of being out on the street making a difference. I’m dreaming of pouring out my life’s work for something. Shoulder to shoulder with my brothers. This nerd is on fire.

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