An Idea is Born

So, I’m actually going to start a web-dev project, and one I think I’ll actually enjoy working on. My goal is to produce something that’ll help people burn through their gaming backlogs, by helping use the method I’ve taken up: play one game at a time, until either you decide it’s not for you (removing it from your backlog), or until you beat it (also removing it from your backlog). The site would help you determine what game in your backlog you should play next, based on what currently sounds good to you. It should do this by a number of means, but take into account critics scores, genres, and other metadata elements.

Not sure what sort of stack to use, I guess that’s the first step, eh? And making some ERDs. God, I missed ERDs.

House of Damp Cards/The Jack

It’s a weird thing, my skill set. Across the span of nearly 10 years, I’ve held more than a few “IT” jobs, all of them (nearly) being that of supporting systems. A myriad of systems, written in a myriad of languages, on a myriad of platforms, all of which I developed at least a passing familiarity with. With each (although there are some exceptions), I grew to understand their workings, but only superficially. I knew what errors could be thrown, absolutely, and how to fix them, without a doubt. I understood, on some broad level, the basic systems that fed into them, and that they in turn fed into. The problem is, that’s the depth of the knowledge. Sure, I’ve worked with AIX Unix, and JCL. I can do some basic things, but that’s the extent of it. I can say the same about Java, Javascript, AJAX, C#,,, SQL, and a dozen other languages, systems, what-have-you. I’m a jack of all trades, as it were, and a master of none (barring macOS, which I can definitively say I understand better than 90% of the people who work with it).

This leaves me with a feeling of greater and greater dis-ease. It’s swelled over the past few years, like a suspicious bump in your back yard, particularly in the area where you’re keenly aware your septic tank is buried. It wasn’t a problem, because the job I had didn’t really need any of those other skills. It needed the one, and the one I had in spades, which was excellent. However, it’s slowly dawned that my tech portfolio, while standing, is… well, limp. Thus the house of damp cards analogy in the title. Thus my entire point for this blog, thus my drive to refocus, to forge forward towards actual career-based mastery. The question is, what and where am I best served?

I have no problems with programming. I have a bit of a knack for it, although I don’t breath it like it was air, as some people I know do. I do love design, and I think that’s more of a passion than anything. I love finding ways to slot things together, to make them move, and, more than that, make them move cleanly. I love finding ways to improve processes, to make them faster, better, more tidy. I know there’s a career in that, somewhere, but for the life of me I haven’t really been able to nail it down. Finally, there’s management and administration. I feel that’s the course I’m on currently; I’m an admin, absolutely, but not in any concrete, “provable” sense of the word. The systems I administer are, for the most part, ones I assembled. They’re ones I understand, because they’re my handiwork, and no one really questions that, which is, itself, its own problem.

It’s like a craftsman in some remote mountain village, ages past. Maybe a blacksmith? See him, arms and brow blackened by soot. See his workshop, with its stone walls and clean floors. See his forge, his tools on the wall. He’s good at what he does, his work gives the village the implements to farm, to defend themselves, his work does what it needs to. But without contact with other blacksmiths, other metalworkers, can he ever be sure his tools are as good as they could be? He may experiment, and find new techniques, better ways of quenching, or folding, or sharpening. But he may never know the best ways, he might well die some day, having never achieved the apex of his craft, regardless of his innate talent, for lack of others to show him what he doesn’t know. That’s where some of my fear lies. I suppose that’s the point of tech conferences, though, eh?

I tend to wax dramatic. I am fond of my own words. My prose is as purple as a stormy sunset sky. I’ve decided to lean into it, when the subject matter allows it. It’s probably not going to make reading this any easier, or win me an audience, but shit, it’s who I am. So, it goes here.

Hello World

So, I’ve got WordPress. There’s a lot of praise for the platform, and I’m hoping to learn why over time. Over the next year or so, I’m going to be focusing on my own development as a tech professional, which seems weird to type out. I’m also going to be posting things here, as I think appropriate, while at the same time making this look nicer than what it does. ’cause it don’t. But it will, in time. I hope.

At the moment, I’m working my way through some of the beginner Python tutorials over at Team Treehouse. I’m also becoming increasingly aware that, if I intend to become an expert in Python, or even proficient enough to put it on a resume and not feel deep shame, then I’m going to need some sort of project to work on using Python. At the moment, this seems most likely to be creating some MunkiReport plugins. We’ll see. We’re (in theory) going to be getting Jamf in the next few months, and Munki might be on the way out after that. Or maybe not. We’ll see.

What else, what else? Oh, this is all being run through Docker. Docker, my oh my, what an interesting tool it is. Frankly, I love it. But it’s also a crutch; it allows me to spin up webservers without completely understanding how they work. That’s not good. So, that too needs improvement.

Anyhow. I could ramble on, but I won’t. Hello World. It’s going to be interesting.