Stuff I've Done

What is this?

While working on trimming down my resume / CV in the summer of 2019, I realized I’ve worked on a staggering variety of tasks in my brief 15 years of full-time employment. For my own amusement, I compiled the following list. At the least, this should serve as a list of future writing topics.

  1. Software development in…
    • PHP (full-stack web dev and data processing scripts alike)
    • Ruby + Rails (Much development speed, many feature amaze)
    • JavaScript (who hasn’t?)
    • Python (BeautifulSoup = scrapers’ paradise)
    • SQL (Most devs are needlessly afraid of stored procedures, events, and triggers)
    • Perl (Perl’s BFFs are sysadmins. It also plays well with asterisk)
    • Erlang, almost. The configs for ejabberd are written in Erlang…
    • Java (for unlisted Android apps, of course)
    • VBA and a touch of VBScript (‘04-‘07. never again)
  2. Product
    • Design (“needs more padding!”) and functionality (aka product management)
    • UX + UI (user experience: Branches through a workflow / how it works. User interface: how it looks)
    • Project management (…more than I would prefer)
    • Demo sessions and release presentations
    • Solutions architect work: Helping prospective clients and enterprise customers solve their problems with a variety of technology solutions that may or may not involve my company actually writing more lines of code to accomplish them. From data warehouses to email marketing services, not everything needs to be a new feature in our application.
  3. Management
    • Hiring, from soup (“I think we’re moving too slow. Can you quantify how another engineer will help us?”) to nuts (“Please, for the love of all that is holy, make sure he really does move here from Nebraska to work for us.”)
    • FiringI truly believe the aphorism, cheesy though it is, that people fire themselves. and all its related bureaucratic processes (PIPs, expectations documents, etc.).
    • 1:1s, performance reviews, coaching, mentoring, and everything needed for the care and feeding of engineers
    • Strategic roadmaps (creation and the inevitable immediate updates. I’ve yet to find a satisfying way of creating plans that work in agile environments.)
    • Countless presentations at monthly all-hands meetings.
  4. Business intelligence / reporting
    • So very, very many MySQL reports on every aspect of business health and product usage. Visualized in a myriad of charting libraries and spreadsheets.
    • Tableau visualizations and data modeling (Looker > Tableau)–this ended up eating 7 months of my 2019…
    • Some dabbling in Sisense (Sisense > Tableau)
    • Schema designs for reporting purposes (I default to star schemas over the exercise in excess that are snowflake schemas)
  5. DevOpsWhen I started, this was called being a sysadmin
    • nginx + Apache configs and tuning (webmaster)
    • Docker and Ubuntu to improve CircleCI builds. Protip: Just use a custom Dockerfile.
    • MySQL + Postgres + MongoDB: care and feeding (database administrator)
    • AWS (S3, EC2, OpsWorks [Chef], RDS, Route53, CloudFront, SNS, CloudWatch, EBS, MTurk)
    • Heroku 🙄🤢
  6. IT
    • Helpdesk and all flavors of IT troubleshooting: Computers, phones, barcode scanners, scanners/printers/copiers, fax machines, Windows Domain / Active Directory, LDAP…
    • VoIP / asterisk PBX (PoE all the things)
    • Networking hardware / routing (Ubiquiti > Cisco) + cabling and topography (Orangestripeorangegreenstripebluebluestripegreenbrownstripebrown)
    • PoE security cameras + ZoneMinder server + all the disk management that goes with it (Seriously, PoE all the things)
    • (Redhat) Linux server administration: CentOS, Amazon Linux, Fedora. Nagios. kvm. iptables. ssh. More things than I can possibly list.
    • Actual, bonafide EMail server administration (and subsequent reputation management) in sendmail and postfix (SpamAssassin, SPF, and DKIM are your friends).
    • Computer workstation (ugh, so many micro-ITX boxes!) and server design + builds (private kvm cloud FTW)
  7. Sales
    • I jumped in to place dozens of sales followup calls in a pinch at Lawn Love. Good times. I got one firm “maybe” out of all the calls. 😅
    • Copywriting to make the funnel sing
    • CRO all the things
    • Various email drip campaigns in Customer.io and Mailchimp
  8. Marketing
    • PPC (Google AdWords campaigns + offline conversion imports)
    • SEO (microdata and rich snippets, page load speeds and responsive layouts… all sorts of technical SEO goodness, nothing resembling black-hat strategies eg PBNs or sleazy content marketing websites.)
    • Graphic design (really! My work’s in brochures, billboards, and postcard campaigns.)
    • Copywriting (sales copy is different from marketing copy, donchaknow)
  9. Finance
    • Financial model creation (“Past performance is not indicative of future results”)
    • I wrote the payroll calculations for a home-services business that had a host of complex payout possibilities. Besides regular labor and overtime, there were personal days, vacation days, sick personal time, and cashed-in vacation days… all with different business rules and labor law requirements. 😤
  10. [Business] Operations
    • Business process optimization (usually coupled with software automation)
    • Hiring strategies (for non-engineering departments)
  11. Actual Work
    • Driving a TUG MT around SDF, delivering trailered containers from docks to their waiting 747s (when the speedier, open-top TUG M1A wasn’t available, that is). They have enough torque to pop a small wheelie, if launched correctly. 🙊
    • Light mechanical work on a variety of Class 8 equipment: Diesel fuel filter changes, greasing zerks and trailer pads, filling oil and other fluids, checking tire pressure, etc. The last time I stood on a Detroit Diesel 13 engine to reach the top of a cab was in early 2011. My least-favorite part? Checking the oil on cab-over Izusus–you inevitably get burned on something hot. Fuel filters on the Cummins ISX in International Prostasr similarly promised to burn you on a tie rod that nearly blocks access from the driver’s side of the truck. Sigh.
    • I’m a certified forklift operator. Does that expire?
    • Backing 53’ aluminum trailers into a trailer pad with a variety of single-axle day cabs and traditional sleepers. 😰😰 I never hit anything, not even with the less-maneuverable sleepers, but it was never not nerve-wracking. Driving an Eaton-Fuller 10-speed is easy, but embedding the “less is more” adage into your brain while staring out the sides of the truck, squinting at whether or not the trailer’s about to hit the ones on either side? I have utmost respect for professional drivers. 🙇 (My DOT certification has definitely expired.)
    • Snow-plowing, towing, and push-starting with this Serious Business work truck: F-350 with PTO and full snow plow and salt spreader
    • Hiking rental cars and trucks from Point A to B and back again.
    • Running millions of checks through 10’ long, high-speed scanners.
    • Spending hours thumbing through checks and their matching statements to pull out items that didn’t reconcile in The Machine. Sigh.
    • 10-key work! Even great OCR is hindered by bad scans and misprinted statements.