• Day 7 - Always Remember

    What I would tell my younger self:

    Well, where to begin? If I were given the opportunity to slip an anonymous message to my younger self, a single sentence only… what would I say? When you REALLY start to think about it, and the possible impact that the otherwise innocuous collection of characters could have, it proves to be a surprisingly difficult question, dear reader!

    We’ve all seen the stories that have touched on…

  • Day 6 - Let's Go Get Ice Cream and Have a Little Chat...


    To ponder the question of “What would I tell my younger self?” makes me think of moments of regret – the “if only....” moments. Hence, the temptation is to pass on knowledge to that younger self that might in some way change my current circumstances. “You should really study that second language. You’ll have opportunities to travel the world later and that will be a useful skill. Plus, thinking in multiple languages can…

  • Day 5 - Burning the Candle at Both Ends...with Napalm


    Time travel is an alluring concept, isn’t it? Change your fate, prevent disaster, or give yourself a second chance… all can be enticing ideas. If I was granted one opportunity to have a conversation with my past self, my gut reaction would be to say something silly such as “hold on to that hard drive full of Bitcoin,” or “stay away from spiced rum,” or maybe “that change you’ll make to the network on June 6th, 2017, is…

  • Day 4 - Post-Recollection

    To me, 12 years old:

    Don’t hesitate. Push through your fears and accomplish all the things you were given. Have faith in yourself and remember to always focus on having fun. Don’t let the bad stuff make you forget about the good stuff. Spend all the time you can doing the most challenging things you can in life! Remember that you have an immense amount of love to give out to the world, so be sure to let other people see…

  • Day 3 - Show Up & Pay Attention, Inspiration is Everywhere

    You’ll live in an era with more technology, more formal education, and more wealth than any generation before you. With the pace of technology, you’ll get to play with things that won’t exist in generations before or after you. Inspiration is everywhere, but you’ll rarely see it if you aren’t looking for it.

    Discipline yourself to routinely invest time to:

    • Find an unanswered question that excites you. There are many questions…
  • Day 2 - The Future is Hard to Guess, So Don't


    The future is hard to guess, so don’t.

    Having grown up in the information technology industry, initially as a developer, a product leader, and now as an executive and CTO leading technology for a public company, I have gleaned a wide range of lessons from my professional and personal experience.

    As technologists, we face a professional landscape that embraces highly charged evolution, where the demand to understand…

  • Day 1 - Slow Down, You Crazy Child

    Dear Me,

    As I thought about how to go about writing this letter, I remembered a quote by a great philosopher who you will come to love someday:

    "Youth can not know how age thinks and feels, but old men are guilty if they forget what it is to be young."

    - Professor Albus Dumbledore

    In our case, not only can I imagine what it feels like to be you, I can vividly remember it. So I want to frame my advice in a form…

  • Day 31 - Postscript

    In the very early 80's, a small team of developers at the XEROX Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) developed a new page description language and dubbed it Interpress. Like many innovations that were initially conceived at PARC, XEROX saw the value but failed to find a way to integrate it into their copier products in an economic way. And so, in 1982, two of the Interpress developers left PARC and started their own company…

  • Day 30 - Density


    "Isolated Neutron Star"https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=5905339


    Density is an interesting word. In science, it refers to the amount of ‘stuff’ that occupies a given area. We can talk about population density in terms of the number of people per square mile. Or, we can talk about the density (aka “weight”) of an object by defining its mass relative…

  • Day 29 - Segment

    In my prior life, I spent a good deal of time speaking and writing about customer loyalty and engagement, and how marketers needed to adapt to support customers’ changing needs.

    Marketers have traditionally viewed customers in groups – segments – who exhibit common purchasing, engagement, or other behaviors. But with the increase in data companies can gather about their customers, together with the wealth of interaction…

  • Day 28 - Recovery


    During the time of which I speak it was hard to turn the other cheek

    To the blows of insecurity

    Feeding the cancer of my intellect the blood of love soon neglected

    Lay dying in the strength of its impurity

    Meanwhile our friends we thought were so together

    They've all gone and left each other in search of fairer weather

    And we sit here in our storm and drink a toast

    To the slim chance of love's recovery

    I spent a decade…

  • Day 27: Initial

    According to dictionary.com, initial is an adjective meaning “of, relating to, or occurring at the beginning; first.” (http://www.dictionary.com/browse/initial)

    The important part about this is to remember that it’s just the beginning. Initial is the first attempt and is very rarely the final attempt. Let’s try to relate it to various categories to cover the majority of the readers.

    Sports: If you have every played a sport…

  • Day 26 - Utility

    It’s Boxing Day, and If you’re reading this on the day itself, here’s to you and yours! I hope your Yuletide celebrations have been filled with family, friends, and above all, good times!

    Today, I’m going to link my chosen word for 2017’s Writing Challenge, ‘UTILITY,’ to one of my favourite, but commonly overlooked, aspects of the Orion Platform: Custom Properties.

    I won’t keep you from your family long, but this is a perfect…

  • Day 25 - Platform

    When I think of the word platform, my first thought may not be your first thought. I immediately think of a social media platform: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn. Knowing this, it probably doesn’t surprise you to learn I work under Allie Eby (please read her entry if you haven’t already) as a Social Media Marketing Manager. I am also a millennial (though I HATE that word), so social media has been a huge part…

  • Day 24 - Peripheral

    Full disclosure: I’m not an especially tech-y person, despite working for SolarWinds. So, when I chose peripheral for this challenge, the first thing that came to mind wasn’t a peripheral device, but peripheral vision.

    With the end of each year comes the inevitable onslaught of “here’s why 201X was the worst year ever and everything is terrible!!!” blogs popping up on social media. Clickbait aside, we can all probably…

  • Day 23 - Parity


    (Image credit: Artist: Mayumi Tokuda)

    Parity. While the word means many different things, I think that in the world of infrastructure, we tend to lean towards the idea of parity within storage. (Insert seriously interesting read here.) For this post though, I want to branch out a bit and move into a realm of software/DevOps/automation engineering. Let’s start with some, very simplified, definitions:

    Feature Parity: The…

  • Day 22 - Object

    I had received an object of complaint letters, stating that the object of the project had not been met and that as Project Manager, I had myself become the object of the failure. My immediate response was to object to the accusation, basing my objection on the fact that the complaint was predicated on false information and therefore the objective was not based on fact and this was an object lesson in how to waste people…

  • Day 21 - Noise

    It’s a favorite topic here at SolarWinds, particularly in reference to noisy alerts. There’s a lab all about alerts because poorly defined alerts can have such an impact on the effectiveness of your network monitoring. Too many alerts can leave you feeling overwhelmed and not knowing where your attention is needed. Too few alerts can lead to missing important notifications. Understanding what is a good noise balance is…

  • Day 20 - Inheritance

    Screen Shot 2017-12-19 at 6.00.47 PM.png

    My parents – and my in-laws – like to tell us they’re cruising away our inheritance. Which is pretty much true.

    But truer than that is the gift of so many memories. Last year, I wrote about love and cooking. Much of the time for me, these words are synonymous, though not exclusive. So many lessons of love were learned in my parents’ kitchen, and whether my children realize it or not, the lessons I offer them in my own…

  • Day 19 - Gateway


    In the contexts of Information Technology and of humanity,  I define “gateway” as a portal for change. We, and our data, may enter new environments by passing through that gateway.

    When you discover your network communications are limited by what can be reached locally, your options are to give up, or to send your IP traffic out a gateway to other networks.

    There’s no guarantee what you’ll find through the portal will be…

  • Day 18 - Fragment


    I didn’t grow up with connections in any industry. Neither one of my parents went to college or made an exorbitant amount of money. My mom was a superhero/childcare provider and my dad spent his 50+ hours a week driving freight while I slept (he still does). I did, however, grow up with the only thing that mattered: parents who believed in me, supported me, and loved me intensely. They poured everything they…

  • Day 17 - Character

    “Be more concerned with your character than your reputation, because your character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are.” - John Wooden was an American basketball player and head coach at the University of California at Los Angeles

    I appreciate being asked by Leon to write about the word “character.” As a voracious learner, I enjoy a wide range of topics and sources for reading…

  • Day 16 - Backbone

    Screen Shot 2017-12-15 at 11.47.27 AM.png

    Jared Dunten is a loving husband and father, an extremely talented artist and copywriter, a fellow Aggie, and the quadriplegic survivor of an unfortunate diving accident.

    Jared was paralyzed after diving into the Rio Grande in 2000 following a camping trip with a buddy from work. He began painting in 2002, and now continues to “paint himself out of the wheelchair,” focusing on not only his art, but his research advoca…

  • Day 15 - Argument

    Being someone raised in a household with very stubborn parents, arguments were the core of my existence. As a parent myself, I have learned to not escalate arguments—although sometimes they are bound to happen. However, I want to immediately acknowledge multiple meanings of arguments within the IT world. Both of which we usually end up intimately aware.

    We have:

    interpersonal arguments

    scripting arguments

    My focus here is…

  • Day 14 - Cookies

    I was taught to bake, not cook. As a child, my mother and grandmother showed me how to measure flour, crack eggs, and transform simple ingredients into one magical, delicious, comforting whole. I made cookies, muffins, biscuits, and white cakes with pink frosting. If I relied on memory to tell the story, it would sound like I spent my entire childhood baking, reading, and riding bikes. That’s it. Cookies, books, and bikes…