The Matrix (of Professional Development Excellence)

I am constantly espousing the importance of professional development and keeping up with engineering best practices. It’s a necessity if you want to stay relevant, marketable, and sharp in the world of software engineering. (It can also be hard AF, especially when there are other demands in your life. I’m looking 👀 at you two rugrats running around my house.) Recently, I’ve felt like I’ve needed more structure to my approach, so I’m unveiling The Matrix (of Professional Development Excellence)!

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Version 2.0

Portfolio 2.0

About six years ago, this blog served as a voice for my growth into a full-stack engineer. It was a candid picture of what I did on my own, and professionally, on the way to becoming a senior engineer. Two years ago it went silent. Not because the learning came to an end, but because I was fully engrossed in a position I loved. Although I am still happily employed, my love of learning hasn’t stopped. So, I have decided to dust this off, along with a revamped portfolio, to demonstrate what I’ve learned in this time away, and what I plan to do next. Opportunities for growth and learning never end. You just have to be open and motivated to do the work.

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A pile of my pseudo-code papers.

Pen & Paper Development

One of the first tips I give developers just starting out is not to code first. Some already get it and others give me the stink eye, at least until they hear the rationale.

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Learning By Doing

A longtime theme of my blog has been learning, because keeping abreast on evolving technology is a necessity for any technical professional worth their salt. Although the never-ending journey to stay relevant can sometimes be overwhelming, there are so many great resources one can use as a jumping off point to learn – videos, meetups, textbooks, magazines, in-person/online classes, mentoring, etc. But, the key to solidifying your newfound knowledge is to do something with it.

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Bentley University

Guest Lecturer: Global IT Project Management (Bentley University)

This September I got to experience a great professional milestone; being a guest lecturer for one of my favorite classes in Bentley University’s Masters of Information Technology program: Global IT Project Management. It was a class I had taken a few years ago on the way to completing my Masters, and it both excited and terrified me. Read More

PHP Architect Feb 2018

PHP Architect – Feb 2018 Issue

As part of my process to keep my professional development razor sharp, I’m making it a point to read more. A great resource is php[architect], the definitive publication for modern PHP developers. It’s something I have been meaning to read more consistently, and after having read the latest issue (February 2018 at the time of this writing), I’m planning on reading past issues as well. Read More

Book Review: The Pragmatic Programmer

In an effort to make myself the best developer possible, I have been reading the classics in the programmer’s cannon. These are the books you are assigned as homework on your way to a computer science degree. This month I read “The Pragmatic Programmer: From Journeyman to Master” by Andrew Hunt and David Thomas. It was nothing short of fantastic, and truly a book that I can see myself constantly referring back to in my career. Read More


A New Job – And A New Career Milestone

It is wild to look back at my January 2016 post, “Taking a risk and committing to a goal“, about quitting my job so that I could embark on a new career. It’s wild because since then, so much has happened. Professionally, I’ve changed employers multiple times, and personally, I’ve experienced some of the biggest moments of my life (marrying my wife and having our first child). It’s been a hard, but exciting and rewarding ride. It is particularly satisfying today because I get to announce that I’ve accepted the position of Senior PHP Developer at Babson College. This move represents everything I’ve been striving for with that career change; to be a true full-stack developer and gain seniority in that arena. I am so proud of this achievement, let alone the timeframe that I was able to do it (just under two years – woo!).

Let me tell you, it wasn’t easy. It was a mix of hard work, sacrifice, taking risks, having faith, leveraging support and mentorship, and making the most of opportunities when they presented themselves. I feel very lucky and thankful to have been part of this story.

Of course, life is not about getting to a single destination, but what you make of the journey. So, as much as this is a fantastic moment and I intend to squeeze every bit of awesome out what this new job will bring, I also look forward to what’s ahead.

I love it when a plan comes together...

Juggling 5 balls

You Have Five Balls In The Air

I was talking with a co-worker about work/life balance recently and he shared this interesting quote from Coca Cola’s CEO with me. Not sure if the link is totally accurate, but I loved the sentiment. In life you are constantly juggling 5 balls in the air: work, health, family, friends, and spirit. The first is made of rubber and the rest are made of glass. When you inevitably drop one, keep in mind that work will bounce back, whereas the others will not. The may scrape, or scuff, or totally break, but whatever the severity they will be forever changed.

That quote left an impression on me because I think it is so true. I also liked how he included spirit, because I think that the importance of our internal mental/emotional part of our character often gets left out of the balance. It’s an easy thing to skip, especially when it can be the hardest thing to grasp, and unique to each individual.

Anyway, gotta add that to the growing list of mantras I keep and wanted to share it with others.


Having A Job That Helps Your Career

At the beginning of the year I quietly changed jobs. It was a tough decision because I was only 6 months into my job at the time, but for a variety of reasons it wasn’t the right fit. I’m now one month into my current position and couldn’t be happier. Read More