Three years worth of change and a summer of hard seltzer

I have been remiss in posting for more than three years! It's hard to believe it has been so long, and yet so many thing have happened since then. I have been in the PNW for over three years now. I switched jobs a little over two years ago to a startup I absolutely adore, called FLEXE (you can see my company profile on Medium!).

Technology Transition

At FLEXE, I switched from a C#.NET and Angular world, to a primarily Ruby on Rails and React world. React has been interesting to learn, especially after so many years in the Angular framework. Luckily, FLEXE has given me opportunities to learn and gain more understanding of React, including traveling to React Rally in SLC the last two years. Fun, small (but rapidly growing) single-track conference, and one of the only React-focused ones in the United States.

Another interesting experience has been a re-exposure to Android development. A long time ago, when I was still in college, I thought mobile software development was what I wanted to do long term. I did a capstone project for my Masters on Android, and created an application for the University of Montana. Life had other things in store for me, and I have not touched much mobile development since the mainly used version of Android was Froyo (aka 2.2). Now, I am learning all about the latest best practices, how Kotlin is the best thing ever, and how the terrible Eclipse Android plugin is a thing of the past (thank you Android Studio: you are not perfect, but you are a lot better).

Currently, some of our teams are also starting to break up our core monolith into services. The language of choice for several of these has been Scala, on the Scalatra framework. Scala seems interesting, although I have not had much opportunity to dig deep on the language yet due to other transitions in my career.

Leadership Transition

Another big change I have experienced while at FLEXE is a move back into leadership. I became a team lead again, and when my team became so large I was no longer coding frequently, I was moved into an engineering manager role. Leadership has always been something I aspired to excel at in my career, and once again, FLEXE has supported me in doing just that.

We have had excellent manager training, trying to make sure people transitioning into leadership are prepared for the challenges. I have also has the privilege of working with a leadership coach, who I absolutely adore. There has been stress, bumps in the road, and growing pains. But, there has also been tons of growth, development of new processes to help ease our road forward, and a celebration of huge wins. When I started, FLEXE was only 50-60 people total, with an engineering department of 10ish. We were all one big team. Now, my team alone is 10 people, not including myself. I am actively looking to split another team within the month, and already considering the next split for next year.

Looking back, it seems impossible to have gone through this much change and growth in three years, but the last two years with FLEXE have been the biggest part of this. Although, maybe being this busy is my main excuse for having neglected my blog for more than three years...

Beer-to-Hard-Seltzer Transition

Last but not least, my latest "beer" review. In case you somehow missed the alcoholic seltzer craze, let me clue you in. Low to no sugar alcoholic seltzer (think boozy La Croix) was the beverage of the sunny days this year. I was no exception to this fad, although a large part of this was swearing off beer (I know, I know) for awhile in pursuit of getting healthier (much success was had). In my pursuit of the tastiest of low carb alcoholic beverages, I have tried innumerable brands and flavors. Some of my favorites, in no particular order, are as follows:

  • Grandeur Peak Utah Cherry (really like this one, especially with a lime wedge, but have not found it outside of SLC)
  • San Juan Seltzer Rainer Cherry (my local go to)
  • Truly Rose
  • White Claw Mango
  • Truly Pineapple
  • Bon & Viv Clementine Hibiscus

I have tried a lot of these. If you like La Croix, or seltzer, you will probably be able to find flavor you like. If, however, you think seltzer is the worst thing you have ever tasted... I would stick to the beer.

All the hard seltzer