The greatest adventure …
In late 2015, my family embarked on the greatest adventure we had ever undertaken: Moving from our well established home in Western Australia, to Portland, Oregon, landing at Portland International Airport on a dreary 7th December 2015. While taking up a new job with Puppet was a major part of the decision to move, there were so many other things that we thought about. Looking back over the past year I thought I would go over some of the high and low points of the journey so far.
Kim (my wife) is awesome
I can not write enough about what an amazing woman Kim is. She is all sorts of awesome. No, that’s not right, she is every sort of awesome. There is no-one else in this world who I would embark on this adventure with.
It seems a bit trite and underwhelming but; Thankyou. Thankyou for being on this journey with me.
Puppet is fantastic
Top of my list of professional highlights, is of course working at Puppet. It is a great place to work, particularly my initial team, The Windows Team; Ethan Brown, Rob Reynolds, James Pogran, Craig Gomes, Ryan Gard and Erick Banks. As you can imagine, moving halfway across the world is a big commitment so I did a lot of homework on the Puppet culture and they did not disappoint!
I have learnt so much from the team; about Windows, good development practices, good testing practices, caring about what you do, caring about the people you work with.
Unfortunately late September there was an reorganisation so our initial team was split up, and I was placed on the Agent and Platform team. Even though we don’t work with each other every day, I still enjoy the moments we pair together on a coding task or bounce ideas off each other.
Our family is stronger
Moving was certainly a difficuly thing to do, but our family is now stronger because of it. We have less stuff and distractions and more time to just be together. I hope my kids look back at this when they’re older and say; “WOW! We did all that! Thankyou”
Learning to speak
One of things I wanted to improve was my public/group speaking skills. I’ve spoken internally in Puppet, started attending Toast Masters, but more recently, speaking at our local PowerShell user group and then the pinnacle experience of delivering a talk at PuppetConf. What an amazing opportunity it was and I’m glad I did, even though I was petrified.
Experience tech. conferences
Due to distance and expense, there were very few tech conferences held in Perth. Now I’m in the US I wanted to attend as many conferences as I could. I managed to attend four conferences over the course of the year, meeting some great people and making some friends.
Meet more Windows people
I’ve had the opportunity to meet and chat many people well known in the Windows ecosystem. I’m so used to just hearing their voices over during a podcast and I’ve been so happy to meet them in person.
Portland is a beautiful place
There are so many beautiful places within a short drive away. From Mount Hood, where you can trek in the ice even during summer! to the many forrests and river beaches. I’m not much an outdoors kind of person but Portland would be one place that could change that.
Navigating the public health system in the USA is hard
Coming from universal healthcare in Australia, to the mess here in the US has been very hard. My daughter needed urgent care soon after arriving (pneumonia) and I require common thyroid medication. Trying to find a doctor, pediatric or otherwise is difficult and/or expensive. It certainly makes me appreciate Australian Medicare
Missing friends, family and Australian things
Don’t get me wrong, the US is great, but it’s not home. I still miss my friends and family in Australia (Not enough to come home yet!). And it’s the small things that you notice; Jokes I don’t quite get, cultural norms I don’t understand etc.. It’s jarring, just enough to notice, but not enough to act on it; like having sand in your shoes.
Looking forward to the year 2017 …
Simply - Be more awesome!