Blob of contradictions

Job / Life changes

Thu, 03/14/2013 - 19:25 -- btmash

It has been 4 months since my last blog post. In that time span, we have seen doomsday come and go, I passed the 30 year mark (I suppose *that* was my doomsday?), and over 3 months have passed into the New Year. In that same time span, my involvement in the Drupal community went down significantly (well...moreso than a few months before it - I was spending far less time in IRC, less involvement in the issue queue...less than I would have liked in many ways - more on that below).

Leaving CalArts

About 5 months ago, I was offered a great opportunity and one that I decided to accept. But part of my conditions involved that I provide CalArts enough time to complete projects I had already started. I informed my boss and gave him and my coworkers the same 2 month notice so we could start a transition process. It has been a busy period of time and while I was not able to get everything completed, I feel happy with how far we were able to automate our processes (this involved a complex but nonetheless workable combination of jenkins (for building), aegir (for development environment) and capistrano (for production environment)). We set up a Percona XtraDB cluster so the sites could remain up while the servers went through maintenance (though they ran into an issue with that yesterday - more on that in another blog post). We set up web nodes, nfs for uploaded files (which I'm hoping becomes something more), and much more. That process, however, meant my involvement would be on the server-side (which I admittedly love very much) and away from Drupal.I also launch a ticket system implemented in Drupal that, based on campuswide reactions, has been immensely successful in turning around the perception of one of our departments (I am hoping to do a case study on this in the future). I am hopeful that CalArts continues contributing to open-source (Drupal or otherwise) as time goes on.

Starting a new job

As of last month, I am officially working at Cherry Hill, a company that works with libraries, educational institutions and various other non-profit organizations, as their Computer Systems Analyst and Senior Drupal Developer. The largest change over my previous jobs is that I am now working from home. This has been very challenging for me so far since it is harder for me to distinguish between when it is time to work and when to stop. Just one month so far has involved working on site migrations (which means working with one of my favourite Drupal modules of all time, Migrate - expect more posts on this), workflows / rules, and maps (something which I had never worked on before). Suffice to say, it has been very busy (and very enjoyable!) working on projects (I am also filling out timesheets for the first time ever - I don't particularly enjoy this part but hopefully I can get used to it) :) But getting more involved with Drupal building websites also means that I finally get a chance to start getting more involved in IRC and (more importantly) the issue queue once again.


This one is somewhat minor given that I am moving from one city with LA to another. But after 4 years, my wife and I were somewhat tired of living in the suburbs (or as my previous boss called it, 'the ultimate suburb') and we finally decided to move to Glendale. Our move is this weekend and, with all the other changes going on, has definitely been somewhat stressful. But we are also excited by the changes (we already love the neighbourhood). One of the rooms will actually end up becoming my office so this should (hopefully!) help with the separation between work/home.

Getting in shape

Over the 4 years in the suburbs and my previous work, I adopted some fairly unhealthy habits. What used to be a daily bike ride to/from work became a drive to work. What used to be going to the gym became watching netflix. And what used to be a (somewhat un)healthy diet became a much unhealthier diet. Part of my resolution is going to be finding out more about where I live by biking around (for which I'll be getting another bike). Changing my diet is going to be a much harder part but something I have to give a try (thanks to the LA Meetup this past week, I am going to try a few suggestions from Erin). And hopefully, I can motivate myself to go to the gym. Probably the hardest but all these changes hopefully mean I am less stressed out and much more relaxed in the long run :)

What else?

Hopefully, nothing more. Maybe planning trips, getting a vacation, spending more time with friends/family. Definitely helping with Drupal project. Aside from everything above, I had been burnt out with working on upgrade tests in Drupal core that I just needed a mental break from all of it so I stayed away while I gathered myself together. Now that code freeze has passed (it has, right?), I can start trying to see how sites upgrade, fix some of that up, write tests...actually be helpful! And of course...some more blog posts :)