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The Journey Continues

TL;DR: I'm on the market as a DevOps Evangelist & Community Builder. The rest of this is how I got here.


There are always moments in our lives where there are things that happened before them, and things that happen after them. Sometimes those moments are sharp and poignant like a marriage, a traumatic accident, or the birth of a child. And sometimes those moments are really a long collection of experiences where it's hard to pinpoint a single event, but serve as a transitionary period none the less.

For me, this has been the amazing time I've been able to spend at Cage Data and especially the past year where I've dove headlong into the greater DevOps community and the world of Technical Advocacy/Evangelism/Whatever.

Before & After

Before April of last year, I didn't know there what a DevOpsDays was, and then I got invited to come out to Denver by some new friends and there was a time before that, and there's a time after.

And sometime during my visit I realized that it was people that mattered. And I realized that my story mattered, too. And I realized that DevOps was too important to me not to be a part of driving that movement. And I came home. And I started DevOpsCT.

And some months past. And I started submitting my own talks to conferences and being asked to speak. And I visited more DevOpsDays as a Participant and a Sponsor and eventually was asked to speak in Denver at the CD Summit & Jenkins Days and more importantly at DevOpsDays in Columbus, OH and Madison, WI. And there was a time before my travels, and there was time after. And I came home. And I decided I needed to bring DevOpsDays to Hartford.

Through the Shadow

As 2017 began I had a personal journey in March in the woods of William's Bay, WI. For the purposes of this story the details aren't important except to understand that through a weekend of personal discovery I realized that I wasn't happy as a Systems Administrator or engineer. What I want to do, what I need to be doing, is building communities and connecting people.

It's not as though I just learned that I liked this, I've known that I had a passion for bringing people together; whether it's board game nights or going to a concert or a brew release day at a local brewery, I like bringing people together over common interests, especially if those people don't have normal occaisions to meet or connect.

But this weekend, my journey, brought me through time of introspection and understanding of where I was now. What I got from that experience was a feeling that I must do this. I'm no longer pulled towards community, but being driven to build it. To build on a theme, there was a time before this weekend, and there was a time after and they stand apart.

Doing Better to Do Good

Since that weekend, I've had a couple of more speaking engagements and continued to press into organizing the local tech communities and the DevOpsDays Hartford event and felt bolstered in my decision to grow as a speaker and a community builder, but I also felt dissatisfied with how that fit with my employer. I felt friction in these two things, a dichotomy instead of a union. I didn't feel like I was doing the right thing.

In April I attended the live show version of probably my favorite media thing, Welcome to Night Vale. It's important that the show not be spoiled so I won't say anything more than my takeaway was what became my pinned post on Twitter:

This wasn't a new thing, though. This was an echo.

When I was in Nashville in November of last year, just after the election of last year, I was in a group of progressive technologists at a self-described aggressively inclusive conference. And Jill Jublinski gave a talk that just resonated. It stuck with me and I still dig it up. If you watch nothing else, just the first two-and-a-half minutes of this is worth watching. I am continuously struck with this call:

Do Better to Do Good.

Where I was working, I wasn't able to do this. It's not anything negative towards my employer, but it wasn't a good fit. I couldn't grow in a way that allowed me to be the best I could be at doing good.

I've wrestled with this for a while. In my case, Cage Data isn't just figuratively family, but literally family as well. And I truly enjoy working with them! I love the community that has grown around our company, but I cannot continue to grow as a community builder and technical evangelist the way I need to and serve Cage Data appropriately. Which is why a couple of weeks ago I made the determination, and spoke out loud that I will look for the next path on my journey. There was a time before this, and now is the time after.

Setting Out

It's now that I make this official and public, I am looking for new employment. Until I spoke this outloud it was some vauge, "If something comes along I'll entertain it," notion, but that is passive and I cannot passively journey. Doing Good is not passive and if I'm going to do better, I need to be active.

This blog has resources. If you look at the navigation there is a link to my speaking information as well as my current CV which should update as I update it. My twitter DMs are open, you can message me on Linkedin. Officially, I am available and looking for new employment. I want to help your company build a community around its product. If your company has a product that increases the Good that we have in the world, I want to help developers and technologists know about it. I want to build the relationships that matter to see real lasting change for the better in this industry.

I've already seen massive corporations like Optum sit down with new startups and say, "we're ready for something new" and I want to be a part of that.

With so much going on in the world, I want to Do Better to Do Good. How can I help you do the same?

Aaron Aldrich

Aaron Aldrich

#DevOps Evangelist for @cagedata. Organizer for #DevOpsCT. #bass player. #BoardGames junkie. Father, Husband, Lover of people.

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