What a year so far (I’m finding it hard to believe it isn’t over yet). For the first time in a while I find myself getting back into the swing of things with this website as well as personal projects such as Better YOURLs and Primary Vagrant, the latter having received a nearly complete rewrite twice over the last few months. Next up is getting back to working on this site and actually start writing again. I’ve changed a lot these last few months to make this possible and I’m pretty excited as the pieces are starting to fall into place.
Back to my roots
The biggest change to make this all possible has been a change of jobs again. Last month I left 10up to join the web team at UF Health at the University of Florida. Yeah, another new job, I get it but I think this one could really be something that could last for a while (reading their retirement plans I’m really hoping for at least 8 years so that I can be vested in the pension plan).
Of all the jobs I’ve had over the last few years working for SIU Aviation is the one I miss the most. If it could have paid even close to what it was worth I think it would be safe to say I probably never would’ve left but that’s really not the point. I missed the mission and I missed the opportunity to contribute outside of billable hours and other restrictions I’ve come across since. UF Health gets me back to that place where I can really contribute and don’t have to always ask for a few hours to try something as long as I know it can solve a problem we’re seeing.
As an added bonus I get to work with one of the folks I’ve respected most in the Highered web space, Jeff Stevens. Truth be told I probably wouldn’t have made the jump had it not been to work with him and, as I’m the teams first remote employee, I’m not sure the department would’ve been willing to work in the remote criterion either. It did work though and so far it’s been awesome.
For the first time in 3 years I’ve reversed course and gone back to my roots in the industry that first gave me the opportunity to become a developer and it’s going to be wonderful.
Some personal projects
As I mentioned before the job change opens up the opportunity for me to spend some time working on personal and side projects. My only maintained plugin, Better YOURLs is fairly mature so I probably won’t be putting too much time in it for a while but Primary Vagrant can stand to improve from a number of features including automatic site configuration and better use of custom dashboards (all ideas I’ve gotten from VVV which has some excellent folks contributing in these errors). Already I’ve managed to cut the load time to under 5 seconds after the first provision, updated to Ubuntu 16.04 and managed to streamline the configuration as well as the existing features and a few other things. With a bit more time this is a project that can really start to help out more folks working on WordPress and other PHP sites and I’m looking forward to making that a reality.
Finally, and maybe most importantly, I’ve made changes to my lifestyle to really start using my Fitbit and improving things like diet and other areas to really get healthy. While I still drink more beer and soda than I should even those areas are getting better and with continued work, combined with more exercise, better sleep, etc I look forward to turning 40 in two years in better health than I was when I turned 30.