Friday, August 01, 2008

The First Law Series, Joe Ambercrombie

The Blade Itself (The First Law: Book One)

Before They are Hanged (The First Law: Book Two)

Last Argument Of Kings (The First Law: Book Three)

Joe Ambercrombie

Pyr Publishing

This series came as a recommendation from my cousin. He was right, these are a great read!  I plowed through books one, and two, in less than two weeks.  I am anticipating the release of book three in September.

A mark of a good author seems to be when each book in a series is better than the last.  While there aren't as many books in this series as, say, Steven Eriksons The Mazalan Book of the Fallen series, its exceeded expectations already.

Highly recommended!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Winds of Change

This is mostly a personal post, so if that bothers you dear reader, turn away, turn away now! 

Before we go too far, it must be said that I am grateful for the experiences I have had with Supply Chain.  My knowledge, experiences and skills, I owe in a large part to opportunities (there are no challenges, only opportunities) presented to me during my tenure in Supply Chain. 

I’ve recently transitioned from an architectural role to one focusing primarily on development.  This was a completely voluntary transition as the goals of a supply chain architect, and my personal happiness, have been conflicting for some time.  The desire to write code, every day, did not leave me much of an option with Supply Chain.  Fortunately, the opportunity to do something about it came up this year, with minimal amount of impact to my family’s lifestyle.

The opportunity I mention was a developer opening on another team here at Mary Kay: the Sales and Marketing CRM team.  SAM-CRM is on the custom development side of the house (vs. packaged applications).  My role is to be one of developer with the group responsible for delivering application platform and tools. 

What was the impact to my family or career?

Honestly, the impact to my family should be non-existent except that I should be happier around the dinner table!  I still get up and go to work at the same company, the benefits are still the same, heck, even my office number will remain the same.  The possibility of travel will likely remain about the same, but probably fewer industry conferences and less vendor interaction. 

The impact to my career will remain to be seen.  There are two immediate changes though: the loss of a title  and the loss of an office.

The loss of the office is the easiest to handle.  My office was typical in that it was a dark hole, or would have been if not for the harsh fluorescent lighting, where I stored stuff.  It wasn’t even a good place to handle conference calls because either my voice was too loud, or the walls too thin, so I managed to irritate everyone around me during them.  Of course, no one said anything until I was moving, so I can’t do anything about that now!  Sorry guys! 

My new workspace is completely different than the old. On the outside edge of a sea of cubes, I face blue sky, mildly obstructed by building elements, I at least have natural lighting – I can feel brain cells regenerating just passing through the area.

The loss of the title was the hardest for me to accept – only in that I thought about it for all of the space of the conversation about it.  I’m not big on titles, but this one was mine.  Roles are a completely different matter – I absolutely believe in roles on a team, but not titles.  So, the loss of the title seemed somewhat arbitrary, but one I can live with.   Especially since I never got business cards with ‘architect’ on them! :)

I will certainly miss my old team but am extremely excited about my new team and the opportunities they will bring!