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I am seeking my next great adventure

Dear Reader,

tl;dr

I’m looking for a job, got a spare? Email me. Want to help? RT this or recommend me to a company you know that is looking.

The Setup

For the second time since I have been blogging (and for the 3rd time in my career) I find myself looking for “What’s next”. I received a call from my employer this morning that basically said “we are going in a different direction”.[Nice comments about the company redacted to comply with my exit agreement.]

So I have been sitting here thinking about who I am, what I do, and what I want to do when I grow up. (It should be noted that as I sit here and write this, I am staring 50 years old in the face. If I am ever going to grow up, it needs to be soon.)

Things have changed a little since I wrote this same post in 2009. The main thing that has changed is that I have discovered that I love teaching and helping developers grow. When I look back at the last 10 years of my career, it’s not really a revelation, but I hadn’t really noticed it until a year or so ago.

Second, my life goals have changed. I have records of what my short-mid-long term goals were a few years back. As I look at them now, I begin to realize that they aren’t as important as I thought they were. Most of my goals in the past have been about things. I realized this summer that my major life goal; my BHAG; is to do something that makes a difference. I don’t have to change the world, but I’d like to leave it a better place than I found it.

The Call to Action

So with all of that in mind, I announce to you that I am looking for my next great adventure and ask for your help in finding it.

Does your company need any of those either full time or contract? If so, reach out to me via email cal at calevans dot com. If you need my resume, Click “Resume of Cal Evans”.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

Goodbye Dad

Dear Reader,

Jerry EvansMy world is a little darker now, my father – Jerry Collins Evans, Sr. – has passed on from this life and is in heaven with his parents now.

Words fail me.

So instead, I will simply share this that I wrote several years ago.

Age 12: A Public Display of Affection
By Cal Evans

When I was in 6th grade, I attended a small Christian school in Coral Gables Florida. For part of the year, we had a substitute math teacher whom I remember absolutely nothing about except for the fact that he was a University of Oklahoma football fan. As luck would have it, that year, Oklahoma was coming to Miami to play the Hurricanes, and this particular teacher was beside himself with delight.

One day he spent almost half of class regaling us with the stories of this years Oklahoma team, how good they were and what an exciting game it would be. He usually followed these oratories with comments like, â”While Miami doesn’t have much of a team this year, if you get a chance to go to this game it will be great just to see Oklahoma play.” To him, just the exhibition of them running out on the field was enough to warrant the price of the ticket. It was positively mesmerizing just listening to him talk. Of, course, being good 6th grade students, we did everything we could to keep him going under the misguided assumption that the less we covered in class, the less that we would be tested on.

Somehow, I got it in my head that I wanted to go to this game. I’m not sure why because to this point I don’t believe I had actually watched an entire football game. But I knew that if this teacher could get this excited about the game, no matter how bad Miami’s team was, it had to be a game worth my attention. So off I went to Dad that afternoon to pitch the idea.

Actually, in my 12-year-old mind, this seemed like an easy sell. I knew that Dad loved football (and to me, football was football, it would be years later before I discovered that for football to be interesting, you actually have to care about at least one of the teams.) So selling the idea of a father and son outing to a football game should be easy.

Dad came home that night and patiently listened to my plea over dinner. He said he would look into it and so, for the moment that was that. I would have to wait until he could check the game and see if we could get tickets. Well, at least it wasn’t a “No.”

As I remember it, a couple of days went by. Not a day passed with me giving Dad (what I recall as) a polite reminder that I was waiting. Then the day came. Dad came home, we are sitting at the dinner table and he breaks the news to me.

The game was on a Wednesday evening. Dad, being a minister of music at a Baptist Church, considered Wednesday evening one of the high holy times of the week, as it was when choir practice was scheduled. I was crushed. Here I was missing out on one of the defining moments of my youth because of silly old choir practice. I was confused, I was dazed, how could this happen. My life, as I knew it, was obviously over.

My disappointment must have shown on my face, as it often did when I threw my pouting fits. Dad picked up on this quick and tried to explain, to little avail, that he had to work that evening. As I remember it, the longer he explained, the more I didn’t understand. In my world, what I wanted trumped all, even work. And so we left it for the evening.

Time passed, maybe a day or two. I suffered the public humiliation of being in the 95% of the class that would not be able to attend the game. It was a nightmare of 6th grade epic proportions. Then one night, again at the dinner table, Dad looked at me and told me that he had managed to arrange for a substitute director for rehearsal and while he had scolded his choir members for missing rehearsal for better reasons, we were going to the game! My mind reeled. I was floating on cloud nine. I couldn’t believe it. I was actually going to my first football game. I couldn’t wait to tell the class at school the next day. I was now part of the elite 5% who were actually going to the game solely on the teacher’s recommendation. It was wonderful, life was good.

I don’t remember much about the game. I supposed that Oklahoma won but if pressed, I could not tell you for sure that they even took the field. I remember that on the way to the game, Dad stopped by the grocery store and we loaded up on candy. I got a big Nestles Krackle bar, one of the huge ones that were like a foot long. It was a feast for a family of 4 but my Dad bought it for me alone. (He got a box of Recesses cups which was his official football food…but that’s another story)

To this day, I’m not sure why going to that game was important to me. Now that I’m older I know why it was an important memory for me. Dad never has been given to public displays of affection. You had to know where to look to see it but we’ve always known that he loved us. But this, this was a public display of affection just for me and I’ll never forget it.

Until next time,
I <3 Jerry, =C=

Day Camp 4 Developers #6: Non-Programming for Programmers

Dear Reader,

It is hard for me to believe that we are already up to the 6th Day Camp 4 Developers. It seems like just yesterday that I was looking for a way to showcase a few great talks I knew about that weren’t getting selected at conferences. Now 3 years later, we’ve got 5 under our belt and are prepping for the 6th. (I say we because anyone who knows me that the secret sauce behind any of my projects is wife 1.29, The Lovely and Talented Kathy)

This time, the topic is Non-Programming for Programmers. Attendees will lear about:

  • Documentation
  • Agile development
  • Source code management
  • Estimating

I won’t go into the whole description, you can click through to DayCamp4Developers.com to get the complete list of speakers, talks, and to order tickets.

I will say this though. If you’ve ever bought a ticket to DC4D, thank you. It started as an experiment, it continued as part of my mission to help developers, and I’ll keep doing it as long as people keep buying tickets.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

I hate failing

Dear Reader,

6782885939_ab3e5e641b_nThe title says it all, I seriously hate failing. I know in our startup economy we are supposed to celebrate failure. I touched on in in my last post, “A question I’ve never been asked”, and y friend Liz Naramore disagreed with me on that point. She made an excellent case on why she thought I was wrong about failure. That doesn’t help, I still hate failure.

So it is with a sad heart – and no small amount of anger – that I announce through gritted teeth, that I have failed. I started a project – Coders’ Ball – and I failed. It was a grandiose idea. I wanted to throw a formal event for the developers in the Nashville area. It was to be a celebration of the developers in the Nashville tech community, and an opportunity to raise awareness – and money – for the Nashville Software School.

Sadly, it came down to money. I could either charge more than I wanted to for the tickets in order to cover the cost of the event, or raid the sponsorships that I wanted to go to NSS to subsidize the event, basically taking money out of the hands of NSS. I didn’t like either of those options.

So I’ve decided to pull the plug, cut my losses, and channel my hatred for failing into making sure that my other projects succeed.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=

A couple of recent articles

Dear Reader,

In cased you missed them, I’ve been published a couple of times recently.

Fuel the Rocket : Civic Responsibilities for Attracting Developers
This is a look at what I think it will take for Nashville to launch itself as a Technology hotspot.

Why cube farms ‘suck’ and working remotely doesn’t
I sat down with a reporter from the Nashville Business Journal and discussed a lot of things. One of the things we discussed was remote working.

Looking for tech talent? Think beer, pizza and focused jobs
Part of that same interview was some common sense advice on how to find developer to hire.

There is nothing Earth shattering here if you follow my blog regularly. Most of it is stuff I have said before, and I will continue to say.

Until next time,
I <3 |<
=C=