I had the good fortune of being an early adopter of the title Field CTO which is a wonderful thing except thats not the last job I want to have so what is my career progression. I didn’t even think about that 5 years ago when I took the position and as I have seen other friends and colleagues move into the role they are in the same position.
Let’s first look at what a Field CTO is. It’s a great title that encompasses the combination of technical prowess and people skills. The challenge is that that is very broad and every company seems to define it differently, even to the level of where the position lies in the organization. I reported up through the product management side, I know others that have reported to sales and others to marketing. I know some that have their own teams and some that are solo acts. It seems very company dependent. The skill set being asked for also varies from a very technical CTO style to a super SE and even at times to just a marketing evangelist.
With all the different types of jobs and roles the next question is how does one end up in this role? I believe there are 2 ways, the first is that the person has been in house and has knowledge across so many areas of the business that you don’t want to lose them and the title is a stepping stone. The second is someone who comes into a company specifically to fill that senior technical field role when a natural CTO is not as presentable to customers. What both of these have in common is that rarely does a company have a growth plan in place before filling the position.
Once you are a Field CTO what is the next role? During my interview process when changing jobs I found this to be a harder topic than I realized. My position being in Product Management seemed to worry people that I would not be able to be as outward focused as they wanted. Then I had the concern about any position I was talking to would be a step down career wise so they assumed I would not take it. I even had one company that thought because I had field experience I must not be technical at all and I was just a marketer.
I decided that I would just have to look at the title and determine on my own if I was interviewing someone would it look like a step down, when I said no then the title was fine. I never really cared about the title except for that anyway. Then I had to hope my years of experience came through during the interview process to show I had both technical chops and personality. For me I think I will end up back in a people manager/mentor type role while still having my hands on some tech to know the product, but for now I choose a role that lets me use my outbound and technical skills. Who knows maybe the next one will be a CEO or a CTO or a position I have never heard of yet.
I don’t claim to know what the next position is but I truly hope that those in the position now are able to talk to their management teams and figure it out since this won’t be your last job.
Over the past couple weeks leading up to Super Bowl 53, there have been numerous articles, although many with the same copied content, published that proclaim that the two men on the LA Ram’s Cheerleading team are the first male cheerleaders to perform at the Super Bowl. While these two men being able to join their teammates on the field for the Super Bowl is a great accomplishment, they are actually closer to the 26th or 27th male cheerleaders to perform at the Super Bowl.
Starting in 1998 the Baltimore Ravens have had a Cheerleading team that consists of 2 groups, a dance team and a stunt team. Both groups perform choreographed routines together for every home game and have twice performed as a group at the Super Bowl.
During Super Bowl 35 I had the great honor of being one of those male cheerleaders and was part of the true first group of male cheerleaders to perform at the Super Bowl. At the time being the first group was not really a concern to any of us, it was amazing to be on the sideline and on the field and in the endzone with my teammates. The greatest part for me was at a practice in Baltimore just after the AFC Championship when were told by David Modell that after almost no thought, the organization was taking the entire Baltimore Ravens Cheerleading Team to the game and as an added bonus we could bring someone to watch. I called my dad, being able to ask him to go see the super bowl made up for much of the ridicule and pettiness that was directed at male cheerleaders prior to the last few years.
Some people have said that they are making the distinction that the LA Rams men are the first cheerleaders because they are dancing in the same routines. Is that to say that the women that were stunting with the men on the Ravens team are not cheerleaders because they do different parts in a routine? The male cheerleaders I know are proud to be called cheerleaders, we are not stuntmen as one article put it, we don’t just run flags, we are part of a program and part of a family and occasionally even dance in the routines. In fact there is even an interesting fact posted by CBS in 2016 about the only male cheerleaders in the NFL
In no way do I want to take away from the excitement and achievements of Quinton Peron and Napoleon Jinnies, going to the Super Bowl is a great achievement and one they should be very proud of. In this age of accessibility, I hope that some news outlets look a little deeper, maybe talk to some of my teammates, both the men and women, or some of the members of the 2013 Ravens team that also took an entire group of male cheerleaders to the Super Bowl.
This one was the part I didnt think my wife would love but she doesnt seem to mind at all. After talking with numerous people I found that running my own internal Plex server was the answer to my problems. Now I know that not everyone has a machine just sitting around but I had a microserver I used for testing but it is only in heavy use a few times a year. I decided this box would be perfect to use a Plex Media Server (PMS). For those of you who are not familiar, the Plex Media Server catalogs your movies and TV shows and even music and home movies and presents them via a webpage or app to allow them to be streamed either internally only or over the internet if you so choose. Since I already had most of my movies digital, this meant nothing more than installing the software on Windows (it is available for Linux and Mac as well). Once it was installed I created a library from my movies folder and I was off and running. You can also set things like TV Shows, these are even sorted by season and episodes. there are lots of software packages out there that will help you get access to all the movies and shows you want but I am going to decline to go into those.
I then made sure the Plex app was installed on all my devices around the house and I am ready to go, I have access. What I didnt realize when I started this was that I would need to go get the Plex Pass paid version, for a few reasons, the first was the ability to have household users. I have a user created for myself and my wife so that we can be watching different things. Without this, anytime you connect and try to watch something and another person is watching something else on another device, you will kick them off. This clearly was not going to be a solution and the paid version of Plex gave me user capability. If you have kids this can be very useful also since you can limit what folders they have access to.
Another bid benefit for me of the full paid version was offline sync capability. I can not connect my ipad and download shows and movies from my server for when I am offline, for instance when I am traveling.
One more benefit of plex is that I can share things like my Christmas movie collection with my family without ever having to get on a a plane or in a car and I can simply add them as friends and give them access to my library.
This paid version is $40 a year or $119 for lifetime, I opted for the $40 a year only because I like to give some constant support to companies that are writing software I use.
This May, the OpenStack Summit if headed to Vancouver, B.C. If you haven’t already been looking at the info, it is a great city with lots of great sessions, not to mention the people attending that you can learn so much from. If you need it and are too lazy to google it, heres the main link. https://www.openstack.org/summit/vancouver-2015/
What matters right now though is that you can vote for sessions you are interested in. Much like so many other big conferences, this give the attendees a chance to pick what they really want to see. Voting has opened here.
I have submitted two sessions to speak this year and would appreciate the vote, it always makes it easier to attend these when you have a chance to pass along things you have learned along the way. Please click the links and go vote for me!
I was looking for a tripod for my Samsung NX2000 camera and had a few criteria, the first was travel friendly. I don’t need a big professional tripod if it is too bulky to carry anywhere, I needed something that condenses down to a reasonable size. A travel bag would be helpful as well but was not a requirement. Check! and Check!
The second thing was making sure it was stable when barely open all the way through full extension. Check!
The last part I needed was to make sure it had all the pan tilt features and screwed easily onto my camera. Again. Check!
As I embark on third week of a business trip away from home and family with what can feel like endless conferences and speaking engagements or training sessions, I thought I would take a moment and reflect on life as a road warrior. I never thought I would really use that term, but I think anyone who has known me for the past few years would say I am. I think the first thing to point out is that I have probably the most understanding and supportive wife on the planet. Continue reading “Is traveling for work worth it?”
I got to spend this past saturday checking out two brand new professional sports teams in DC. I spend lots of my free nights and weekends playing Ultimate Frisbee and was very excited to go to not one but 2 professional ultimate frisbee games this past weekend. The day started with the DC Breeze vs. the Toronto Rush in the AUDL. Then the nightcap was the DC Current vs. the Philadelphia Spinners in the MLU. This second game was where the big data comes in. I had not really thought about how much a professional ultimate team might want to look at statistics. I assumed, they tracked who scored and how many fouls a player committed. I found out that they actually are tracking even more. A few friends were hired on as statisticians for the Current game. The data points being collected was amazing. For those of you who have never seen a high level Ultimate Frisbee game, the action is non stop and very similar to watching a soccer game. This is a pretty cool highlight video. One of my friends had the job of writing down every player number for every pass. Another friend had to click on a virtual field and show where every pass landed. All of these data points have to be combined and then dug through right now by the team coaches. The goal is to collect enough data and then determine what stats they really want and then have someone code how to calculate all the info.
After picking up a bluetooth helmet for the Triumph, I decided it would be nice if I had a way to mount my phone and keep it charged. As we know when using bluetooth and GPS the battery dies very quickly. I wanted to use the iMoto App as well. I had not had much luck finding a mount that would fit really well. I did talk to the team at TELFERIZER.COM who were extrememly nice and gave me some great options. I am not very patient and figured since I found this one on Amazon i would order it and if it sucked I could always return it.
The kit is reasonably priced compared to the options out there at $60 plus shipping. I was a little disappointed it did not qualify for Prime shipping but I did find out it came from Great Britian. First off heres the link to the one I bought.Ultimate Addons Metal U-Bolt Motorcycle Bike Waterproof Tough Case Handlebar Mount for Apple iPhone 5
I chose to expedite the shipping, it seemed for an extra $10 the difference between 18-21 business days and 1-3 was worth it. And it really was 1-3. It shipped the day after I ordered it and I got it within 2 days of then. Very efficient. On tot he product.
Nice Waterproof case
Allows for the iphone to be plugged in while riding (more on this in the cons)
Mounts in place of one of the screws that hole the handlebars. This was not very clear ont he amazon ad. The pictures show the ram mount style but from the description I was concerned I would get a handlebar mount which loops around the circular bar. That would not fit well on the Sprint ST.
Clear and touch sensitive front that does not seem to add glare to the screen
Seems to hold very securely. I did stop and go traffic and over 80 mph and it did not budge.
It comes with a layard that I attached just as the extra level of security
To wire in the iPhone it is a hard mount with a very large switch. I think i can hide the switch but it is not very convenient.
To run the included iphone cable into the case, I will have to put a slight cut into the rubber casing. There is a whole but not large enough to fit the iphone adapter through.
It will not work if your phone has a case. I just drop my case in my jacket pocket so this is not a downside for me.
Here are a few pics of it installed.
From the left showing the case and the mount near the handl
Looking Down from the seat over the tank
The weirdest angle but this is between the windshield and the handlebars
Last year I was able to grab the Top 25 Autocorrects from www.damnyouautocorrect.com to share with friends that could not view it. This year I went through and found some of my favorites. There are always tons of lists each year so hopefully you enjoy. Bear in mind this is PG-13 at a minimum so do not read in public or if you are under age.
Throughout your life you meet millions and millions of people. Many of those people will become friends, some coworkers, some family, and some will just pass by with you never knowing who they really are. Of all of these people there are always a few that stand out that often don’t even realize why. These are the people that have the most influence over who we are both personally and professionally. It may be a high school coach or the boss from your first job or maybe a college professor. For me, my first mentor was my third and fourth grade teacher, Mrs. Martha Staub. I found out this weekend that Mrs. Staub has passed away after a long battle with cancer and this had led me to this post. I did not know at such an early age that a single person could have such impact outside of your Mom and Dad, but she taught many of us growing up how to live and love. Looking back I am amazed at the things I have carried on to this day. If we did not have our binders organized she would open them up to see what fell out (I know try that in todays schools). It sure taught me that I needed to be organized all the time and I know it has kept me in line throughout my professional career. Mrs. Staub had some health issues one year and her husband, Paul came in to help out for most of a year. They worked tireless hours with young kids and as I grew I got to see how much they each meant to one another. It might seem weird that an elementary school teach meant so much but she came to my High School Graduation, I visited her during a trip to Florida in college, her and Paul even came to my wedding. As I grew up I had other great mentors that never knew how much they meant either, a former Olympic sprinter to push our high school track team, collegiate all-americans in college, a CIO at a former job that made me step outside of my comfort zone and take a more active leadership role, the business owner that reminded me that the best solution may not be perfect but it is the one a company can afford.
I truly believe that every day we may meet someone who can influence our lives and make us a better person. I only hope that I can have that same influence over someone else to help them grow. I know Mrs Staub had that kind of influence on me and still does and she will be missed.