So it's been a few weeks since I've posted anything. Honestly it's been just as long since I've wanted to write anything. Not because I've gotten bored or lost the desire to. It's because I've found a new path in my life. Yay me! Literally the training on my new job has really got me going into a new mindset and direction. While the knowledge is so much, I don't leave work weary and strained. I feel slightly invigorated by it all. I think that has a lot to do that when I have any questions, I have about 20 different people that will gladly help answer them and help me understand it.

Brave new world

Without going into details, the new people I'm working with are really intelligent. I'm not just talking book smart, but mostly in knowledge of the products but also have the ability to change their thought process to adjust to how the end user is doing things. Now having this aptitude is a highly regarded trait for engineers. You can tell the difference between a tech support technician and a tech support engineer. They have to put themselves into each different situation in which is the users environment, and then go from there. My prior job had some really smart guys as well. Very smart. But the client environment was more limited than what I'm seeing now. So its pretty awesome when you see someone just snap right into it like it's easy.

My results were just a count of the field, his results were individual listing of both key and value. Neither of us were correct.


Most companies regard their support personnel as lower level employees, and pay/treat them this way as well. It's sad. My new job not only pays their engineers upper industry standard rates, but also backs them up completely. Their logic seems to be "support our people and our people will support the company". Not once have I heard "just fix the problem and we'll worry about the rest later". It seems they follow the "Steve Jobs Logic". What I mean is Jobs once said you hire smart people and have them lead you with great ideas, you don't hire them and force them into hierarchy (do what you're told).

Your goals should exceed your grasp

The training I'm receiving is as vastly wide as it is deep. There are several certifications I have to obtain before I'll really get anywhere. And these aren't just any tests. The courses are instructor led, with home work, lab testing, and an exam that is guaranteed to get more people to fail than pass. Either you know your information solid, or you don't know it at all. So, again you can see why these engineers are worthy of the backing they receive. My goal is to get there where they are in the next few months. The course's I'm going through now are on the high end of usage and administration. If I survive those, then I'll go onto becoming and architect.


So, while I might be slow with the updates just know that I haven't gone anywhere. I'm merely spending time on my future. In fact, I have no time to even breath and surf the internet. Outside of looking what the weather says, I'm pretty much face down into the books. I'm also lucky enough to have a few other people with me that are on the same path as I am. So if I get stuck, or they do, we can bounce ideas and questions off of each other. This alone has been invaluable.

For example

Just today I got stuck on creating some regular expressions (regex). I was trying to go from a known sourcetype (where you know what the type of data it is and the events you should receive), and I was trying to add some new extractions. However, I was grabbing the key field and not the value field. My coworker was grabbing both key:value pairs. My results were just a count of the field, his results were individual listing of both key and value. Neither of us were correct. But I kept mashing buttons and then, like normal, I looked at the documentation again. Thats when I saw the fault we made. Deleted the old regex, created a new one to pull just the values, and success.


Whats good about this is I don't know everything that I don't know. Everyone clearly admits there is no way to know it all. Because each installation is vastly different than the next. So relying upon the other engineers and the level 1 and 2 technicians is vital to solving the issues. Communication is key as is culture. Things like nerf gun wars, catered lunches and breakfasts, happy hours, and all that is part of the culture. Not everyone always sees eye to eye, but they realize that creating bad feelings won't help anyone and get over themselves quick enough.

This is where I come in

From what I can tell, I'm one of two linux guy's. The main linux engineer, Jeff, is an ass (I kid Jeff) knows his stuff down pat. Smart guy and he's relied upon often because of this. But listening to him, tells me that a lot of the stuff he's being asked, I also know. So this is a big help for me. Once I get up to speed, I plan on throwing my hat into the ring and working with him as a team to help everyone out. That's the plan at least.


Maybe I'm not so bad

So while I still have miles to go, I'm taking one step at a time and doing my best. I'd think that I would be far behind the younger newbies but so far I have a good feeling that I'm on par with most. Well, except these security architects that work for high end companies in Washington, D.C. and the government. I'm not trying to stay neck to neck with PhD's. But what is important to me, is that not only am I learning a lot, I'm also happy and having a lot of fun. Not just with the company, but also the learning. I'm kind of a big deal.