The name of this website is "Beginning Old". I look back at the reason why I selected that domain name, and what it held for me then. And I still believe the reason why I came up with this name is still relevant and completely valid for more than just a few reasons.

The name is mostly self explanatory. I mean come on, its basic grammar and if you have a reading level above the 2nd grade, you should be golden.

But what does it mean?

Once upon a time, I was a systems engineer working for a company that I had been with for 14 years. Obviously I was comfortable there, and I did my job well enough to not be fired/laid off/told to go away and not come back. But I was stagnant. So I told myself to begin looking for something that would draw my interest. It had been years....many years...since I had actually done any proper education. So I wanted to begin taking classes. I looked into a few online and tried some of the free ones. First thing I learned, was that I had been out of touch for so long that what study methods used to work for me in the past would no longer serve me today. So I had to begin how to learn, again.

So many classes are available

Classes

I began with a class from UC San Diego called Learning how to learn. I can't explain how much this helped kick me. The class wasn't only about how to study, but also taught how humans learn, and steps to help get things rolling such as the Pomodoro method. After this it came back to me on what worked for me and what didn't. I'm not the type of person that is OK with just parroting information. I need to understand it to learn it. After this one class, I began taking several other classes online as well. Python, Javascript, HTML/CSS, DevOps, etc. I've written about all the classes in prior blog postings, so feel free to read about them.

There is no shame in beginning again, for you get a chance to build bigger & better than before.

I began to blog and log things I was doing. If I put it down as a task on my personal Kanban board, I wrote about it. If I put it on my github account, I wrote about what I did. This helped me free up my mind from problems, and allowed my brain to work as well as cementing my understanding. Eventually, others started to notice too.

A Door Opens

I also began listening to a ton of podcasts. Python, music, interviews of people in the industry, coding schools, reviews, etc. One of them was an interview of a recruiter from a large company. He said he never looked at resume's. He only looked at LinkedIn accounts and then filtered for what he was looking for. So I began to create a LinkedIn account for myself. Once I got the hang of it and updated my information, I began to get a ton of emails and a few phone calls. Most of them were junk. But one caught my eye. Originally I thought it was a joke because it was nothing but copy and paste. All of the text, except the header and footer, was highlighted with yellow background. I almost deleted it.

A door opens

The email was from yet another recruiter, but I responded to this one. I figured why not, I already had a job and if this was junk I've lost nothing. Long story short, it was for a job at Splunk (where I'm at now). After some interviews and testing (to see if I was full of shit or not) I got the job. For at least the next 6 months, I was a 'contractor' and I had no safety net. No benefits, no overtime, nicht. It was all on me and only me. My family depended upon my abilities to survive or die. Pressure.

Around the bend

During the interview they basically said "If you want this job you have to become a certified architect. Without that, you won't be working here." So with that, I began to take all of the training available. I began to take notes on everything. I began talking to everyone that might offer some insight that might help me. I began talking to other newbies in other departments to see what they had going on. I began to study with them. I began to support them as they supported me. And during all of this push of information, I began to start taking real cases to work on.

There is a kind of magic in every new beginning. You must learn to embrace this every chance you can get.

All in all, I passed everyone of my tests (somehow) without failing any. For the final architect exam, they give you 24 hours but I completed it in 6. I believe this had more to do with the great group of people around me than my own abilities. Their support and belief was truly awesome.

So many beginnings

I was put directly into the full case queue but given a light load of initial cases. Meaning I would begin with a max of 11 instead of 22. With each case, I learned a little more.  Since then, I've been put into the big boy queue along with all the senior engineers. I'm not up to their level yet, but I'm beginning to walk in that direction.

So now I look back at when I began this latest path in my life. I've had so many changes in life. Each and everyone of them started with me beginning something either from the first time or beginning again several more times. I have literally began so many new things in my life in the past 12 months it's almost as if I've become a new person. My life has thoroughly changed for the better.

I can see how these things I've done mirror many of the other engineers I work with. How we started with nothing, and now we've made it to this point. Younger, older, taller, shorter (I'm looking at you R), new to the field (M), or has been in the field since it began. We all came from some place and were dropped off at the same beginning spot.

Lucky guess?

So many months ago, I sat here in my office in front of my computer with domain registrar page open on the browser trying to come up with a new domain name that would allow me to jot down some things in life. I chose Beginning Old because I knew I was older than everyone else that was starting out. But no matter the age, we were all starting off on our new paths in life. I was beginning. I'm still nervous about life, but that's a good thing. Each step is a new step, new progress, new chances.

While you might not want to start over again, you'll always have new beginnings in life no matter what you do or where you go.