Photo - Ana Hobden

Finding direction, defining goals

The simple passage of time changes us. Our personalities, identities, social circles, fears, and passions all shift to meet our needs throughout life. As we grow and mature, we must reconcile our past and resolve ourselves to the future. Time trawls up existential questions again and again: Who am I? What is my purpose? What do I want in life? What am I willing to struggle with? What happens if I fail? What could have been, but never will be? These kinds of questions can prompt deep introspection, and act as reasons for change.

My life is unrecognizable compared to even two years ago, and with these changes, new answers to those questions started to form. I found myself desiring a change.

In the past weeks, this has spurned a catalyst. I've shifted my professional gears and am now embarking on the adventure of sole proprietorship, Hoverbear Consulting! As part of this shift, PingCAP and I are taking separate paths and I'll be working with new organizations to build their capacity. The first organization I'll be working with is Timber on a long term contract to grow the Vector ecosystem. More below!

A heavy-hearted, but necessary goodbye

PingCAP Annual party, 2019
PingCAP Annual party, 2019

My departure from PingCAP was a bit of a surprise. The company is carefully trying to make their processes more efficent, refined, and welcoming to contributors. As part of that, I found myself offered a new position. Yet because of my changing answers to those existential questions, I found myself wanting something different.

The catalyst triggered.

I was happy at PingCAP. I think PingCAP is generally going in the right directions. I think PingCAP is very genuine in their efforts to be good global open source citizens. I think they are grappling with the same struggles as everyone else is, and I think they were doing their best to overcome them.

I'm proud of them and what we accomplished in the last two years. I'm excited to see the things coming next from such a great team!

As for the TiKV community, I plan to bring my involvement to an end in a good way. Though I've ended my formal involvement with the organization, I want to keep in contact with the wonderful folks I've met in the community. So please, don't be a stranger. You can always get in touch! ❤️

Forging Hoverbear Consulting

A forge - @neonbrand
A forge

During university, I worked as an employeee as part of a number of organizations, like the BCAAFC, a couple research labs, and Science Venture. Often at the same time. After, I worked in Germany as part of the software consultancy Asquera with some really incredible organizations, including my favorite, the Wheelmap. For PingCAP, I operated again as an employee.

This always provided a certain level of comfort and safety. Back then, I was a bit less confident in myself. I didn't have the same experiences. I didn't have the same knowledge. I didn't have such an incredible network of friends and organizational contacts.

Over the past year, my partner has been learning how to run the books for a small business, and I've been learning with him. We've found ourselves fascinated the process, and eager to learn about it first hand.

During my initial conversations with possible new opportunities after PingCAP, we started to talk. What if I made a consultancy? What if we could experience the process of doing the books for a sole proprietorship?

After preliminary contract discussions with the folks at Timber, I decided I wanted to do it. Timber would be my first contract, and I'd spend a small part of my time cooperating with non-profits I consider impactful, at a very reduced rate.

After discussing with some contacts who knew more than me, and investigating the CRA Information Technology Guidelines page, I ended up visiting the surprisingly amazing and really honestly incredible BC Onestop site which helped me complete the entire process in about 5 hours and under $150 CAD. It just took months of planning and talking to folks to figure out where to go, and which buttons to push when.

My company Hoverbear Consulting, began operating on Tuesday and I couldn't be happier! Shortly after, I signed my first contract with the company Timber. Over the next couple months I'll be trying to find my second, non-profit, organizational engagement, and I'm looking right here on Vancouver Island!

If you're a non-profit or not-for-profit in the area and interested working with me a few hours a month, I invite you to visit consulting page of this site.

I have a lot to learn in this space, and I'd love to get any constructive feedback you have. At this time, I'm not looking to overstretch myself, so I won't be looking additional contracts from for-profit organizations.

You can find a rough plan of my business goals on the consulting page.

Cutting to the heart of logging

Chopped Timber - @scutal
Chopped Timber

I'm really excited to start working on Vector! It solves such a common problem that plagues infrastructure large and small.

Vector isn't trying to reinvent the world, it's not trying to eliminate existing services in your infrastructure, and it's not trying to push an agenda on you. It gives you the power to connect, manipulate, structure, split, and merge various parts of your observability pipelines.

Over the past few days I've been having a lot of discussions with the team about their vision for the project and how I can best help them get there. So far it's been a nice change of pace to move from a specialized service like TiKV to a sort of 'swiss-army-glue' between various pieces of infrastructure like Vector.

So what kinds of things will I be helping Timber and Vector achieve? To start, we've been discussing how I can assist them with the road to 1.0, packaging, testing, documentation, new features, and their various technical processes. I'll also be contributing to their technical content, articles which will eventually reflect back here. Best of all, I'll be a proud member of the Vector community, working to give folks the best experience possible when contributing to Vector.

I'm going to be posting more in the future about all sorts of silly and serious things you can do with Vector. Stay tuned!