Getting out of IT… a little bit

This past week I left my job and started a new one. That seems to be a somewhat common theme in my life, as I’ve done a lot of job hopping, but this time I moved into something a bit different than what I’ve been doing in the past. For quite a while now, I’ve been an IT Manager, running teams of infrastructure engineers keeping operations going. I’ve had teams as large as 14 and as small as 3. One thing has been constant throughout it all though… doing whatever we could to keep systems up and running.

My career was mostly about the “business of IT”, or how to run Information Technology in the best manner. That means that, for the most part, what I’ve been doing for the past half a decade could be done anywhere. The details are different, but the tasks my teams would do are the same. Keep servers up-to-date and running, as well as patched. Manage large storage arrays and virtual environments. Develop processes for intake of work, and build out a robust private cloud infrastructure. It’s good work, and a job that I was pretty good at. But I’m at a point where I’m done with IT.

That’s why I jumped at the chance to take on something a little bit different. I’ve joined Metro Transit as a Transit Technology Coordination Manager, with a role to help build out our technology strategy and governance, but from the business side. This means that I’m no longer involved in operational work, but am upstream from it, thinking about how best to use technology to solve business problems. I’m a part of our strategic initiative office, and I get to help build out our governance process from the ground up. It’s going to be a lot of work, but it gets me closer to my strength, which is using technology to solve real problems.

I’m also excited to be back in a standard day-job that doesn’t result in 2am phone calls because Citrix is down, or a storage array crashed. I was never very good at being an incident manager, and it was my least favorite part of operational work. I’m much happier being a strategist and planner, and leave operations to folks who are more gifted in those areas.

It also means that most of the time I’ll be working in Minneapolis, which is a huge perk for me from a transportation perspective. I have many more options for biking, trains, or bussing, and on many days my car will probably sit dormant at home. People who know me, know that I’d like to do more environmentally, but when I live in the suburbs, it’s hard to reduce my impact with how car-centric we need to be. This job helps me reduce my impact, even just a little bit.

I’m excited for this new journey, and looking forward to charting a different path for a while. Hopefully, this will be a the start of a long a enjoyable job that I can stick around for long-term.

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