Since at some point I’d like to start posting some projects and other info to the blog, I figured I should put up a quick note saying how life has gone after Launch. In a nutshell, really well.
After Launch, I ended up landing at a startup called GreatHorn run by some folks I knew from earlier in my career in tech (prior to Launch, I worked mostly as a project manager in video games). I got there when it was just a seed-stage startup with a handful of people, and left two years later when it was about 20 people. While there, I did front-end React, back-end NodeJS, and a whole lot of everything else. Since the company was so small, and because I ended up showing I had a steady hand for things, I ended up doing a whole lot of the firefighting when a crisis hit. This meant I was often debugging all the various components of our software in real-time, and gave me exposure to out Python systems, a lot of Linux admin issues, memcached, and a ton of Postgres.
After a couple years of this (and the birth of my fourth child), I was really burnt out. A good friend recommended me to the folks at Harvard FAS Research Computing, and I was able to get a job over there as a Systems Software Engineer – a job that has been part Linux admin and part DevOps infrastructure support. Been happy as a clam ever since.
For anyone looking at Launch, I’m sure your question now is, what can I draw from this experience? Honestly, the biggest one is that you should make sure to network with other people like CRAZY, and not just with people who can get you a job right now. Once COVID is in the rear-view, get out to those meet-ups and talk to everyone around. The job at GreatHorn came because, back when I was doing indie video games for a stint in 2008, I met a couple guys that were toying with doing the same thing. We kept in touch over the years, they ended up starting a cybersecurity company, and I ended up working there. I wouldn’t have had that opportunity if I hadn’t busted my hump at Launch – but I also wouldn’t have had it if I hadn’t networked a lot back then.
As a note, ever since Launch I’ve occasionally been approached by people that are just completing the program and said thanks for the videos, that they helped them make a decision to commit to going. It makes me incredibly happy to hear that these videos have been useful to you all – thanks for letting me know.
Apologies that this isn’t a more polished or longer posted, but I needed to get it out and published. I’ve started writing this post multiple times since Launch, and got hung up on doing it well enough. Please hit me with a comment if there’s something you’d like to know!