I started my I.T. journey back in 1989 (when Windows 1.0 came on 12 5.25″ floppies for free when you bought a copy of Aldus Pagemaker) as a classroom instructor teaching WordPerfect, Lotus 1-2-3, Paradox, and the like.
After 5 years of classroom teaching, I made the leap to “real” tech work – starting in helpdesk and desktop support and working his way up the I.T. food chain into server administration, network engineering, and finally landing in monitoring and systems automation.
I now have the unique privilege of acting as Technical Evangelist (or “HeadGeek” – a title I plans to hold onto until 37 minutes after my clinical death) for a major monitoring vendor based out of Texas.
My technical work includes several ebooks as well as a large body of videos, conference talks, and essays for several major publications.
- The Four Questions Every Monitoring Engineer is Asked (print edition)
- (Dummies Press) Network Monitoring for Dummies
- (Dummies Press) Systems Monitoring for Dummies
We are a Jewish family living in a suburb of midwest America – married for 30 years, two girls and two boys ages 26, 22, 17 and 14 (forthwith referred to as H, I, J and K). My wife and I have always been Jewish, and were raised in (Reform) Jewish settings where not much except the major holidays were observed.
While we have always enjoyed our Judaism – both the cultural heritage and the religious traditions – we were comfortable in our life as middle-of-the-road Reform Jews. We didn’t do too much, but we didn’t do nothing either.
That started to change about 12 years ago, when we began participating in a weekly, multi-family Friday night potluck experience (which you can find out more about by visiting The Edible Torah).
As our kids (especially H and I) got older and began participating in more immersive Jewish experiences (such as Jewish summer camp, Jewish teen choirs, and Jewish youthgroups) they began to ask about, and ask FOR, us to explore more traditions.
Yes, they asked us. One thing led to another, and soon we were keeping kosher, our kids were going to Jewish day school, and we were moving into the orthodox neighborhood.
Some things I’ve written from my Jewish perspective:
Merging my technical life with my religious hasn’t always been easy, but it’s been rewarding.
As someone who is “visibly” religious – meaning that I wear a kippah on my head and have my tzitzit (fringes attached to a shirt-like garmet) showing – I’ve been able to participate in discussions about representation, assumptions, and choice that most American middle-class, middle-aged white dudes normally don’t have.
The choice to be visibly different also impacts my work as someone who speaks for a “brand” as well as myself, and adds yet another variable to the way I communicate and interact with the technical world at large.
Being part of a strictly observant religious has also given me perspective and experience on how to navigate the sometimes murky waters of workplace norms, interpersonal dialogue, and even US employment law.
Some things I’ve written that merge elements of my technical and religious life include:
You think I do this because I’m shy?!?
I’d love to hear from you. On social media, you can find me: