November 13, 2015
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This sounds great on a resume! “A lifelong learner with a demonstrated to quickly adapt to new technologies.” What better to have on your resume for the IT field?
When I originally found that phrase and added it over 10 years ago, I may not have realized how accurate it would become. In my chosen field, it’s a good thing I enjoy learning! In addition to my ongoing work for New England Give Camp (six years and counting!); I just dove headfirst into becoming a certified full-stack web developer through the use of an awesome new program dubbed “Free Code Camp“.
Why not? Does it mean a few extra hours after work at my computer? Yes. Do I hate it? No. In fact, it’s hard to tear myself away to get sleep. Thanks to the information from a colleague at New England Give Camp, I found this awesome free program! I just have to work through the coding homework. I get to build an online portfolio of my work and at the end I can collaborate on projects to get work experience.
The best part? The work I do will continue to benefit more non-profits. This program proves that the best things in life really are free. The hardest year for me at Give Camp was the year of the Boston bombings. Give Camp was scheduled a week afterwards and I was taking the Commuter Line into Cambridge about a block from where that had happened. There were at least 100 people doing positive work that would immediately impact hundreds, thousands and eventually hundreds of thousands. Little children working with Catching Joy decided that the ugliness in the world should not be allowed to continue and immediately took action to fix the world they found themselves in. I learned that those two bombers did much less damage in proportion to the great deeds of kindness and positive things the volunteers did.
Every time I see some act of cruelty, terror, or horror sensationalized on the news, I remember the overwhelming number of people actively doing positive things that are NOT in the news. Thanks to Free Code Camp now, I can make a difference more than once a year.
November 10, 2015
To my great shock it has been over a year since my last blog update. My return is inspired by my ongoing volunteer work with New England Give Camp – aka “How 100 Geeks Form A Perpetual Motion Machine” Six years and going strong!
This year I had the opportunity to work with The Mystic River Watershed Association! Additionally, I had the distinct privilege of serving as project manager again. I had an awesome team to work with and they deserve mucho kudos! Nothing is more rewarding than being able to contribute to the ongoing work towards recovering and preserving the Mystic River Watershed and having a dedicated, talented group to work with.
It was a wonderful weekend filled with hard work, education, and inspiration. The hard work speaks for itself. I learned a lot about our natural river watershed in the process and some of the flora and fauna. Until this weekend, I thought Alewife was the end of the line stop on the Red Line in Boston. An alewife is a fish and its common name is said to come from comparison with a corpulent female tavernkeeper (“ale-wife”). My inspiration always comes from the dedicated non-profits we work with. They devote themselves all year long to work that I’m unable to do myself. Knowing that I am able to make a difference to them and to those they benefit is reward enough for a weekend out of my life.
April 4, 2014
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My fifth year as a volunteer finds me as a project manager for Transition House at New England Give Camp 2014. I feel honored to be able to serve with an incredibly talented group of individuals – developers, graphic artists, and non-profit organization. By the end of the weekend, we hope to have a new website built in WordPress and updated with a more modern look from when the site was first created five years ago. Thanks to my awesome teammates, we are quickly working together to meet our common goals.
August 26, 2013
At the start of my career in 2010 I wrote a blog post, The Insouciant Life in The Bit Bucket, wherein I wondered if “… I have to abandon everything I care about for the practical reality of earning a paycheck?” At the time, I was yet to land my first full-time job in the field of technology. I was fortunate to have embarked on my career in the company of individuals possessed of high integrity and character.
Now, working that full-time job as a successful technical professional, I can answer my own question. No, I do not have to abandon my principles, ideals, and cherished values to earn a paycheck. “What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Or what can a man give in exchange for his soul?” Matthew 16:26. This principle which dates back to approximately 70 – 100 A.D.
As I have been in our very competitive workforce, this principal has become very clear to me. My relationships with my colleagues and my personal integrity are more important to me than money. There, I’ve said it. I’ve committed modern heresy. I knowingly run counter to our modern culture where the pursuit of money is the all-encompassing god of our time. We worship it, sacrifice for it, and do whatever it takes to have more. You need to do whatever it takes to get money. After all, greed is good and generosity is for suckers. Or is it?
When I began my career I was openly jeered at for my work ethic. I was called a “sucker”. I was told that hard work was for suckers and the key to getting ahead lay in taking advantage of others. However, I believe in the timelessness of ethics more than public opinion. Three years later, I find myself ahead of most of the United States in terms of employment and lifestyle. I do not have anything I did not earn by hard work and integrity.
So am I writing this merely to brag or be self-aggrandizing? Not at all. I’m writing this to assert that contrary to popular opinion, ethics and success are not mutually exclusive and it can be done. The other advantage is that it brings long-lasting satisfaction and true happiness. I have my self-respect because I never compromised my personal ethics or integrity to get where I am. Regardless of the road you take in life there are sacrifices to be made. I chose not to make the sacrifices of our current culture – that of using others to get ahead at the cost of personal relationships.
- Word of the Day : ‘Insouciant’ (mraybould.wordpress.com)
- Insouciant (micklively.wordpress.com)