Reading is and always will be one of my favorite past times. When I was younger and had more time on my hands, I loved to read science fiction. From space to swords and sorcery. Now, as I’m older, I tend to read more biographies, some fiction, and more non-fiction as time permits. The last three books I read – in no particular order – was “To have and have not,” “2001, A Space Odyssey,” and “Kitchen Confidential.’ Still, I do enjoy a good science fiction book every once in a while.
For those that are wondering why I left RapidMiner, my dream job, there are no gory details to share.
The simple reason is I got burnt out. My time at RapidMiner was some of the best learning and growth years in my entire professional career. I solved problems, made presentations to C-suite people, and worked with some of the best talent. The flipside of this was that it wasn’t easy and it sure as hell wasn’t a smooth ride. I worked through some of the most tumultuous years at RapidMiner. We had 3 years of management changes and radical 180 degree strategy changes while I was there. All this ‘chaos’ eventually took it’s toll on me.
Don’t get me wrong, I have no ill will towards anyone. I really miss my colleagues and friends, but I made my decision to leave in early May 2017. I had no real plan at that moment, I just needed some ‘me’ time. I quit in July 2017 and took a few weeks off to be with my family.
As luck would have it, my town’s Municipal Engineer approached me and asked if I’d like to work on a town project. He knew that in my former life as an Engineer, I had a lot of stormwater management design experience and this project needed some big stormwater analysis. I decided to take this job and simultaneously start a Data Science consultancy too. I ended up doing Engineering and RapidMiner/Data Science consultancy from August 2017 work till right about September 2018. What happened in September 2018? Well that deserves its own post for another time.
I started taking on RapidMiner related consulting work and doing my stormwater analysis. I was living the life of a consultant, working strange hours, worrying about invoices, worrying about where the next job will come, etc. Luckily I picked up more Engineering work from my Municipal Engineer to keep me afloat as I navigated through the lean times.
In August of 2018, my stormwater project ended up getting approved by the NJDEP and Highlands Council as a Major Development in New Jersey. This was a first in Highlands and NJDEP history, a brand new Community Center and Shelter got the green light to be constructed, all because we engineered a better stormwater management system. Although my work will never be seen – it’s all underground – I can take solace that I will be recharging 133% of clean rainwater over the development area into a depleting aquifer. I know that this project will be a benefit to the Community and the environment, and that makes me happy.
Making a positive impact can be really hard at times but the reward is immeasurable.
So there you have it. Nothing to see. It was time to move on to the next adventure. I can take solace that all the RapidMiner adventures and friends will always be a part of me. As Ingo from RapidMiner would say, “onward and upward.”
One of my first clients at RapidMiner was Marco. He bought RapidMiner Server from us to build dashboards and do a lot of ETL for his company in Mexico. In fact, I think he was our first Latin American customer. I helped me build the dashboards and troubleshoot problems.
We met about three years ago at RapidMiner Wisdom. I didn’t have a lot of time to catch up with him there but we managed to get this picture together (Ingo is in there too). Then he promptly got snowed in and stayed a few days longer in the Big Apple.
— Marco A. Barradas T (@alterweb83) September 8, 2018
As luck would have it, Marco and his fiancé were in NYC this past weekend to watch the Jaguars vs NY Giants game. Marco is a Jaguars fan and I love the NY Giants. Despite that, we got dinner together and talked shop. We laughed, talked about data science, RapidMiner, the joys of working with people who don’t understand what you do, and life.
Here we are at the 23rd street subway station. I’m trying to look like a badass but Marco’s smile steals the show. I think he’s just happy the Jaguars clobbered the Giants 20 to 15 on opening day!
Good times. It’s always a great time when a client becomes your friend.
— Marco A. Barradas T (@alterweb83) September 10, 2018