What do you do?

A series by my friend Sean Rozekrans about the future prompted me to reflect on who I’ve become, what I’m doing, and where I’m heading.

A question that comes up a lot is “what do you do exactly?”, and honestly I didn’t know for the longest time and I still have a hard time explaining it to people. So I guess this is sort of a therapy session to try and figure that out.

Good question

I started my career in IT unlike other people. Most start doing support for a large organisation to get some experience. Not me. I quit college to start working at this digital agency I had an internship with. I went straight to working on a highly scalable and redundant architecture for a project of the Dutch government. I was in love right away. This is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.

I worked as an architect, systems administrator and front-end developer by the age of 25. I’ve been on senior level at age 24. There had to be more to this. I had to challenge myself again and I always knew I wanted to go into consultancy at some point. My whole career up to that point was preparing for a consultancy role at some company.

Amazon Web Services come along, with which I already have 6 year of experience with right now, and that made the decision easy: I wanted to go into consultancy building highly scalable, highly redundant architectures using AWS.

I like to consider myself an inventor, an innovator, a tinkerer. I want to solve puzzles no one seems to want to or is able to solve. My current job allows me to do that.

The downside though: I’m very easily bored. After about 1 year at a job I’m bored enough to go on LinkedIn and look for something else. That’s why consultancy is ideal for me. Jobs only last a couple of months after which its on to the next challenge.

Right now I’m consulting on a huge migration of all the companies’ systems to AWS and I’m working on bringing a lot of log files together in ELK and leveraging BI tools to get real value out of that data for the business. This diversity keeps me on my toes and I love it.

The future

As much as I love my job right now, this is definitely not the end game. There’s still a lot of avenues I haven’t explored. Maybe I’ll try to become an expert in some field within the AWS ecosystem, or maybe I’ll do some more sales at some point.

But what I always wanted to do is launch my own product and hopefully see it thrive. I always have some ideas floating around in my head but I never came up with a full fledged business plan, something people would actually want to pay for. Until then, I’ll keep scribbling notes in my Moleskine notebooks. Who knows what might come of it.