Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Relaunches ...

I wonder how this year will turn out. Much has changed for the better. New job. My older son survived a bad, bad situation (hit by a truck while biking). My younger son graduated high school. Both boys are doing great racing and pursuing their dreams. I'm re-engaging the medical charity in Ethiopia and riding my bike like hell, training for a trek in Africa.

This is a lot of stuff. My mantra is to keep things simple. It ties back to Grady Booch's principle: "A ruthless focus on simplification, minimization and clarification" is essential to (software architecture) success. I say this, but when things are spare, I tend to add things to get to a level of stress, requisite complexity (variety), I think I can manage. In this I perseverate, iteratively considering and adjusting, finding the right load.

Looking forward, the load looks like this: (1) Job. I'm a new director at a federal agency. My value prop is to help the agency move from a contracted-out software development model to one that is more strongly in-sourced, strengthening core capabilities. I've done this before. The place is a billion-dollar enterprise. My horizon is five years. (2) In April 2010, I resigned from a healthcare charity I developed in Addis Ababa due to missteps in DC. In June 2011, the program ran out of money, and my colleagues in Africa asked for help. I wrote a check, and I'm working voluntarily to strengthen development and in-country partnerships. (We serve 200-300 indigent women and children per month in Addis. We're also partnered with Save the Children to vaccinate 30,000 children in southern Ethiopia.) (3) For fitness and fun, I've signed-up to ride the first leg of the Tour d'Afrique, starting next January. My trip will cover 2,000 Km in under three weeks, riding from Cairo to Khartoum along the edge of the Sahara desert. My weekend training rides, sometimes 8-12 hours, are strenuous, usually in Virginia and Maryland's countryside.

A good time to clear the mind and find simple paths.

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