Consulting after a loss in principle

Today I was promoted from a Principal Software Quality Engineer to a Consulting Software Quality Engineer! Given the rep that so many software consultants get, I find it funny that at EMC you move from being Principal to being Consulting — lets hope I’m not required to leave my principles behind!

This doesn’t necessarily mean I have more responsibility than I did prior. Much like IBM, at EMC you pretty much have to be doing the work at a level to be promoted into it. At least that’s what I’m telling myself.

I still plan on using Performance Test Ninja as my title as that’s still more descriptive, and way more fun, than the official one.

I wanted to capture a select few of the congratulations emails I received (leaving out full names to protect their privacy since my blog is highly googleable).

  • well-deserved indeed. congrats. – Case
  • Hooray!!! Congratulations on a great job and all the hard work to earn this promotion! It was a privilege to work with you for 2 of those years. I have new positions open on Certification… ;) Just kidding! – Matt
  • Oh, you cheeky bastard. There you were focusing on MY promotion when this amazing news was in the pipeline! SO MANY CONGRATULATIONS to you!!!!! Saying this is “well deserved” is the understatement of the year. I’m so glad that you’re being formally recognized in this way. Way to go, Casey! I’m so happy for you—and for all of Isilon! – Deb
  • Congratulations, Casey! And here I thought you were only good at pottery :) – Brett
  • Outstanding! Casey, above the fact that you are damn smart, you are a consummate professional, always have a great attitude, and typically can be seen with a smile on your face. It’s obvious that you enjoy your work and you are also able to carry projects over the finish line. Congratulations! I’m happy and appreciative that you are an Isilonian! – David

Isilon 2012 Performance Review: Far Exceeds Expectations

It’s the time of the year when I get a huge does of affirming words. Like last year, I once again got a Far Exceeds review.

My favorite bit from my manager’s write-up is:

Casey is knocking it out of the park pretty much every day. He has rightly started asking what criteria will be used to judge his success in the future, because it’s obvious that he’s nailing any criteria we would hold him to today.

So glad to have found an industry and a company that appreciates my level of crazy. Is it really work when you’re having this much fun?

A straight waltz

Yesterday Daniel and I went out dancing at Waltz & etcetera, a weekly dance held at the Lake City Community Center. They play half waltzes and half other dance music (cha-cha, 2-step, etc).

We got there around 8:30p and danced for about an hour and a half non-stop. Daniel did most of the leading, having much more ballroom dance experience than I, although I did swing him around the dance floor with a country waltz and the occasional 2-step. Unsurprisingly, he’s a great lead and I mostly held my own as a follow.1

Four separate individuals came up to us between sets and thanked us for coming and said that it was good to have us. At least two people commented that we were great dancers — and I admit we held our own quite well. We were probably the youngest couple there; and also the only gay one.2

The whole thing was a bit surreal to me. I go out dancing not infrequently but always at a gay bar. The only times I’ve ever been dancing with a guy in public beyond that were at post-wedding dances among friends. Walking into the venue I joked with Daniel that I hope we don’t get stoned (to which he quipped “just don’t take a drag if you get offered a smoke”). I wasn’t seriously expecting violence, but I had steeled myself for some expression of disapproval. Yet neither he or I saw even as much as an odd glance.

Apparently we’re here, we’re queer, and everyone but us got use to it.

Reflecting on it I realized that while I never live in fear being out with a guy in public, I live with the expectation that I won’t be readily accepted. The assumption that our presence will ruffle feathers. We gays do everyone, ourselves and others, an injustice with that assumption. We’ve moved past fear, now it’s time to move past our assumptions.

A big, big thanks to the wonderful folks out at Waltz & etcetera for making us feel welcome. I look forward to coming out again in the future.

1 Apparently ballroom waltzing is all about spinning. I’ve threatened to take a dramamine the next time we go.

2 At least the only obviously gay couple. We saw a few women dancing together for a song before changing partners, but that’s not uncommon.