Hi, I’m Sheldon
Thanks for checking out my page during your busy day. To ensure I’m on the same page, I’ve summarized a few roles I’m typically getting recruiters reaching out on, and I tried to summarize the role and what I’d be a good fit for to expedite your assessment.
There is a large difference in expectations for different roles so let me see if I can help make sure I’m a good fit.
The goal of this page was to simplify assessing if I’m a match through all the jargon you have to deal with.
I’d appreciate any feedback on this having been useful, or if it wasn’t what I could do to improve it.
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Since I respect that you even took time to check this out…. here’s the gist of it:
- I started my journey in development June 1,2011
- I’m in UTC-5 (Texas).
- I’ve got a background in cloud operations, database administration & architecture, development (Go, .NET), and have touched a lot of tech.
- I’m a continual learner and always looking to challenge myself, with an above average ability to adapt to change and new technology.
- I pride myself on strong emotional intelligence and a positive attitude that allows me to work cross-functionality with engineering and non-engineering folks.
- I’m open to development focused roles that expect a large portion of work to be code driven.
- I’m not looking for build & release engineering roles, aka DevOps Engineer titled roles.
More project and experience related information: Brag
Types of Roles I’m Open To
- Go (Golang) language exposure is desired.2
- Full-Time roles, no contractor to hire.
- Not a consultancy company or managed service provider.
- Start-up is ok, as long as post series a/b since I need a bit of stability.
- Remote First Organization.
- I’m not willing to relocate.
- I’ll consider Remote-Friendly, if the organization has a solid remote work culture with deliberate efforts to treat remote and local workers equally. (Culture that values writing, async work, and healthy remote communication patterns).
- Plus if “digital nomad” policy in place to support working temporarily on work visa in a foreign locale with proper notice.3
- Technology focused company with a strong-engineering culture.
- No Leetcode style interviews.
- I’m working full-time and while I am working on this prep, I’m not going to reverse a Binary Tree or such right now. My background was non-typical so LC/Hackerrank puzzles are not a good indication of my abilities currently.6
What I’m Looking For In A Company
I assess companies based on the Pragmatic Engineer Checklist
- Pays at Tier 2-37: Globally competitive rates8
- Equity is a significant form of the compensation (when public) with a reasonable vesting schedule.
- Locale adjustment is a negative, but if the compensation is still at a “Tier 3” company, I’ll still consider it.
- Engineering organizations that expect a high level of autonomy.9
- I’m not great a being a “ticket cruncher”, and prefer being able to contribute to the backlog and not just do a checklist.
- High talent bar & desire for collaboration.10
- Plus for companies that value demonstrated ability to obtain new hard-skills over expecting in-depth knowledge matching all requirements on day 1.
- High value placed on continual learning and improvement. (HUGE deal to me. I believe similar to Doordash’s 1% better everyday philosophy)
- High value on work-life balance.
- Value placed on contributions back to open source and writing (as I regularly blog and engage open source projects).
Roles You Might Be Trying to Fill
Senior Software Engineer
This is the role I’m normally matched against.
This is about as specific as saying “A developer”, so it depends on the role.
See Skills section at the bottom if you want to assess if I’m a possible fit.
Senior Site Reliability Engineer
I’d be a good fit for the less common SRE roles that want SRE SWE, aka Site Reliability Engineers with Software Engineering skills1.
About This Role - Site Reliability Engineer
The industry has diluted the terminology and in the vast majority of SRE postings, they are looking for a “DevOps Engineer” style role or Systems Administration with a cloud Focus.
SREs are often generalists, as the desire to learn breadth-first instead of depth-first lends itself well to understanding the bigger picture (and there are few pictures bigger than the intricate inner workings of modern technical infrastructure). These engineers often have strong coding and software development skills, but may not have the traditional SWE experience of being part of a product team or having to think about customer feature requests. 2
I’m interested in building & running systems, but want to ensure I’m involved in the entire lifecycle.
Unlike more traditional system administration operational roles, the SRE SWE solves infrastructure problems with software engineering, coding, building, extending, and doing regular development, but a more platform level. They are not focused purely on operational tasks, but devote at least 50% of the their time towards proactively resolving and improving the reliability of services. ↩︎
This can often be 2 types of roles.
- Developer with a strong focus on cloud services and core service building and expectation to be working mostly in a langage like Go.
- Or basically another term for DevOps Engineer.
If the role is focused on building services, expects strong coding in Go, and overall is developer focused, this might be a good fit.
If the role is purely focused on infrastructure development using tools such as Terraform, and doesn’t involve any other services or development, it’s probably not the right fit.
I believe in a development team owning the majority of the core stack, including infrastructure for the application. This would be part of the standard development planning as services were built.
Platform Engineering is something I’m passionate about and believe is a good fit for my skillsets.
Full Stack Engineer
I’m primarily focused on backend and cloud engineering work, so this role might not be the right fit.
I am up for picking up React/Angular as a new hard skill, though I won’t have high levels of experience with front-end development on starting the role.
That said, quick hard skill acquisition is the key to a good engineer, so I’m always willing to take on new challenges.
About This Role - Full STack
Some folks have touched front-end through backend code, and are valued in a small team where many hats are worn.
There still tends to be a specialization of frontend or backend, due to the complexity and pace of technology.
Senior DevOps Engineer
If the role involves a large amount of application or systems development (eg 60%+), expects coding in Go for backend services/serverless solutions, and focuses on more than build & release automation, then this might be a good fit, despite the title.
The reason I put more detail here is I’ve demonstrated strong aptitude in my roles for what most companies want to term a DevOps Engineer.
While I do have a passion for SRE/DevOps principles1 I want to be engaged in a development team that implements these principles as development occurs, and not in another silo apart from development.
Having been part of teams where the “DevOps” person wasn’t involved directly in development, I’ve determined that for my long-term effectiveness, growth as an engineer, and overall satisfaction, that I’m not looking for dedicated DevOps Engineer titled roles.
That said, in a rare few cases, a DevOps Engineer role is used by HR/Recruiting to find folks with cross-functional soft and hard skills, while still doing active development. For example, at LinkedIn, DevOps Engineering roles are very technically demanding with code, core services and internal apps being built and more.
In my experience, that’s a unicorn role, that rarely exists though. 😀
About This Role - DevOps Engineer
This term is standard by companies, but it’s often actually considered an anti-pattern by many in the development community.
The industry has made this term a common practice, but in most places it really could be called a:
Build & Release Engineer.
DevOps is a term that represents the “Development + Operations” siloes being eliminated so that both Development + Operations are regularly collaborating.
See Anti-Type E: Rebranded SysAdmin or Anti-Type B: DevOps Team Silo which help clarify why this is not effective, as well as see some effective models.
AWS - What Is DevOps? says:
DevOps is the combination of cultural philosophies, practices, and tools that increases an organization’s ability to deliver applications and services at high velocity: evolving and improving products at a faster pace than organizations using traditional software development and infrastructure management processes.
This speed enables organizations to better serve their customers and compete more effectively in the market.
This means that specialization is still needed in both, but the goal is ensure clear pathways for communication.
I’ve implemented a lot of things such as implementing Trunk Based Development workflows, automating CI locally and at server, releases, runbooks, and a lot more. ↩︎
Skills You Might Be Looking For
I have a lot of experience with Terraform, but end the end it’s just a tool to help give value from services.
I have no problem using Pulumi, Terraform, CDK, or other tooling as a part of a role, just am not looking to do infrastructure as code work only as a full-time role. See DevOps Engineer section for this.
While I have a background strong in Microsoft SQL Server (MSSQL) and .NET, I’m not interested in focusing my efforts on .NET. I have a strong background in SQL Server (MSSQL) development and production database administration. However, I’ve transitioned my focus to backend engineering.
In the scope of a role such as a Senior Site Reliability Engineer, I’m up for bringing this experience to bear.
However, I’m not looking for a database administration role at this time.
I’m primarily focusing my efforts on Go, AWS, Kubernetes, serverless and similar cloud-native development efforts.
I enjoy .NET work, but I’m not looking for a .NET focused role at this time as it is a different ecosystem than the Linux focused development I’ve been diving into with Go.
Python is great, I’ve used for various automation tasks and I’m a fan.
However, my efforts are focused on Go right now, so a full-time Python dedicated role is not a good fit for where I’m focusing my efforts.
Too Long, Didn’t Read: basically the short gist of the matter for a quick few second evaluation. ↩︎
An engineer with a generalist focus can learn any language and should be able to bring on new hard-skills quickly. However, at the same time nothing replaces time with an ecosystem to build idiomatic and well-written code. As a result, my efforts for more backend effort have been heavily focused on using Go and I’d like to continue that path. ↩︎
I’m US based, but plan on doing a little traveling for some stays in EU in a few years. Knowing that the company as an international presence or is setup to handle someone relocating for 6 months would be great. ↩︎
The rate of change and “redtape” is necessarily very slow in the medical field, making it more difficult to adopt modernized CI/CD (not impossible, but difficult). Looking for a company with more capability to move quickly. If the medical company is more technology focused and moving with agility I’d consider that a possible exception. ↩︎
I’ve done financial/mortgage and that’s fine, but right now I’m more focused on technology oriented companies, though I’m willing to consider a financial services company if technology is a core value they offer (like Simple Bank did). ↩︎
My Go experience is heavily biased towards SRE/DevOps work, Pulumi Kubernetes SDK, and such so. I have algorithms-with-go and have done a steady progression of learning on my blog. I’m not open to Leetcode until I feel I’ve had sufficient time to prep, so until this page is updated, I’m not interested in doing puzzles. ↩︎
Trimodal Tiers - This is EU specific, but it applies to US-based companies as well ↩︎
You can check-out <levels.fyi> as a great resource to compare rates that aren’t geographic restricted for tech companies, if you weren’t aware of it. ↩︎
I’ve been part of teams that just fufilled a “ticket” list, and I’m more interested in collaboration on the work to help provide expertise and knowledge as part of the role. ↩︎
I’m a strong advocate for a good team with collaboration, emotional intelligence, and strong engineering skills trumps any “10x” or “100x” rockstar engineer. ↩︎
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