Don Jones

Tech | Career | Musings

Jeremy writes:

In the spirit of ‘Be The Master‘ and the non-binary teacher-student relationship, what is something that you are currently a novice in, and how are you working to approach mastery at it?

I hope you’ll ask a question, too! Visit here for info. And here’s the list of everything asked so far.

Heh. Sneaky. But good question. Extra points to you and your House.

Right now, a lot of construction-related stuff. I’ve a cabin up in Utah that’s very much a DIY project, so I’ve had to learn about framing, plumbing, concrete, more about electrical wiring, and so on. Given the dearth of qualified contractors on the mountain, I’ve been relying a lot on books, YouTube, and trial-and-error. It’s a bit harder than if I was, say, working directly with a master carpenter, but since I’m not looking to make a career from this, it’s an extra effort I’m willing to pay.

I’m also learning a lot more about the mechanics of running a publicly traded company, which mine now is. I’m fortunate to be working alongside some fantastic leaders who are incredibly willing to take their valuable time and answer questions, not only with me but with our entire company. I’m lurking a good bit, kind of watching what they do and piping up when I’ve a “how come?” kind of question.

I’m also learning how to be a better Master in some fields, like running The DevOps Collective and PowerShell + DevOps Global Summit. We’ve been doing both for ~6 years, and it’s time to start learning to teach someone else to take over. I’m not ready to step down entirely, but I don’t want to wait until I have to, for some reason, to try and figure out how to bring a next generation in. When you built something yourself, organically, it’s sometimes tough to go back and think about all the why-and-wherefore, and so we’ve got a small group of “apprentices” tasked with asking a lot of questions and documenting the answers. That’s helping them learn to run everything, and helping me and the other founders learn to teach them. That, in turn, will help us all teach the next generation, and hopefully enable the whole thing to become more self-sustaining over time.

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