How to enjoy Seattle with kids

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family, Parenting, Travel

Seattle, the Emerald City, is best known for being gritty. Grunge bands, coffee shops, and legalized drugs aren’t most parents’ ideal picture of a trip, but there’s actually plenty family friendly fun to be had around town. The city’s connection to the water, aviation, and history actually mean that there are numerous activities for kids to enjoy. Every tourist in Seattle has to visit the Pike Place Market. Home to the original Starbucks and the […]

Reliability at Scale – How to build graceful degradation into applications at massive scale

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Software Development, Travel

Everyone thinks their system is reliable until suddenly it isn’t. With a service oriented or microservice based architecture, it can be easy to overlook a single point of failure that can cause a massive cascading failure, quickie harming users and losing their trust. Ensuring that a single failure is handled gracefully is of paramount importance in a large scale distributed system, but that’s much easier said than done. I’ve worked for multiple companies building large […]

Five reasons I’ll never travel without Google’s Project Fi for my phone again

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Technology, Travel

A few years ago, it felt amazing that I had figured out to get an unlocked cell phone and pick up a SIM card in Germany to have service and data there. Picking up a card from a vending machine in the center of Heidelberg, I was able to get data on my phone while traveling the country after only an hour or so of figuring out the setup instructions and settings on my phone. […]

Parents gone Wild: 10 ways traveling without kids is different

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Family, Lifestyle, Parenting, Travel

Traveling with kids can be a new and challenging experience for parents, especially those used to traveling alone before. It’s certainly not easy and requires a ton of planning and advance work. However, traveling as a parent without kids can be quite a change too. After two years of months of preparation before trips with our boys, our trip to Stockholm and Berlin was quite different. Here’s how it varied. 1. Our days ended much […]

How to get ready for AWS Re:Invent

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Las Vegas, Software Development, Technology

With less than a month left until this year’s re:Invent, I wanted to share what I’ve learned about getting ready and making the most of it. This will be my third AWS re:Invent, and the first time I’m speaking. This year’s re:Invent is bigger than ever, and it could already be an overwhelming experience. With a full five days of workshops, sessions, talks, and events to explore, it’s best to prepare ahead of time.  These […]

My Pixel 3 XL and iPhone XS Camera Comparison

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Technology

I just upgraded from the Pixel 2 XL to the 3 XL last week, mainly for the improved camera. While the Pixel 2 had an incredible camera that seemed like it would be impossible to beat, I decided I needed to give the newer version a shot to give my photos even more of an improvement. While waiting for the new phone to arrive, and after selling the old one, I was left with nearly […]

A layover in Oslo

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Norway, Travel

Oslo may not be the most obvious location for a quick layover; it’s location up near the top of the world doesn’t make it obvious as a transit hub. But, with several low-cost airlines using it more and more as a hub, it actually makes a great place to spend a few hours or days between other stops. My wife and I found that to get to Berlin, it was actually more affordable to travel […]

What it’s like to use a Fire Phone in 2018

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Lifestyle, Technology

For the last week, I’ve been using a Fire Phone exclusively because my normal phone – a pixel 2XL had to be sent in while I waited for my new Pixel 3. When it launched in 2014, it had a few innovative features, but never gained traction as it failed to compete with iOS and Android in app selection and struggled to find distribution channels. I’ve had mine since then, and while I never used […]

Mamma Mia! My 20 favorites things to do in Stockholm

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Beer, Family, Food, Sweden, Travel

I expected to like Stockholm. I just didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. This beautiful city and it’s people captivated me so much I found myself briefly searching for jobs and at brewery real estate in the city and contemplating raising our boys Swedish. Home to a beautiful and relaxed people, social welfare, and of course ABBA, Sweden is an absolute dream. Stopping off here on our way to Berlin for […]

Management isn’t just people engineering

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Management, Software Development, Technology

I recently read a blog post from, as is often the source of somewhat polarizing ideas in software engineering, and engineer on medium who argued that management was simply “human engineering”, after several years as both a software engineer and a manager, I can see some similarities, but certainly can’t agree. There’s so much more than just fine tuning processes and treating people and relationships than systems in management and I find this idea far […]