I’ve been kicking around the idea of starting a blog for awhile, and with the new year, I decided to finally do it. The first step was to come up with a name. Sounds easy enough, right? I wanted something catchy, witty, and relatable to IT.
I spent a lot of time staring at my laptop screen, searching, neurons firing, trying to find something that either wasn’t already taken, or that I wouldn’t have to spend $5,000 to buy. Funny thing is, the idea I ended up going with didn’t come to me until after I closed my laptop.
Full disclosure, I’m a big fan of stickers. I come back from conferences with piles of them, and I am either adding them to my laptop, or swapping out old ones for new ones. I think this stems from my youth, and having a Trapper Keeper full of Garbage Pail Kids, and sports stickers. I’m also pretty sure my company’s corporate IT folks curse my name when I turn in old equipment. To be fair, I do remove the stickers before I turn it in, but I can’t always remove the residue. My most recent laptop has a personal assortment of stickers, mostly from Redbubble (they are my go to when I want non-vendor stickers).
Back to the subject, when I closed my laptop lid I caught a glimpse of a Cisco sticker, which is one of my favorites. It’s a colorized Cisco bridge logo with the ‘C’ cleverly replaced with a ‘D’, spelling DISCO. Huh, maybe I could do something with that?
Cisco Fever– already taken Panic at the Cisco– close, but no cigar Ciscoteque– ugh Cisco dancing– just nope
- Cisco Inferno – not terrible
A quick search found that ciscoinferno.com was available. Getting warmer! Is there any other meaning, or something that I may be missing? It turns out that disco is Latin for “I learn”, and inferno means “having to do with things below”, like Hell, torture, and suffering. So disco inferno can translate to “I learn by means of things below”, or more loosely “I learn by suffering”. And there it is, a tongue-in-cheek phrase that I can totally relate to as an IT professional.
As I look back on my years of late night change windows, on-call issues, long support calls, sev-1 tickets, and repeatedly banging my head into my keyboard, I realize that this is exactly how I have done a lot of learning. Sure, in the moment it was stressful, but working through those hard issues is what made me the person I am today, and has taught me many valuable lessons. Not only as an engineer, but also a person.
Overall, it boils down to a few key points that I try my best to live by every day. I also make sure to tell my kids the same thing when I drop them off for practice.
- work hard
- listen, and ask questions
- have fun
I definitely don’t have this perfected…like not even close. Some days are better than others, and the more I keep these in my mind, the better I feel. There are days when I can solve any issue, and answer any question without blinking an eye, and it feels awesome. Then there are days when I spend hours researching, and learning about something for a project, that I feel like I should have known about years ago. When I’m frustrated, my wife always cheers me up with a great quote:
“Mav, you have the number of that truck driving school we saw on TV? Truck Masters, I think it was? I think I’m gonna need that…” – LTJG Nick ‘Goose’ Bradshaw (1962-1986)
So there you have it. Now you know how this blog name came to be, and a little bit more about me. I am looking forward to sharing more ideas like this, and also documenting technical tidbits, and issues I run into so that my learning through suffering can help others not have to repeat the same mistakes.