A change of direction

I have spent the last six years working at the Institute for Advanced Study (IAS) in Princeton, NJ. This role has been the longest of my career so far. The Institute is a very, very special and unique organization. In academia, it is a very prestigious institution who has employed some of the most intelligent and accomplished scholars that have mankind has ever known. Some of these scholars include Robert Oppenheimer, John von Neumann, Freeman Dyson, Nima Arkani-Hamed and of course, Albert Einstein.

The mission of the Institute is to create a place for scholars to come and perform curiosity-based research, without distraction. There are no formal classes here. There is no formal requirements of the scholars who come. Needless to say, it is a scholars utopia.

I, of course, am not a scholar. My job was to manage the Windows and VMware infrastructure as well as various other duties due to the size of the organization. It was a position that forced me to grow in many ways, such as having to learn and use Linux often, something as a Windows-only user, was not easy at first but ultimately was very rewarding. During my tenure at IAS, I was able to work with many experienced IT professionals.

Back in 2012, I took a graduate course that was an introduction to big data, analytics and data mining. The course was taught by a very distinguished professional in this area, Dr. Michael Recce. Professor Recce was a phenomenal teacher and made the content of the course, which is certainly not easy, simple to digest for a beginner and because of this, I really enjoyed it. The group project was to take a huge amount of data from a job search site, apply a learning model and ultimately predict what job a given user would apply to next. It was a difficult project but one that I absolutely loved.

Since this course, I have always dreamed of using this knowledge in a professional arena, and when an opportunity at Johnson & Johnson was posted looking for someone with IT skills, PowerShell and experience in analytics I crossed my fingers and applied. Luckily, I was offered and accepted the role and will begin soon. Needless to say, I am extremely excited to start this new chapter in my career although of course a bit sad I am leaving such a wonderful place to work like IAS. In this new role I will be harnessing data from many locations and using it to improve the end user experience by proactively resolving issues on Windows machines using AIOps solutions and data science.

The decision to leave was not an easy one, but this new role checked off many boxes that I required. To give some insight into what factors I use to consider a new position, here is what I looked at:

  • A known great organization to work for
  • Using modern and emerging technology
  • A quick commute from home
  • Increase in salary
  • A good work/life balance (PTO, flexible work location etc.)

So I am off to a new chapter in my career, one that I don’t quite know where it will head, but I am very optimistic and excited for the future. Of course, I will continue to write content, do some speaking engagements and remain engaged in the PowerShell community but I will likely be extending my content in include more data science oriented topics as well.

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