Ten months ago I stepped into a new and exciting opportunity at Medtronic. My basic goal is to help my internal “customers” modernize their apps and the ways in which they work, with objectives around increasing our release frequency, quality/reliability of our apps, and to enable a more innovative, autonomous, and accountable development culture.

The journey thus far has been nothing short of invigorating! We’re standing up cutting-edge self-service AWS cloud infrastructure, templatizing pipelines to enable faster adoption, and facilitating the capture and dissemination of DevOps best practices. I’m learning A TON and working with extremely brilliant teammates!

However, my…

Photo by alan KO on Unsplash

Dieting Sucks.

Which is why you should stop.

I didn’t achieve weight-loss success until I stopped trying to lose weight. Contradiction? Nope.

Success in any endeavor requires a holistic approach. Dieting is never holistic — its failure is its narrowness.

“Eat this, not that”

“Eat less, exercise more”

“Calories in, calories out”

If only it were that sample.

The truth is sustained weight loss requires balancing physical, emotional, and spiritual human needs. That took me 20 years to figure out.

Why? The reason, I’m a recovering perpetual dieter.

I spent 20+ years trying to lose weight, only to gain weight…

public speaking skill building
public speaking skill building
Photo by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash

I’ve made it one of my career goals to be engaged in public speaking frequently. As of late, I’ve had quite a bit of success with this endeavor. Meetups, conferences small and large, online webinars, etc.

These efforts have had a huge impact on not just my career, but also in finding my own self. I’ve found my inner guru, and you can find yours, too.

Unfortunately, I must admit that my aim for public speaking is rather selfish. Some people say they speak for the “good of the community”, or because they just “love it”. But no, I cannot…

Photo by Mike Kenneally on Unsplash

Do you have 1–1s with your boss and/or team members who report to you? In all likelihood you do. 1–1s are probably the most cliché duty of a manager, and I believe 1–1s are critically important. However, they’re a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they’re a great tool you can use to build relationships with those on your team. On the other hand, they can reek of formality and be a visible scene of the abuses of power.

Knowing the goal of 1–1s starts with knowing the goal of management. In my opinion (and there are a million ways…

A reputable node.js package that is hosted for next to nothing

In this piece I’ll show how you can quickly spin up a new blog based on a reputable node.js package that is hosted for free (nearly). Sounds too good to be true? It’s not! Read on…

Running a blog about AWS means, by rules of assumption, I ought to run that blog on AWS (https://www.awsadvocate.com). What better way to run a blog than serverless? With a 12-month free AWS account I get 100% free hosting for a year. Even after that period, by my estimate, it should only cost me about $0.50 / month to host my blog. Compare that…

Phil Wicklund

Cloud hobbyist, engineer & Product Manager @ Toppan Merrill. Lover of the arts, cooking, and photography. Welcome to my buffet :)

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