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It's the final countdown (2019 Edition)

It’s been a while since the last time I wrote an entry in my blog. Exactly 181 days, almost half a year without writing an article. To be honest it’s been crazy these last 181 days but I would like to start apologizing to all of you that are subscribed and read the blog during all these years. I tried answering all your emails and comments in the articles but I have some pending, I will try to answer the remaining ones in the next days.

Today I don’t want to write a technical article. In fact and as the title says= it is the final countdown in 2019 and I want to walk through what happened in my life during this last year. As I wrote back in 2017, it is important to set our new goals for the new year but it is even more important to take a look back to the last year and analyze what happened and how we can improve. Let’s play an ageless rock classic before starting!

  • 2019 started in the worst way possible for both my wife and I. Due to the US immigration process I had to go back to Spain indefinitely. I spent the last half of 2018 in the US after moving with her with a tourist visa. We knew that the process was going to be long and hard but we didn’t expect that it could take more than a year to get my marriage visa. I spent last Christmas with her and the dog visiting family and a couple of days after New Years Eve I was on a plane back to Spain without a return date…
  • I ended up spending more than 5 months in Spain. Kind of hard going back to my parents house after year living on my own place. My wife visited couple of times and I was lucky than my boss let me take holidays whenever I needed it so my wife could visit me. What seemed like a nightmare ended up improving and strengthed our marriage. I also learnt about migrating to the US so I plan to start a blog in Spanish where I can share my knowledge. Even in the darkest hour there is always hope.
  • I kept working for my company in Spain during the time I was stuck there and for the next months after moving to the US. My role didn’t change and I kept being the technical leaded of my team. It was good to be back to the office and to do some work on the field after almost 6 months working remotely. I like working remotely for couple days a week but I missed being near my team, visiting my clients and attending to meetings and workshops. Adapting to the situation allow us to growth both in personal and professional ways.
  • Deadlines are always a good pusher for doing things. Microsoft sent me an email saying that my Azure certification was about to expired so I studied for the new certification and I passed the exam. One more certification on the list!
  • I had the chance of presenting on events and conferences for both AWS and Microsoft. Probably because nobody in my department liked to speak in public so at the end of the day I was the only choice available. These opportunities allowed me to develop a different kind of skill set and to meet interesting and incredible people in the SAP world from different countries. I also meet some people and former coworkers that I didn’t see in the last year on these conferences, SAP is a small world and all of us end being interconnected in one way or another. Don’t be afraid of trying new things and failing, even if you don’t excel at public speaking!
  • After moving back to the US I started looking for a new position since my immigration status allowed me to work here. I worked for more than 4 years for my former company and even if I still had some challenges and some room to improve I wanted to move to a new position and taste the US work environment. The job hunt was way harder that I expected and it took its toll on my mental health. I was used to looking for jobs in Spain which is completely different that the US market. I interviewed for about 2 months, applied for nearly 30 positions and ended getting a couple of offers. My idea is to write an article about job hunting for newcomers in the US but I can say that I’m really proud of being interview by big names in IT and SAP world. At the end of the whole process I accepted one of the offers that I have since I like both the company and the city, I could probably got an offer for those big companies I talked about but considering our situation (low income for US, no health insurance, wanted to move out of Houston, etc.) I think I did a good choice.
  • Once that I accepted the offer we planned moving from Houston to Seattle. It was an interesting experience dealing with all the tasks related to the moving and I took it as an option to develop my project management skills. We finished on time and achieved the main goal of moving our little family to the other side of the country in about a week with some stops to visit family. Unfortunately we ended up spending more than our relocation package so we over spent couple of thousand dollars from the original budget. Specially because I didn’t consider how high relocation packages are taxed in the US but at the end of the day was my fault.
  • After moving to Seattle I started my new adventure in my current company. So far it’s being pretty interesting, I worked as SAP Basis for the last 10 years but I never seen a SAP ecosystem as the one I’m currently working on. Working for a Fortune 20 company has its privilege and the money spent on IT budget is way superior than small companies so projects are bigger, systems are bigger and everything is bigger! I also change my mentality from working for the past 5 years as consultant to working as a SAP Administrator. At the end of the day is the same, I still have stakeholders that I had to answer to, deadlines that I need to meet and work to do. 2020 will be an exciting and busy year, we have a lot of things in the list for the next months.
  • Last but not least, a bit about this blog. When I started it back in 2016 I wanted it to be something my professional business card or portfolio. A place where I can show my skills and write about SAP Basis. It ended up being that and much more, it is a way to share my knowledge and help other people that work with SAP in one degree or other. I’m glad that a lot of these people wrote me in the last year and I promise I will keep writing in the blog and sharing that knowledge in 2020. Thank you for spending your precious time reading my articles, thank you!

I hope you guys had an incredible 2019 and that you start 2020 surrounded by your beloved ones. Happy New Year 2020!

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