Everyone has a part in making the planes fly

Waking up at 0445 to the sound of Reveille blaring across the Lackland Air Force Base Giant Voice System, rushing down the dormitory stairs just so my training instructors could bark orders at myself and the other Airmen while we ran miles around the outside track until the sun came up, I wondered if I was going to be able to make it. I wondered what the Air Force was going to be like. I wondered how things were going to change.

I thought basic training would be the most difficult part of the military because that’s what movies had depicted, but that was not the reality. After graduation, the real work began. Life was filled with on-the-job training, thick volumes of professional development courses that I had to memorize and be tested on, not to mention having to perform my job 10 hours each day, maintain physical fitness standards, go to college on my personal time, and somewhere in between all of that, find the time to sleep. Every day was insanely busy and challenging, but still rewarding. The folks I was lucky enough to work with were (and still are) some of the most inspiring people I have ever met and made even the most challenging days seem easy. It was all worth it. To say that I am fortunate having spent 10 years in the United States Air Force is an understatement; I am extremely grateful. All of these experiences have given me the tools necessary to navigate the civilian world, especially my first job as the Office Manager here at Scalyr, but how do these experiences translate?

A Sense of Urgency

Both the military and tech environments require a sense of urgency, regardless of what your job title is. In my previous profession, a sense of urgency revolved around things like performing complex data analysis, drafting hundreds of pay orders for folks traveling all over the world, or even providing critical support to our Crisis Action Team. Nowadays, my sense of urgency has shifted to planning fun events that continue building upon our company’s culture, making sure our employees have the necessary equipment to perform their jobs effectively and alerting the office when our daily lunch delivery might be running late! My job duties may have changed, but without a sense of urgency, nothing would be accomplished.

Service Before Self

Even though this is one of the Air Force’s core values, I believe this to be a universal value which everyone benefits from. Having the ability to put personal desires aside and function for the greater good of the team should be something that everyone works towards in a professional setting. Just like each position is vital to the success of the mission regardless of how big or small, I have discovered that the same applies to working at Scalyr (or anywhere else). Whether it’s a recruiting coordinator scheduling candidate onsite interviews, or an engineer fixing a high priority bug, every position matters; “everyone has a part in making the planes fly.”

Being flexible and accepting of change was as important in the military as it is in the tech world and more specifically, at a tech startup. “Aren’t you bored?” is a question I am asked frequently. A lot of people may think that I had more work to do in the military compared to where I am now, but the answer to their question is no. I still have a never-ending list of things I need to do, every day is impossible to plan because there is always something that inevitably comes up which alters the course of my day, but all of that is good. Change is good. Expecting things to change and not getting comfortable is a part of life.

So what does all of this have to do with log management? Absolutely nothing! I am just here to give a different perspective and hope that this Veterans Day people not only thank veterans for their service, but also see the importance of hiring them. Yes, it can be tricky trying to navigate a veteran’s resume since the language and certifications may not translate at first glance, but that should not be a deterrent from hiring these well qualified, hard-working people who are extremely eager to apply their skills and contribute to a different kind of team and mission. Will they be bored in a job outside of the military? Not at all!