September has come and gone and we’re now feeling crunch of dry leaves under foot here in the Bay area. Dry leaves more due to the drought than the changing of the seasons. It also means I’m a full two and a half months in to life as an independent consultant. Lots of movement in the past month!

I was featured by AWS as a Community Hero for my work with startups, meetups, and online communities. I’m feeling humbled to be listed along side such esteemed and talented colleagues, and this is extraordinarily good for my personal brand as a consultant. It has already boosted my profile tremendously, offering significant street cred. I’m looking forward to dinner with the other heroes at AWS reInvent in Las Vegas next month. There has been some discussion of capes and logos, but no promises.

As I anticipated, my project load has increased considerably since my last update. In addition to part time work at Anki, I’ve resumed work with an existing client and taken on another project with a new client. This is basically my limit; I couldn’t be spending more time working than I am now. I anticipated the “feast or famine” nature of consulting, and now that I’m in the feasting season I eagerly anticipate my next short break.

There is a partnership developing with another, larger consulting firm that could quickly balloon in to something more, depending on how our projects align and how well we work together. I’m feeling both bullish and ambitious about this. It takes a team to tackle large projects, and I’d really like to push major initiatives at the clients I work with.

Goal Updates

I’m on track for three of four of my short term goals. As noted above, I’m working with a new client and there’s more work in the pipeline. I’ve attended meetups, and I even have business cards! They look like this:

I liked the hero image so much that I used it again for my card. Photo credit Angelo DeSantis on Flickr.

I failed to go on a mid week ride. But I did try windsurfing on a Saturday morning.

It’s clear that AWS is becoming my niche. There is clearly a huge demand for infrastructure and sys admin skills paired with the programmability of the cloud. Many developers don’t have the network or systems background to do the work, nor even the time and interest. I enjoy working with AWS so I’ll happily focus on it for the time being.