Scott's Weblog The weblog of an IT pro focusing on cloud computing, Kubernetes, Linux, containers, and networking

New Year, New Adventure

I’ll skip the build-up and jump straight to the whole point of this post: a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity has come up and I’m embarking on a new adventure starting in early 2020. No, I’m not changing jobs…but I am changing time zones.

Sometime in the next month or two (dates are still being finalized), I’ll be temporarily relocating to Tokyo, Japan, to help build out VMware’s Cloud Native Field Engineering team to provide consulting and professional services around cloud-native technologies and modern application platforms for customers in Japan. Basically, my charter is to replicate the former Heptio Field Engineering team (now the Cloud Native Field Engineering Practice within VMware) in Japan.

Accomplishing this feat will involve a variety of responsibilities: a pretty fair amount of training/enablement, engaging customers on the pre-sales side, helping lead projects on the post-sales (delivery) side, mentoring team members, performing some project management, probably some people management, and the infamous “other duties as required.” All in about six months (the initial duration of my assignment), and all while learning Japanese! No big deal, right?

I’m both simultaneously excited and scared. I’m excited by the idea of living in Tokyo, but let’s be honest—the language barrier is significant. I’ve already started learning Japanese, and I’ll be receiving language training in Japanese once I arrive in Tokyo. Even so, Japanese is considered one of the “harder” languages to learn for a native English speaker, and even though I’m already conscientiously studying my hiragana and katakana there is still so much I have yet to learn!

Because so much of my “mental capacity” will be taken up learning Japanese, finding my way around Tokyo, and such, I’ve decided to simplify some aspects of how I use technology on a daily basis. The most significant change is that I’ve moved back to macOS from Linux. While I love Linux, I just don’t have time to deal with the annoying little issues that crop up on a fairly regular basis. I need things to just work. While macOS isn’t perfect (not by a long shot!), things do tend to just work (generally). I also switched back to an iPhone (I bought an iPhone 11 Pro) from Android (I had been using a Google Pixel 3).

Perhaps the biggest drawback of this assignment is that Crystal will not be joining me in Tokyo. Her real estate business here in the Denver metro area is finally taking off, and we agreed that taking time off to be with me in Tokyo would be very detrimental. While I will miss her immensely, I also want to make sure she has the opportunity to be successful in her career. Instead, she’ll regularly come to Tokyo to see me and spend some time with me, and I’ll be back in the US to visit her at least once (possibly more) during my assignment in Japan. We’ll also stay in touch via things like FaceTime (one reason I switched back to an iPhone—yes, I know there are alternatives, but again I need things to just work) and other mechanisms. If you’ve been part of a long distance relationship like this, I’d love to hear from you about things you did to help stay close (emotionally).

I will, of course, continue blogging as frequently as possible. (Don’t worry, I’ll still blog in English.) I’ll still be active on Twitter, and you’ll still be able to connect with me on the Kubernetes Slack community. The time difference may make it difficult for US-based folks to stay in touch, but I’m sure we can figure it out.

So what do you think—am I crazy? I’d love to hear from you, so if you have tips on learning Japanese, suggestions for things I should do while I’m in Tokyo, or if you just want to say hi, hit me up on Twitter.

Metadata and Navigation

Be social and share this post!