It has been a while since my last post, but in addition to MyHeritage.com and FamilyTreeDNA I also received my Jamaican Ancestry.ca results. I am dedicating an entire blog post to these results because I have now made Ancestry.ca my main place for my DNA research.
Full disclosure… I received these results months ago and my results have changed over time. As updated data comes in for each region, ancestry.ca updates the percentages to make these results more accurate. Additionally, ancestry.ca/com has the largest data pool from which to determine these results. The more data there is the more accurate the the estimate.
Due to the large pool of data (users who submitted samples) there are much more relatives that I found in this system. As you can see there are even 2nd – 3rd cousins that I found. My wife found a 1st cousin. These results are very helpful when building a family tree especially for those with Jamaican ancestry.
So what? Terrence you did all of this testing and analysis. You found out a little about your ethnic breakdown and you are now connected to a myriad of long lost cousins. What do you do with this information? What use is it to you? Well, it feels good to know. Slavery has destroyed Jamaican families. Studying our ancestry and genealogy and actually finding results is something that was impossible for generations of people like me. These modern tools have unlocked a door that can lead us to places that we cannot even fathom. My Jamaican Ancestry.ca DNA results, in addition to the DNA results from the other services, have made me even more determined to learn as much as I can about the amazing people in my family tree.
Shiloh is about to be 22 months old. I have been meaning to write a post about now being a father of 2 for the last 22 months. This post is primarily for Shiloh. When she grows up and I am no longer around I want her to always know that her daddy loved her more than she could possibly know. Secondly, this post is for fathers who are about to have a new child. I hope that any fears of love will be alleviated by your reading of this.
How I felt when I learned we were having another baby
When my wife told me that we were having another baby I was happy, however as the months waned I would ask myself if I would be able to love another baby as much as I loved Margo. I went through all of these steps with Margo: infant to toddler, toddler – child, first steps, potty training, learning to speak, learning to feed herself… did I want to go through all of that again? I felt like I was starting at level 0 and didn’t know if I was ready for all of this all over again. Inevitably there is no choice in the matter, but when Shiloh was born those feelings simply went away.
Why Shiloh Hope?
My wife and I chose the name “Shiloh” because it was the name of a biblical city that was a central place where people would come to worship God. The name means “peace”. It is our hope that whoever Shiloh comes in contact with realizes that God created a special person in Shiloh and that her presence radiates God’s peace. There is an interesting attraction that Shiloh has. I have noticed that people just love to be around here. Without trying she is always the center of attention. When I pick her up from daycare there is always a group of kids around her wanting to play with her. At church she is loved by children also. Adults love to be around her as well. At home I must say she isn’t too peaceful with Margo at times, and I hope this changes. Shiloh can be really aggressive, but she is also really sweet and loving. It is a joy to be her daddy.
2 Kids?… What?
If you were to tell me 10 years ago that I would be the father of 2 kids I would not have believed you. I can honestly say that being the father of Margo and Shiloh has been the most challenging but also the most rewarding accomplishment of my life. God has blessed me with 2 really good kids and I look forward to being a father to both them for the rest of my life.
It is easy to keep to yourself as a software developer. Work comes in, you concentrate, solve the problem, and then more work comes in. Years can go by, and your co-workers may not know one thing about you. This is what happened to me. I spent my first two years at a company working on a project. I had minimal interaction with people outside of my immediate team. Due to this, I would always be mistaken as a new employee. This wasn’t good because this was around the time that I was considering asking for a promotion. I’ve learned that people in the company need to know who you are before they will approve a promotion no matter how good your resume is. So, I decided to get involved.
How to get Involved
The easiest way is simply to share with co-workers. Share a little about yourself and listen to the stories of your co-workers. People are attracted to your humanity, so let people know a little about your life outside of the job. Also, if your company participates in charity work, get involved with the charity drive. Doing this gave me an opportunity to meet new people in my department and in other departments. Not only did I meet people I generated relationships that I can lean on in the future.
What do you do when you feel overwhelmed and stressed? Sometimes life, work, responsibility and timelines can make you feel overwhelmed. Software development as a career can be VERY STRESSFUL. Constant problem solving, evolving programming tools and methodologies, and burdensome expectations of constant perfection can really take a toll on your mind and body. On top of that there are also the stresses of life to deal with (family, bills, etc). We really need to take care of ourselves in this line of business.
I know what stress feels like
You don’t last a decade in this business without going through some stressful situations. Here are some stressful moments off the top of my head that I’ve dealt with.
Everything seems to work in the development environment, but when moved to production nothing works…
Key pieces of software stop working for no “apparent” reason.
Having to debug an issue for a user that needs software to be fixed instantly.
Dealing with disrespectful people
Dealing with micro managers
Working through the night and getting no sleep
Not being compensated for the overtime that you have to put in
How I deal with stress as a Developer
Times like these make you question why you chose this career to begin with, and what you can do to cope with the stress. It will never be completely removed, but you can deal with it. Here are some things I do when feel overwhelmed and stressed:
The first thing I do is Pray. You may not believe in prayer or a higher power but praying actually works for me. It calms my mind and helps me feel like I’m not alone.
I go for walks even if it is just to the washroom. This is vital for me. Walking helps me to clear my mind and relax. I’m fortunate to have a park near my place of work and I find that walking through nature helps to calm me down.
I try to get proper rest at night! I do my best development work in the wee hours of the night/early morning, but I find that staying up to late at night is not good if you are dealing with stress. Check out this post for more information about the results of sleep deprivation https://www.webmd.com/sleep-disorders/features/10-results-sleep-loss
I vent to a loved one. My wife is not a developer, but having her there to listen and to be my biggest supporter helps .
I try not to think about work in my off hours. That is my time.
Stress Prevention as a Developer
There are times when we will not be able to control the circumstances that come your way. However, there are also times when there could have been some preventative measures to your stressful situation.
Time Management is very important, and if truth be told, at times this could be the cause of the late nights and lack of sleep. Try not to procrastinate.
Ask questions to those who know more than you! Don’t be a hero. If a problem has already been solved get the solution and give credit where credit is due.
Show respect to the users of your applications. Developing rapport with your users can go a long way if an issue arises with the software.
Your first impression with any potential employer is your resume. My resume has been updated throughout the years but the structure of it has remained the same. The key to a software development resumes is to highlight your tools, languages, experience, and technical certifications. This is the second post in my resume writing blog series. For tips on writing your cover letter click here
Part 1 – Summary of Qualifications
Start with a paragraph briefly describing your best attributes. Use positive adjectives to help with this description.
Detail oriented Web Development professional with knowledge of multiple programming languages. Experienced in requirements gathering, and effectively translates business requirements into functional software.
My Core Strengths are:
Part 2 – Technical Skills
List of your technical skills divided into Programming Languages (C#, Java..), Database Management (MySql, Sql Server, Oracle…), Operating Systems (Windows Server 2016, Red Hat…), and Software tools (Visual Studio, Microsoft Office…)
Part 3 – Career Summary
List of previous relevant work experience separated by Company. With each company list highlights of your work, and tools you used. These tools should have been previously listed in the Technical Skills section.
XYZ Company, Toronto
August 2016 – present
Coding, compiling, testing, documenting and implementation
Liaising with external vendors regarding software engagements and troubleshooting issues
Providing on-going support to end users and other technical areas as well as performing related duties as assigned
Visual Studio .Net 2010/2012/2013/2015, C#
Part 4 – Education Summary
List of educational institutions from which you graduated. If you were a part of any clubs or societies here would be a good place to include that information.
Part 5 – Rewards and Recognition
List of certifications and other awards that you received
And there you have it. The basic structure of a software developers resume. I hope that this helps in your job quest!
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