My name is Nick Hudacin and I’m a software engineer in Chicago, IL. I love technology and I love our industry. We’re building some of the most exciting technology on some of the most radical ideas. Ever. Every single day! The ability to spin up a thousand servers to do my bidding, all with one single command, is daunting (and totally freakin awesome). All made possible by a lot of really hard work from thousands (millions?) of really smart people. Open source projects changed the way we work together and collaborate. Businesses are changing the way they guard their “secret sauce” and instead of spending resources on locking it up, they are sharing it openly with the world. We’re pushing ourselves to release better code at a faster pace without making any sacrifices in security. Anyone who has had the privilege to push code to production thru an automated and tested pipeline knows just how downright addicting it is! Just like all of you, I’ve worked thru those awful overnight manual deploys. I’ve had to cross my fingers in more occasions than I’ll probably ever admit. Having done all of that and seeing what can be done instead, I never want to go back! And the most important part of all this is that we’re just starting! There is so much work to be done, I probably won’t see the end of it in my career.
We have everything we need today to shape the tomorrow we want to see.
I started this journey several years ago as a data analyst running data migrations for the back ends of insurance software programs. I learned how difficult it was to manage stateful applications and how astronomical software downtime costs were. Some of the migrations would take days of pure processing time on finely-tuned, hefty machines. Any bad queries we wrote literally translated to real costs of dozens or hundreds of thousands of dollars. It was fun. And super challenging. Just because you write software for a broad set of uses, your customers WILL use it in ways you never thought possible. It was here I experienced the horror of managing thousands of project specific branches in source control while having to resolve merge issues from trunk. Yea, we did it all in TFS too.
After the data analyst gig, I shifted to a more development focused role. Specifically a database developer. This is where I am today and where I see myself being for a long time. Here I’ve been able to learn from really smart people with so many different and unique backgrounds. I always hope that I am able to teach them as much as they have all taught me. Just listening to all of the different ideas in a brainstorming session amuses me. So many creative roads to the same path!
Today, most of my time is focused on infrastructure automation and code delivery. Those two terms cover as many technologies as you think of. It’s an awesome space to be in and I’m learning so much! I get to work a lot with Powershell, Chef, and the .NET stack all while staying true to my roots of SQL Server and database development.
My personal life is full of family! I have two small girls and an amazing wife who I really look up to. She keeps the wheels turning! Our smallest, Avery, just turned one which means she eats and sleeps like a somewhat normal person. I no longer see random objects and think to myself “yea, that could probably work as a bed“. I can start writing again and working on projects I want to work on at night and on the weekends. I want to start contributing to open source projects regularly and my goal for this year is to write something down at least once a week. Woodworking. I also want to start building stuff in my shop. Over the years, I’ve been carefully accumulating a stock pile of tools in hopes of one day finally having enough time to go out there and start playing.