It’s about more than just the technology

Photo: freestocks/Unsplash

This fall will mark my fifteenth year of working in Information Technology and adjacent roles. I started out as a student worker at my university back in 2006, learning the ins and outs of networking technology from a bunch of grizzled and good-hearted vets of the industry. Since then, I’ve worked in a bunch of different roles from help desk to server admin to data engineer, at organizations both large and small, for colleges, hedge funds, and healthcare providers. I earned a Masters in a data-related field, and I’ve worked in five different states up and down the east coast…

Discipline and efficiency are things that you can improve through practice

Photo by Jonathan Chng on Unsplash

A few years back, I picked up a ghostwriting gig as a side hustle.

The ask was for two to three fiction pieces per week, at around 10,000 words per piece. In order to get the work done, I had to write at a rate of up to 2,000 words per hour, for two to three hours every single day.

In retrospect, I should have found a way to claim my energy drink budget as a business expense during this time. …

How I used performance psychology to up my game

There’s a lot that I could say about my love for Starcraft II. But for the purpose of this article, I’ll let the words of a particularly cruel opponent sum things up for me:

“how can u play so much and still suck this bad”

It was an unfortunately valid observation. Despite all of the time and effort I put into getting better at Starcraft II, I had hit a hard skill ceiling a little over a year after the game’s launch. All I wanted was to break into the Diamond League — which was the top ranked 1v1 league…


Exploring the reasons why it’s hard to put down roguelike games

If you peek into my Steam library, you would find a good bit of roguelikes + lites. It’s hilarious because I’m terrible at them! I’m afraid to share how many hours I’ve put into games like The Binding of Isaac, Risk of Rain, Enter the Gungeon, and Hades compared to my low percentage of achievements and other measurable progress. Despite it all, there is something about roguelikes that keeps me coming back to them again and again and again.

But, why?

Find balance between compensation, skills, and responsibilities

Photo: Rumman Amin/Unsplash

It’s been twelve years since I graduated from college. In that time, I have held nine different IT-related roles, worked at six different organizations, and have lived in four different states. On average, that means that I’ve:

  1. Moved to a new state every three years
  2. Changed organizations every two years
  3. Switched jobs every sixteen months

There are definitely people who have experienced more career-related change than I have and in less time. But considering that the median workplace tenure for people in my age bracket is 3.2 …

Photo by Vince Veras on Unsplash

I played the trumpet as a kid — from third grade all the way up through high school.

In my estimation, I was okay. I wasn’t insanely gifted, but by most metrics I was a solid member of the groups that I played in.

Except when the spotlight was on me. When I played a solo, or when there was no place to hide as a member of a small ensemble, I would get incredibly nervous. So nervous, in fact, that my throat would start to close up and my hands would start to shake uncontrollably.

It’s pretty much impossible…

Photo by Jessica Delp on Unsplash

“Why isn’t this working?”

It was 5:00am. I had already been up for an hour, half of that time spent listlessly scrolling through various articles, the other half spent looking at a blank Word document. I had been switching from one to the other every few minutes or so — all while watching the clock like a vulture, knowing that my time was quickly expiring.

I had taken the plunge a few weeks before. After years spent as a night owl — waiting until the rest of the household was asleep before pursuing writing and other important hobbies — I…

Photo by Braden Collum on Unsplash

Have you ever seen a job posting for an entry-level position requiring multiple years of experience to apply?

If your response is, “…you mean every single one?”, then you know exactly what I’m talking about.

As ridiculous and ironic as these pleas for underpaid talent are, they’re a perfect analog for individuals who are trying to build a strong work ethic out of a weak or even non-existent one.

Believe me, I have a ton of experience with this.

I was the picture perfect “academically capable, but utterly lazy” suburban nerd growing up. And unfortunately, even getting beat on by…

Photo by Jackson Simmer on Unsplash

There are a thousand reasons for someone to pick up the pen.

Some people fall in love with the craft. Others, the lifestyle. Some like the image, the attention, or the opportunity for self-expression. A good number think that it’s what they were born to do — while others just can’t imagine doing anything else.

A lucky few even get to do it for the paycheck.

Whatever their reason — and for many people, it’s hard to point to just one — writers only do their best work if they keep in mind the why of writing. What does the…

Photo by Lucas Santos on Unsplash

I played a bunch of Dungeons & Dragons as a teen and young adult. And every now and then, I would also branch out into some lesser known tabletop RPG systems — D20 Modern, Call of Cthulhu, and even a poorly run session of Paranoia or two (I can say they were poorly run because I was the one running them!)

One system that I never got the chance to try, but always wanted to, was the one at the core of White Wolf Publishing’s The World of Darkness line of products: Vampire: The Masquerade, Werewolf: The Apocalypse, and various…

Mortdecai Jones

Mortdecai Jones is on a constant quest to improve himself - and he hopes he can inspire you to do the same.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store