UC Berkeley, Priorities, & Marshmallows

Now to catch us up a little on my personal development goals…

After I completed the Rouxbe Pro Cook course, I signed up for a Professional Certificate of Business Administration program at UC Berkeley. Their extension office makes many of their certificate programs available via completely remote classes. You do have to take proctored final exams, but everything else can be done from your home. A little over a month ago, I finished the first course, an introduction to the Essentials of Business. I completed that class with a 94%! I’ve now started my second class, Applied Economics. It’s great so far and I’m excited to dig deeper into subjects I’ve barely touched on previously. After this class, I will still have 4 more to go, but I do believe I can finish the program sometime in early 2020.

This is the time I begin to really analyze my goals for the coming year. About a month ago, I started a goals journal (the Phoenix Journal). It has been enlightening to take the time to think through how I intend to spend my productive time each week, working toward specific goals. What I’ve realized is that I have less time and energy to work on everything than I would like to, which I think has often led to me switching priorities as I grow bored of one thing and try to squeeze in something else. It was time for me to step back to determine what is important and where to best put my focus. A year ago I took the role of Engineering Manager, which meant no more day to day, hands-on-keyboard writing code. I’ve worked diligently to keep my coding chops strong over this last year, but at the neglect of prioritizing my management studies (beyond the Berkeley course). After a year in the role, I do believe I am right where I need to be and the switch to management was a great decision. As anyone who has made the switch from Engineer to Manager knows, it is a SCARY decision to let someone else do the code and trust that your time is better spent in other places. I don’t intend to let my skills atrophy too much, but I did finally make the decision to time box how much effort is spent writing code at home and make sure the bulk of my study time is spent on things that make me a better manager, and one day better executive.

One of my long-standing goals is to get as good at cooking as I possibly can for a home cook. In the coming year, I’ll be using a few of my cookbooks, and possibly some additional courses, to keep taking my skills to the next level. This weekend I decided to branch out a little, making candies. I made cardamom caramels and homemade chocolate-dipped marshmallows. I’ll leave you with a couple of pictures of the marshmallows. I need to practice on cutting them cleanly, but the taste was right on point.

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