Tom Ortega II

Archive for the ‘Community’ Category

Don’t be a political label, be a complex person

In Community, Life on October 12, 2016 at 3:22 pm

Read this good article first, then read this.

That linked article is a good read, even if the title is a bit sensationalist. I love the juxtaposition of how the writer makes your realize you both love and hate the exact same ideal presented in two different ways. John mentioned me in his link to the article and while this started out as a comment there, I figured I should just make my own post because it’s a topic very dear to my heart and mind.

My problem is with our country’s divide. From day one of this election year, my battle tune has been the same: I hope the 2 party system dies. To me, it is the 2 party system that is feeding, energizing and growing this great divide. With 2 sides, you can’t agree on anything because that means you’ve “joined the other side”. With more than 2 parties, you can compromise and still be seen as being true to yourself. Why am I so certain that we can kill the 2 party system and still be okay? Because I’ve never been a one party kinda guy.

I’m outside the divide. I’m a big city boy, have been most of my life (I LOVE New York and Hong Kong), but was also very spiritually minded for again my whole life. I grew up poor in an inner-city ghetto, but am now close to a 1%er living in farm country of a red state (and love the small town, family friendly vibe).

Read the rest of this entry »

Advertisements

How I’m Giving Back

In Community, Learning, Life on June 1, 2016 at 5:30 am

How I’m Giving Back – Biggest Dreams / Toughest Challenges Yet

I’m in my 40th year, about to turn 41 in September. As I look forward, I realize that I really only have one more super productive 20 year block in me. My 60 to 80 year will be a good block to offer advice to others, finally have my wife all to myself again, and enjoy grandkids. Therefore, if I have any more ambitious activities, they’ll have to take place in the 40 to 60 year block.

Read the rest of this entry »

Why I Can Give Back

In Community, Life, Silicon Valley Living on June 1, 2016 at 5:29 am

Why I Can Give Back – More Help Along the Way that Made Me Successful

For the second 20 years of my life, I paused the hope phase and began the execution phase. I realized coming into this block that I wanted to be married with kids, have a good programming job and start my foray into the business world. It wasn’t easy to execute on any of those three things. In fact, at 20 years old, I was a college drop out with no girlfriend (much less a person to marry and have kids with), no job at all (much less one dealing with programming software) and starting a business seemed like the furthest thing from my mind. I don’t remember feeling hopeless or helpless though. I knew that I was going to have to start at the bottom and work my way up. I just knew in my heart that there would be people along the way to help me. That just seemed logical to me since there were people the first 20 years, so I decided to get started as soon as possible.

Read the rest of this entry »

Helping Change the System

In Business, Community on December 2, 2011 at 10:00 am

I’ve spent a longtime thinking about this post. Is it perfect? No. Is this the way I live my life? Not fully…yet. Is it something I’m gearing towards? A bit more each day. Is it something I hope happens? For the sake of my kids and grandkids, yes.

Much like a legal document, let’s define something at the start to ensure we’re on the same page. When I use the word System (note the capital “S”) in this article, I’m referring to mass media and big business. I’ll leave the topics of Wall Street and our government for some other (far distant) day.

The only way to bring down the System is by depriving it of life. Yes, this could be achieved by violent actions, but I’m not a violent kind of guy. Instead, I’m thinking of something that will bring about the same effect, but will use positivity and humanity to starve the system of the money it needs to survive. Because more than anything, the System craves one thing and one thing alone: money.

And who is going to bring about this change? Why you and I, of course. For if not us, then who?

Read the rest of this entry »

Helping Developers Bridge the Gap

In Community, Flash*Flex*AS, flex training, Ideas, Programming on September 16, 2009 at 8:30 am

In yesterday’s post, I talked about finding your niche.  Today, I share more about my niche and my plans to get back into it.

I used to run Silvafug, the Silicon Valley Flex Users Group.  During my tenure, the group accomplished a lot. (Heck even without me, the group is still doing a lot.) However, one goal eluded me, despite having a great need to be attained.  I think it’s time to revisit that goal.  What is it?

Helping Flex developers bridge the gap from beginner-to-mid and/or mid-to-advance level.

It’s an ambitious goal, but hey, why aim small, right?  I sorta started down the path with a “hit” series of mine, “Graduating from Hack to Architected Development” (available on 360|Whisperings and Adobe’s Flex Developer Center)  Adobe said that was one of their most successful pieces at the time, though I’m sure many have surpassed it now.
Read the rest of this entry »

Getting ahead by serving others

In Business, Community on March 28, 2009 at 6:07 am

Too many want to climb to the top by stepping over people versus being pushed to the top by a group of friends.

I wrote that statement awhile back to explain my philosophy on leadership, particularly in business.  Sadly, the world of business has become too much about greed.  Too many CEOs and other business “leaders” look out for only one person, themselves.  It would seem that amassing ever larger fortunes are more important than looking out for those who are supposedly in their care.

A lot of this is because leaders these days have forgotten what it means to serve.  A leadership role does not command respect by default.  Though, many in CxO level positions seem to think that.  Heck, I’ve seen that mentality manifested down to the very first level of management.  Respect, at all levels of the workplace, is something that must be earned.  Many think that intimidation or bureaucratic process will help them achieve this respect, but that just backfires.  They may feel they have respect, but don’t realize that people laugh and talk smack about them behind their backs. Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving the Valley, Geeks and Workday for the Desert, Family and my Startup

In 360Conferences, 360Flex, Business, Community, eBay, flex training, Kids, Silicon Valley Living, silvafug, Uncategorized on January 9, 2009 at 10:58 am

Yup, you read that right.  It’s been a wonderful 3+ years in Silicon Valley, but it’s time to head to the desert of Queen Creek, Arizona.  I jump started my career here.  It’s funny to say that because I moved here when I was 30!  But these past 3 years did more for my professional life than my previous 12 years of working in Southern California.

There are two reasons I’m moving.  One is sappy and is detailed on this post over on my spiritual blog.

The other is related to my day-to-day activities.  In these tough economic times, I feel lucky and sad at the same time.  Some out there do not have a job or are stuck in a deadend job.  I, on the other hand, have two great opportunities in my life.

The first is my employer for the past year and a half, Workday.  Many people come to the Valley in search of that great startup to join.  Workday definitely fits the bill.  The people are incredibly talented and the work is some of the most challenging out there.  My team is one of the best I’ve ever worked for.  (If you want to join the Workday UI team, drop me a note and your resume/cv at tom.ortega@gmail.com) Read the rest of this entry »

Special CS4 meeting at Adobe’s HQ in San Jose

In AIR, Community, Premiere Pro, Silicon Valley Living, silvafug, Technology and Software on September 23, 2008 at 5:44 pm

I just wanted to do a quick post to mention that I’m hosting a very special CS4 meeting on Wednesday, September 24th.  The meeting will be at Adobe’s Headquarters in San Jose.

We’ll be talking about the new Creative Suite 4 that was just announced.  We’ll have representation from the Illustrator team there to talk about what’s new in CS4.  If we’re lucky, we may also get a rep to show us some of the crazy new features of the CS4 Production Suite.

More details can be found at the Silvafug site.  See you tomorrow!

Birthday Thoughts: Resource Utilization

In 360Conferences, 360Flex, Business, Community, Mac Pro, Playstation3, Programming, silvafug, Technology and Software, Workday on September 23, 2008 at 8:41 am

The phrase “Resource Utilization” has so many meanings in my life currently, that I have no idea where to start.

At Workday, I (relatively) recently got a new manager, Charlie Boyle.  One of his strengths is definitely resource utlization.  Every manager has their own style and no style is right or wrong.  However, Charlie has brought some great plans to the team.  He’s brought on some processes and tools that make our lives as developers more productive. I don’t think we as a team work any less harder, but we’re definitely working a lot smarter due to the resource management.

My Silicon Valley Flex User Group (silvafug) is sorting being revamped as I write this.  At our most recent meeting, several of us got together to discuss how to better the user group in a variety of ways.  After Wednesday’s meeting, we’ll likely be officially announcing the launch of Silvafug South (and by default, Silvafug North).  There are a lot of great people in the user group with great ideas on how to make it better for everyone.  I look forward to working with them. Read the rest of this entry »

Help me teach you Flex!

In 360Conferences, 360Flex, Business, Community, Flash*Flex*AS, flex training, Programming, silvafug, Technology and Software on July 28, 2008 at 11:14 am

John posed a question to me the other day: What’s important to you?  I’ll leave out the obvious answers: wife, two kids, and church.  He was asking more in relation to business and in particular, our business: 360|Conferences.  So I was noodling on an answer for him.

Saturday morning, I finally caught up on a thread on an internal Flex list.  The list was about a fairly common problem we have in the Flex world.  There seems to be a nefarious void that people learning Flex tend to fall into.  One where they’re beyond “This is a file.  This a tag, made up of brackets and text in between them.” and below “I just rewrote the AdvancedDataGrid component to run 50% faster.”  I have feelings in regards to how to help folks cross that void, so I started noodling a response to the thread.

Then it dawned on me, my two noodles were of the same type: helping folks grow and learn. Read the rest of this entry »