Using my Materials Engineering grad school experience toward understanding real-world implementation of Agile

​In studying Agile principles, I think about my time as a materials engineer grad student.

While studying superconductivity, I found that the path of least resistance takes much energy to set up via different materials, different constructions, and different processing. Crystalline structures for the most efficient electrical path are also very different for the application that you want. Putting in the energy is worth it, because it’s the only way to achieve the desired result of conductivity without any electrical resistance. Superconductivity doesn’t even require the entire mass to be superconductive, good superconductor may only have 5% of the material pathways be superconductive.

For an Agile framework to exist within a workplace, I have found it takes much energy to set up the administrative structure in the first place to have the noninterference of constant updates and coordinated meeting times. These structures can look wildly different, even in the same company, for the specific purpose they are formed. It also may be that the entirety of the company should not be Agile for Agile to work, just a small portion of it to make truly miraculous results toward a focused purpose.

Another way

Life passes into pages, if it passes into anything. – James Salter

Seems like the only way I’m going to write posts is on my phone, walking to and from work and during runs. I feel I need to write more often to organize my mind, to hold myself to my own words, to have remembrances I can share, and pass on to my children when they would like to know who their father was.


I was so gung-ho in my last post about regularly posting, it’s great to see that energy, and now to apply it to something else which came up right after I started that path of elimination, and also something else which is in the spirit of elimination, of identifying and eliminating stresses in my life.

The burn on my hands from grad school is now taking center stage as it apparent it is not the cold, dry season which is causing my hands extreme dryness and cracking.  The clues I am starting with are that steroids, such as Kenalog, are the only thing which clear it up, and this is most likely from the combination of cleaning up hydrofluoric acid in the lab with a torn glove.  My initial theory is to repair the omega-6 lipid skin formation process.

I feel if I can solve this problem for myself, I can apply this knowledge to others with terribly dry skin, much like I used my research into bipolar to help some of my friends with their job searches.

And, because I would like to get the feelings out of the way from the get-go, I feel bad for all the people I at whom I lashed out, put off, and discomforted to the point of not talking to me anymore since I have been in so much pain.  I hope to make myself better to avoid such in the future.


So, I’ve decided to start a blog.  Yet another blog amidst all the others out there.  Who cares?

I do.

I’ve been starting projects and having them hang for years, some for decades (sobering to see that in print) without conclusion.  I need at least a weekly check-in to keep me on task, and to make sure I don’t take on too much.  And if what I’m working on turns out to be cool enough, I can easily share it, and show the lead-up to it.  And my writing skills suck, being constantly kicked to the side since college, and I feel my self expression is suffering as well.  Plus, working in a Content Management System for my job for the past two years has opened my eyes on how to do this better.

I have so many things I’d like to do which are bouncing around right now – web consulting, clean eating and cooking, family research, brewing beer and mead and wine and sake, making chainmaile jewelry, helping start my wife’s pottery business, discovering fun trails to hike, carpentry projects, tripawed ownership, bipolar management – it’s difficult to pick one and stick to it.  Though I did find one overarching theme on which I would like to work on first:


We have made a concerted effort since the beginning of the year to eliminate at least a milk crate of stuff per week, and rid ourselves an equal volume of stuff when new stuff comes in the house.  The epic snow has faltered our progress this week, and I don’t want it to become just another thing thrown by the side.

If you’re reading this, welcome!  I would love to have your comments and discussions.