Subject: Re: Brian Decker
I first off want to apologize for not responding to you sooner. I'm trying as quickly as possible to get through my responsibilities to Caesar (my name I choose to call the IRS), before everything is due April 15th, 2013, and also Holy Week (March 24th through March 30th).
Yes, I certainly do remember our wanton rantings we in toned to each other when we were much younger. I remember about that time how well both you and I clicked as “dynamic duo” that my math teacher and Bill my science teacher kept calling us as. I also seem to remember having too many crushes on several of the girls there, and speaking in many sessions with Owen our counselor in his “comfy chair” at the time helping me to vastly calm down from several anger issues. Of course many of those I have solved now, and others I still working on as an imperfect being under God.
Thank you so much, Brian, for your prayers, and for possibly being in agreement with God in his nature, and in his church. I will most certainly pray for your needs about getting work, that I have some things to say on, and most certainly for your wife for whom I pray one day that both my wife Jill and I will be able to meet the two of you also.
In my job instead of career that I am working on now, I did not expect to simply trade one set of problems in my past career as a telephone company lineman to the other set of problems as a part-time contracted software engineer. In my career as a telephone company residential technician and cable maintenance repairman, I enjoyed long term stability in my career working for a nearly long term stable company called what was then US West Communications. I gained lots of skill over that 9.75 years from 1996 to 2006 in what they called globally a “Network Technician” doing install and maintenance of twisted pair copper, and multi-trunk pair gain equipment. It was stable until the company changed hands several times that caused wave after wave of layoffs. After only five years working there, I reached the top of the learning curve with no seniority, and I made the decision (a very hard one) to take my education and my work life destiny into my own hands.
My bachelor of computer science degree took from 2000 to 2005 at Oregon Institute of Technology campus in Portland (that is now is Wilsonville) by attending school at night in order to make reasonable progress. In 2006, Jill and I sold our home in Beaverton, OR on Rigert Road, and moved to Issaquah, WA about 2 miles from Redmond, WA where Microsoft has their main campus. I started my first contract assignment for Microsoft through a staffing agency called Volt. From that day in 2005 to today in 2013, I have been unemployed for about half that time (three years I think), and employed only four of those years because I became disillusioned again on my second year doing software engineering on contract from the work I thought that software engineering really would be. Because of how underwhelming the work had become for me, my heart was simply not into forcing the acceleration of my own career like I have seen many of my peers that had done with award after award, and title after title that are all most likely their own project managers by now because most of them are in fact very good leaders.
As life has proven for me in this field, I am not a manager of other people, I am a lowly worker still producing the actual product subject to all management decisions. The prospect of Graduate School is appealing, but still to me in my experience it is only a mere continuation of more of the same at a higher level of experience. I suspect I’ll continue to use software engineering as a life skill, but also at the same time my plans are definitely taking a new turn with regard to our business we started while Jill and I were in Issaquah, WA at the time of 2009.
Thank you so much for sharing a memory of your parents, especially your Mom with me. I do not remember their names, but I do recall meeting again your Mom while she was the director of Thomas Edison High sometime between 1994 and 2000 during an open house of Thomas Edison High. I pray that both your Mother and your Father continue to be well, be safe, be content with their love for each other, and possibly with their love for Christ Our Lord.
I cannot begin to imagine what you went through to back from Japan where you could not find advancement, to here in the United States only to find a completely different set of problems of its own most likely similar to what I needed to go through upon leaving the “safe” and “secure” phone company.
Concerning the game locality translation that you talked about, I did speak here to the people here in this office at Experis vendor for Microsoft where we are presently working on a testing application that is going to be meant to assist in game play testing to be used by the test assistant game play testers here at Experis on the Xbox 360 gaming platform. They said that the game translation for localization like you were doing before is just as big here as it was most likely in your last position. For game development and testing, this is huge to have on a resume for the Nintendo, Microsoft Xbox group, Wizards of the Coast, and similar game maker companies.
Once I got through my education for software engineering, the programming part of the gaming development and testing became so much clearer as to its need for the actual games themselves. Concerning the work-life balance issue that you mentioned, that fact is also extremely important for me also. Just about every private software engineering company you encounter will want you to work way more than eight hours per day, and are most likely companies that you want to avoid. I cannot tell you which ones, but I can tell you how to avoid them. On my public resume profiles such as careerbuilder.com, dice.com, and monster.com, I have specifically said to the agencies that hire me out such as Volt, Prithvi Catalytic, and Experis that I will not work any overtime more than eight hours per day will I am working on each of these software contracts.
Having done that, the time I have left each evening still leaves me enough time to:
A) attend mass or bible study at night;
B) attend school as required; or
C) stay at home with Jill to watch TV, or to work on our business together.
In my experience, if you do not want to work on code 24/7, then you certainly do not have to by simply being careful who you choose most especially by asking them questions about who wants you for a particular project.
Taking to off to figure things out is definitely a good thing, and I will do my best to explain what Jill and I started in 2009 because we are not able to have children (still) yet, and after taking the time off for all of 2008, we came to the conclusion that we MUST find a permanent solution to solve what is also our money issues that would be with us for the rest of our working lives if we chose to simply taking things in our jobs doing software engineering and clerical assistance as they were.
In 2007, I decided with Jill’s help through research to learn to electronically trade stock option contracts instead of starting something on the side I thought was much more involved and I think time consuming comparatively such as real estate transactions for profit. I tried that for two years, and ended up breaking even from the very low capital money that I started with that I earned from previous work of about $500.00 USD. After giving up through frustration on that, I did some research on the top most volatile financial markets in the world that, again through further research, that actually have a possibility of paying us back many times over through consistency, and most importantly not giving up through fear if we were to lose some (but not all!) of what we started with because we were still in the process of learning. After all that in 2009, the market at the top of that list of high liquidity and profitability was for us came out to be the Spot Forex Foreign Currency Exchange global market.
Same as before with the stock option contracts: I tried system after system of profitably trading the spot forex to greater success, and ended up again with nothing by the end of 2009. In 2010, I began reading many resources as to what my issue may be. It turned out that the issue directly was me because of several disciplinary factors:
1) I was not treating my trading like a real business instead of a side hobby,
2) I was not playing by the rules, the real rules, of what actually makes up the spot forex market in how it behaves by definition. For example the fact of how news of any kind such as unemployment reports that come out monthly from the United States and Japan directly affects the gain or loss in value through either the weakness or strength of the US Dollar or the Japanese Yen in the currency pair of the USD/JPY.
I follow directly the trends that form the display of weakness or strength in the USD/JPY for example by watching where either of these currencies in their individual charts form pivot points either up or down in their individual movement. The straight/flat movement or pivot points we are able to see in these charts form what the industry calls support lines below the new trend price movement going up from where it went down, and also calls resistance lines above the new trend price movement going down from where it went up.
I learned this reliable technique from the one resource I had left to try called forexearlywarning.com.
From there I learned everything I need to know to trade the spot forex successfully using parallel and inverse analysis (very easy to practice after a few months), and also multiple time frame analysis (again very easy to practice after a few months). By using these two techniques combined with an online tool they have called the HeatMap, and also a non-US based broker called MyFXChoice.com that offers selectable spot forex account margin, I started our business that Jill and I have today called PIPs for Heaven, LLC. We started this endeavor with the same $500.00 USD we had before, and now has been multiplied many, many times over “shaken down, pressed, and over flowing” just as the bible said in many ways in Luke’s gospel and in Matthew’s gospel. We have had some setbacks and losses along the way, back as long as we stayed absolutely consistent with these techniques, then we always experienced consistent and reliable as income gains. I am only allowed to continue this activity on the condition that Jill and my prayers to God have explained to me, that we have written down in the business plan as conditions of operation, to mandatorily give back 10% of our withdrawals we take out from our profit gains, and also so far at our discretion when we are able to - our complete profit amount of the first successful trade of each calendar year we have to the charity of our choice in honor of our Blessed Mother Mary for giving us her Son.
Yes, I most certainly enjoy doing software engineering on various gaming projects and other development and testing, and even playing those video games like that still we enjoy from years and years ago. We also enjoy going out to 3D or IMAX films on very rare occasion we are not otherwise watching on our 3D TV at home. We go out on bike rides and short walks also that do not otherwise wear out Jill’s endurance to exhaustion because of her enlarged heart condition from when she was a baby that is now treated under control with her medication.
Thank you for best wishes of our website and photo gallery, it took literally years to put together and keep in a form that is well maintained.
I wish you the very best Brian, and the same to your lovely wife we sincerely hope to meet you both someday, and share even more of us you may not already know. Maybe not now, but someday perhaps, Brian my friend, I pray to also call you My Brother as a member of Christ’s Body in agreement with him, in agreement with the one who sent him to us, and in agreement with his Church.
Sincerely yours Brian my Friend, and may God Bless!
-Matthew James Klump
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From: Brian Decker: Matthew's Friend
It is an honor to connect with you as well. Sounds like things are going quite well for you which I am pleased to hear. Remember all our silly wise-cracks to each other back in High School? "Decker-ville" and "Klump-town"? We were nuts! Can't believe that was almost 25 years ago. Where does the time go?
Way to stick with God. He is the Man who loves us and knows all things. Software engineer eh? Wow. That is VERY impressive. It also takes a lot of guts (especially in this brutal economy) to be having your own business. Sounds like it is working out so far which is great! It's also fabulous that it is something you get to work on together with your wife. Great way to spend time together and strengthen your relationship too. The idea of starting your own business seems like a huge mountain to climb. Like anything, it is probably less difficult than it looks. I wouldn't know where to begin. It is inspiring to know that you have done it. Way to go! And now you are targeting graduate school! The good thing about IT and engineering is that they will be hot industries for a long long time. Your skills will always be needed somewhere. I figure you will do two years and get a Master's? Any specific plans on what you'll do with that degree once you get it? Use it with your business? Use it to spice up your resume? Or both?
I am doing reasonably well. My mother was the one who ended up taking over at the Tree and renaming it Edison. She was the director there for 5 years or so. My parents are both well and I hope the same is true with yours. I lived in Japan for 11 years and my wife and I (whom I met there as you can probably guess) moved back here to the US at the end of 2011. I was teaching English over there which was ok and I had some great experiences. I did not want to be a teacher the rest of my working life. And climbing any corporate ladder over there as a foreigner is HARD. So we moved back here (Spokane, WA). Basically a BIG career-change. I am still working to figure out what it is that I want to do next. My wife and I both took a job translating games into Japanese in Baltimore for about a year. There was no opportunity for upward mobility in that company. We aren't really east coast folk anyway. We like the west! So, we quit that job and headed back. We are staying with my parents for the moment which allows us to avoid spending money (thank God). As you knew before, I was always a game lover and so I considered getting into that industry. After research and experience, it seems to be a fairly high-stress job. Always working and no personal time (not healthy, at least not for me!). I LOVE games but am unsure whether or not that industry is the right fit for me or not. Programming would require learning C++ (which you know). Just sitting at a desk 24/7 working on code could theoretically get old. So many things to consider. In any case, it is important to find something you LIKE and can see yourself being content with for years to come.
I am currently spending all my time reading, researching, talking to people, etc... and trying to figure out what I want to do next with my life. It's a bit stressful not being sure what you want to do. Some people change careers already knowing exactly what they want to pursue next. Others (like me) stop their current line of work and aren't clear what they will do next. We are VERY thankful that we have the ability to take some time off and figure things out.
I would like to hear more about what you do and how you like it! Your resume suggests you have mostly worked in IT/Engineering/Software. How is it? Do you like it? I'm trying to look at everything that I at least THINK I would be interested in. Heck, maybe you might even have an idea or suggestion.
Do you ever play games anymore?
Great pictures on your website! Look forward to talking more.
Best to your wife and two cats!