When I’m not working on websites, I am usually glued to the computer in pursuit of my dream to build a video game… or possibly some high tech off-shoot with related technologies. I have wanted to build a game since beating the EPIC Final Fantasy III in 1993.
This lead me into programming. I started with Qbasic. Building a text rpg, then a small graphic based game. Eventually I reproduced the graphic based game in Visual Basic 6.0. (thank you Uncle Ron) Also built a top-down Zelda(SNES) style hack n’ slash mini game.
In high school I used my programming knowledge to build a cataloging program for our library. I was the teacher’s go-to IT guy for computer issues. As a sophomore I was introduced to AutoCad. I loved it. I was the first student done with my house blue prints and I started building isometric models. This then led me into 3D modeling which was just coming out in 1995. Other projects included a bathroom facility for our city park and a new drive way for the Grade School bus drop off/pick up.
Putting my gaming aspirations aside to attend college and actually learn how to program. I became quickly aware that programming, and programming a video game are very similar, but very different endeavors. College wasn’t anything like I expected.
Courses I could care less about. Time wasted learning about non-related subjects. Being from a business oriented family, I already know the minor aspects we were being taught and they were so diluted and not related to what I grew up with, nor were they related to programming, starting a business or anything. They were more oriented towards accounting, but very very basic. I have never used anything I learned in college. It was expensive. I wasn’t learning anything that I couldn’t just research and figure out on my own. The redundancy and focus left me extremely bored. Our professor, which I could hardly understand, spent two months on functions and variables. I did junk classes just so I could get to this programming class. And all we learned was functions and variables. Not even scoping, polymorphism or any other programming concepts. It was a waste of time.
In April of 2001 I returned home to work in the gas and oil field. My family’s business. I found that there were many, many uses for my programming knowledge. It also allowed me to continue pursuing my video game and learning amazing new technologies like facial and voice recognition.
In 2004, I had found Torque Game Engine! (now Torque3D and Torque2D) Thought I was in Heaven! The 3D aspect was so awesome. I could build scripts to do just about anything I wanted. I even helped mod the engine for a melee attack system. When TGE switched over to Torque3D, a shader based version of their platform, I found myself really striving to learn shaders and c++.
Knowing my lust for programming. My father found a computer related need in a company he was contracting for. I began working with GPS software and technologies. I was trained in mapping and land surveying. I really enjoyed this as it utilized many of my skills. October of 2005, the company liked my computer and oil field knowledge enough to offer me a position. This really was the turning point for my career.
I spent ten years with Rosewood Resources, Inc. I did a little bit of everything. I started building many VBA Macros to help different departments. That led to me building an entire data collection and reporting system. In 2006, I planned and discussed the project with everyone in the company. It gave me a foot hold and from this stemmed two years of amazing opportunity. By 2008, I was in charge of three fields, five employees, in charge of the telemetry and data gathering system. Had successfully completed my reporting system project. And, was given the title of Manager. I began getting involved with all departments in the company. Geology – I was helping map lines, wells, etc… land surveying, pipelines, excavations and environmental reclaims. Drilling, fracting, completions and more. In sales, I had re-developed the reporting process. Streamlined the company. It was all in house and gave them a huge financial benefit. By 2008 I was fourth in line and was doing very well in the company. I was given the title of Production Manager, which is one of the highest titles you can achieve in industry.
Taking a step back. In 2007, I also became involved with their drilling operations and the sales aspect of the drilling rigs. We didn’t just drill for ourselves. We more often drilled as a 3rd Party LLC. I built a 3D rendering of how their drilling rig functioned and why it was better than conventional drilling rigs. The project made it to Fox Business News, and even garnered the recognition of PEC at Texas State University.
It was really gratifying to have such a huge positive impact on a company.
In 2008, the gas and oil markets had begun their decline. By 2011. The markets had taken their first hard dive. I seen my company shut in wells. I seen so many people get laid off in Wray, Colorado, that their school systems and business’s where suffering. The EPA and state regulations in Kansas and Colorado had really taken off. They had begun an attack on the gas and oil industry that resulted in big companies monopolizing the industry. Small companies could not afford the devastating increase in 3rd party safety requirements. Not even that they had done anything wrong. It was more on the paper trail and reporting aspect. Rosewood was hiring 3rd party safety people that were charging thousands of dollars a month. We were hiring our own safety people left and right. They were spending money irresponsibly. Thousands and thousands of dollars. Trainers, more 3rd party workers. Ended up with more safety people per works than even Conoco-Phillips. It was one bad decision after another.
We watched for three years, other companies plunging into debt and having to sale. The big companies ate this up and monopolized the industry. It seemed a power play by the government and “big oil.” The rules and regulations sold on the anti-fracting movement, did nothing more than track diesel usage and the amount of break out in water tanks. It really was a huge effort that didn’t do much of anything to protect the environment. But it gave the government the power to shut in entire areas (called basins) if they so chose.
I had been working very closely with my bosses and the HSE department. I was in a position to help work with these new regulation tasks. I also tracked our own safety department. Their costs were so outstanding that it was necessary to find and ensure they were spending money correctly. To make sure that their recommendations where legit. On top of that, I also was at the forefront of grass-roots movements to ensure that the government was within their legal rights to enforce many of the newly passed statues. (See Colorado Rulings 3,4,5,6,7). This again was a stacked decision. The board members where not even aware of the legislation being passed. And they were voting on it. Deciding the fate of many small companies, while letting Anadarko dominate the oil landscape of Colorado. I began seeing a pattern that our former CEO had mentioned before. All big gas and oil are controlled any where from 20% to 30% by taxes and safety that the government enforces. We were setting in a non-violent take over of gas and oil by the government. It was a huge factor in the degrade of the markets.
This is when the entire story takes a turn for the worst.
In 2012, the family behind Rosewood Resources, Inc. made a decision to change the leadership of the company. CEO, Gary Conrad had retired and in his stead they allowed employees from a failed section of a larger gas and oil company to take over. This led to what I feel is the downfall of the company. The markets were not good. Rosewood’s new leadership did not treat employees as they should have. Moral was down and people were getting scared about losing their jobs. The drilling side of the company had, at this point, laid off 42 people. The production side was shutting in wells in an attempt to level the cost versus operating expense matrix. It was really a rough couple of years.
In 2014, the company asked me to update my reporting and data gathering system. They wanted me to build an actual software application that could wrap all of the reporting and gathering into a single, usable product. I worked on this for a year; planning and devising how it would all go together. At the end of 2014, I was instructed to no longer work on the project. This was fine considering the nature of the markets. The company was really in a bind.
In February I received a phone call: Well we like your work, you’ve done great things, but…
I was given a 39% pay cut, my rank was cut down to a pumper. Which was less than what I was hired for in 2005, and two of my employees had to be let go. One retired early, the other moved.
But… I was given a brand new work truck.
This was a major factor in my decision to resign. It seemed making the company look good was more important than respecting it’s employees. They could treat people like numbers, lay people off, but give us new equipment. Very frustrating trusting leadership that did these sorts of things. The family was no longer involved with the gas side of the company. Money was being wasted in large amounts on 3rd party safety programs that were from lazy desicions. Our own HSE department was not attending Colorado Ruling meetings, nor where they attending the training on how to handle the new regulations. Instead they spent thousands having someone else do the work for them. Then much more money having a secondary company track the the first company. I was the one attending these meetings and I was not even HSE. Then they would argue with my decisions while spending as much as $22,400 per month on these so called experts that didn’t know any more of the rulings than I did.
At this point my computer skills were of no use. I was clashing with many of my bosses. But, my oil field knowledge kept me on the payroll, my day-to-day involved tracking the HSE department. The company’s leadership had abused the employees and were not making good decisions. I was sick of the constant unfriendly work environment. I began looking for a new job.
Knowing this, my brother called me in the spring of 2015 and told me about Galvnaize, Inc. A web immersive engineering program. He thought I would be a great fit. Two months later I was accepted into the program. I was in the process of finishing a house I had moved in from the country. I spent that summer working and working on the house to get it on the market. I listed it on August 1st. I sold it on August 10th. We finalized the paperwork on October 1st. October 1st was also the day of my resignation from Rosewood Resources, Inc. I had officially been with Rosewood Resources, Inc. for ten years. I had accomplished my goal and had done as much as I could for the company.
A year later, they shut down the office I worked out of. They retired my boss early and laid off our secretary on ludicrous accusations.
I am very glad I returned to school.
I love programming and have used it to succeed my whole life. I would love to continue my education by working on awesome and technologically advance projects. I love learning and I love being creative.
There’s more to my story. But that has yet to be written. I am being led in different directions and I am just going along for the ride.