Some pages on my site include “affiliate links”. When you follow these and buy something on the other end, I get a small commission. This commission does not raise the price of your purchase. Ever. Not even a little bit.

About

My name has three common meanings.

One refers to a Biblical people and their home range, but I have no connection to these folks of which I am aware.

Another, means “Boulder of Testimony” (and “rock” and the like: גַּלְ, and “witness” and the like: עֵד).

The third meaning effectively translates to “Joy” (and “happiness” and the like: גִּלְ) “Forever” (and “eternal” and the like: עָד). I like to believe this last meaning, joy and happiness forever, reflects the true me.

Some pages on my site include “affiliate links”. When you follow these and buy something on the other end, I get a small commission. This commission does not raise the price of your purchase. Ever. Not even a little bit.

About

My name has three common meanings.

One refers to a Biblical people and their home range, but I have no connection to these folks of which I am aware.

Another, means “Boulder of Testimony” (and “rock” and the like: גַּלְ, and “witness” and the like: עֵד).

The third meaning effectively translates to “Joy” (and “happiness” and the like: גִּלְ) “Forever” (and “eternal” and the like: עָד). I like to believe this last meaning, joy and happiness forever, reflects the true me.

About Me

My name is Gilad Ehven (hence the domain name), and I’m a traditional American techno geek. When I describe myself this way in face-to-face conversations, or in close proximity to my picture, folks often double-take on both of these statements (“traditional American” and “techno geek”), but bear with me.

I’m an immigrant, born and raised in Israel. I’m a naturalized citizen of this great country (living now in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), and an avid believer in the liberties and opportunities for which it stands. I’m a husband and a father. And I’m a Jew, blessed by the Almighty G-d to live in a place that the Lubavitcher Rebbe describes as a “Medina Shel Chessed” (מדינה של חסד), a “nation of kindness”.

Like most other Americans, I am grateful to the brave men and women that risk all so that folks like me can be whoever and whatever we need to be. And I’m humbled by their ongoing sacrifice.

I’m also inspired by the principled notions that drove our Founding Fathers to start all that we have built here together. I am moved by the pain and loss suffered by some among us who were victimized by circumstances beyond their making. And I’m hopeful that our unrelenting collective aspiration to be guided by the better angels of our nature, will take all of this heritage, beautifully mixed as it is, and continue the march together toward a shared and meaningful greatness.

Double take resolved, right?

At least when it comes to the Traditional American identity…

Of course, the techno geek angle draws just as many bewildering looks as my take on traditional Americanism. Apparently, I look like a walking anachronism, straight out of a European or Russian shtetl. And you should see the looks I get from kids on the street around the end of December! Personally, I feel I have more in common with the Wampa, albeit of a gentler variety than the one that Luke encounters in the cave (yes, there are occasional Star Wars and other sci-fi references on this site).

I routinely meet folks that seem surprised that I even know what a computer is, set aside the fact that I make a living with the devilish devices. This was actually the driving force behind putting my image on the home page. I don’t mind the occasional encounter with the narrow minded and presumptuous, especially because I think most such reaction are actually quite reasonable and not at all insulting. But when it started happening in interviews, well, it was time to reduce uncertainty and reveal all upfront, even if only to spare myself and others the wasted time.

This, after all, is the whole purpose of this site: To introduce myself to folks in advance of actually meeting them. Save some time. Provide intel.

About My Site

My original mission with this site was to provide potential coworkers, hiring managers, project stakeholders, and other interested parties with a little information about me and my interests. It helps folks decide whether they want to work with me before they spend precious time that neither they nor I have to spare.

Over time, this site became my experimental play space, but more recently, I have come to realize that this was a mistake. The site has existed with different names (and at different addresses), and has been mothballed and reanimated repeatedly.

In its current form, I’m trying something new. Most experiments are now conducted elsewhere (although there are still a few experimental components at work here), and this site is finally becoming my virtual alter-ego (that was the original idea behind an earlier version of this site that was called Virtual Gilad).

About My Tech

These days, I build exclusively on WordPress, and this site is no exception.

As of Q1 2019, this site has been rebuilt on the Trellis/Bedrock stack (by roots.io), and also features the following stack components:

  • A growing list of Trellis extensions for fun and function like CF Origin Certificates (automatically generated at server provision), client-side asset expiration management, multiple additional environments for more detailed SDLC processes, and more
  • External and private Composer source server for premium WordPress plugins (no plugins are committed to Git other than those that come with the roots.io stack and my own SSP’s)
  • S3 compliant object storage for static assets (Q2, 2019)
  • Custom theme that implements an MVC’ish approach, with native WordPress templates as Controllers and separate custom classes as Views (the WordPress DB and associated calling API’s are a Model of sorts in this experiment)
  • CPT’s (Custom Post Types), custom taxonomies, and other information architecture devices that aim together to drive a clean content administration experience that is as easy to grow and evolve as it is to use on a daily basis

There is more detail to share here, but as I’m fairly early in this latest rebuild (the aforementioned migration to Trellis and Bedrock, starting Q1 2019). I will add to this list as more pieces wrap up in this environment.

About Working With Me

As mentioned above, this site is here to help you decide whether you want to work with me. And if you do decide to work with me, this site can provide you with most of the information about me that you are likely to need for us to work well together.

I take my principles rather seriously (Code of Conduct, Commitment to Quality, etc), and do my best to make my conventions as predictable as possible (code, configuration and integration, documentation, etc).

My availability follows the Hebrew Calendar rather religiously. Yes, I meant to do that.

This means that I am not available on Jewish holy days, but that I am very happy to fill in for other folks on their own holy or other special days. I have often been the one holding down the fort on Christmas, New Year’s, etc. I’ve also had the opportunity to learn new processes and skills during Ramadan, while supporting some of my Muslim colleagues.

Want to know more? Need to know more? Simply chomping at the bit to get something off your chest? Contact me any time.