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I didn’t go to GUADEC

It has been said in the past, but just to re-iterate, “I <3 GNOME”.

For roughly the past two years, I’ve been on a hiatus from most all GNOME things except for easy to fix stuff in #sysadmin on IRC. Thankyou Andrea Veri, Olav Vitters, and Owen Taylor for picking up the slack where I left off. It wasn’t by choice, but my job was very high stress and there were plenty of 14 and even 17 hour days (finance companies can be brutal at times). This left me often coming home as a zombie wanting nothing much more than ice cream and BRAINS. Never mind getting up around 4:25AM, a time that no living human being should EVER have to wake up at. The additional stress of a company merger and the management changes it brought left me feeling physically ill on a regular basis.

Out of the blue, a recruiter from another finance company hit me up. I generally ignore these, however, this one looked interesting. It was for a “Systems Automation Developer” role which is pretty much exactly what I’d been doing the previous 3+ years, but not by title, just by function. No on call rotation, no crazy hours, just build great stuff with a world class team and get paid for it. WIN! After the obligatory phone screening and initial fun, they flew me to Chicago for a 9.5 hour absolutely grueling yet insanely fun interview. Being a technologist to the core, I love hard problems and “making things go”. Everyone I spoke with shared a mutual love of solving hard problems. The CEO even was quoted as asking the CTO to build a world class platform and infrastructure. Most places see infrastructure as a loss center and treat it accordingly. Not here! They shared my vision of autonomy and in fact had built some very impressive stuff. They even really got a kick out of the extensive work I’ve done on the salt stack project. Sadly, I won’t be discussing details of said awesomeness. Anyways, everyone seemed to like what I had to say and I was offered a full time position in Chicago.

Once we made the decision to do it, Becca and I took 7 days and went to Villa La Estancia in Cabos San Lucas of beautiful Mexico. All inclusive + fruity adult beverages and the ocean is a great way to clear your mind. Ironically it was during the G20 Summit, but we still had a great time. The theme song of the trip was of course, Zac Brown – Toes.

 Fast forward to now!

Becca and I

Happy Jeff is happy on an architectural boat tour of Chicago with the wifey

Now I (in no particular order):

  • Continue to write systems and network managment software. This is what I love to do and I get paid for it!
  • Interact a *lot* with internal web services and am learning more about REST than I imagined possible
  • Work with such an amazing team who has contacts all throughout the industry. I was introduced to the CTO of groupon today on the way to get coffee.
  • Am no longer a python snob^Wmonoglot and instead have been actively playing with 4 other programming languages.
  • No longer dread going into work and actually really love it along with all of the people I work with
  • Don’t think of on-call or even check work email outside of the office
  • My wife gets to enjoy me more as I come home pleasant and refreshed instead of burned out and tired
  • Live closer to family from Kentucky and can much easier go home during holidays and whatnot.
  • Have time to get back into GNOME, a community I love and want to see grow even more
Note that a few people I used to work with were teh awesome, but this just made sense. Going forward, I’m going to try to dedicate more time towards actually contributing to GNOME again. I got a chance to stop by Stormy Peters‘s home on the drive up here where she made some great cookies and reminded me why I loved GNOME so much. It is the people. Like sitting in a yogurt shop with a crazy French Canadian or debating politics with a very friendly beer loving Frenchman in Berlin. Discussing tech and doing shots of Absinthe with my Persian friend or even just getting a chance to meet and hang out with my favorite Dutchman. Perhaps it is time to dust off my django mango fork and finish it. It is sad remembering saying it would take 4-6 months at the Desktop Summit in Berlin. We move into our new apartment (out of corporate housing) hopefully in the next week or so right after they hook up the internets. Yes this post is a bit scatterbrained and yes it is almost 10PM yet I’ve had too much coffee recently. Deal with it.

TL;DNR: I have a new job where I enjoy what I do even more, do software development full time, and moved 1/2 way across the country from Los Angeles to Chicago. I work less and enjoy life more. Expect to slowly see me ease back into the GNOME scene.

Categories: Life, Planet GNOME.

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4 Responses

  1. Sounds all great. Congrats!

  2. Glad to see you reclaiming your life!
    Good to have you back matey.

  3. Hi Jeff,

    We’ve never met, but I’m also a GNOME contributor in Chicago. Meg Ford (another GNOME contributor) and I have been organizing monthly GNOME hackfests, so I thought I’d extend an invitation in case you’re interested in joining us sometime down the line.

    Our meeting dates / hackfest schedules are currently posted here: I’ll be posting an update about our most recent hackfest shortly – it will be up on the planet, but my blog is at j1m-dot-net if you want to get a look at notes from prior hackfests.



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