A New Era

I'm writing the draft of this from an airplane bound for Ireland for a week of singing. I travel often: taking weekend jaunts to go to folk festivals, singing conventions, Morris dancing tours, and so forth, I don't really vacation often. I find travel and managing the logistics of being in unfamiliar places stressful, and my idea of a good time has a lot to do with sipping a cup of coffee [1] writing something, and reading a book.

Even though I love spending time at home, it's still important to (sometimes) leave, try new things, and exist somewhere differently for a little while to reset and reflect a bit. With luck, this vacation thing will become something I feel comfortable doing, at least occasionally.

While it certainly wasn't part of the initial plan, it turns out that this trip is pretty well timed both as denotes a relatively significant change in my life, and I think is a fitting celebration of a period of large changes in my life.


I am no longer a technical writer.

When I return to work, I'm joining the core engineering team to work on build infrastructure and systems projects. I'll be working on automating our release process, maintaining continuous integration systems, along with an eclectic set of other projects (some of which may involve some of technical writing. There are somethings that you can never escape.)

The truth though, is that this change has been a long time coming: it feels pretty natural. I've been working on the documentation build system for a while, and that's increasingly been the most fun part of my job, so it'll be good to spend more time doing that kind of work and learn from folks who know more about this kind of thing. Also, build infrastructure and packaging is incredibly important to how people use software and how engineers work, which have been consistent interests of mine for years.

Also, through the last release process, I've also found that I'm burning out on writing documentation. I can do it, and I'm not bad at it. After writing, editing and shepherding, more than a million words of documentation (over several thousand pages,) I sometimes feel like I've seen it all. I'm interested in seeing the new ideas and perspectives that will prosper in my absence. I'm also eager to see how the foundation I've built stands up without me around. It was time.


The decision to change jobs happened rather suddenly. While I've built a narrative (see above), in reality, something clicked and I realized it was time. Ten days later there was a plan. I said to myself, "Shit I thought I was done with major life changes for a while."

In the last year, I've bought an apartment and moved to Brooklyn and reorganized my local family grouping: [2] The good news is that I find my self in a good state, and 'there's nothing left to change. [3]

It's been a rocky year, nothing is going to change that. Even if in retrospect I find myself satisfied with my actions and decisions, and even if I come out the other end better for my struggle, this is a year I wouldn't care to repeat.

And even so, I'm excited about the future, about continuing to do interesting work professionally, about enjoying my city and local geography, to surround myself with top notch humans, and to make cool things.

These are early days, and there's work to do.


In the mean time, I'll be over here, enjoying something different for a little while.

[1]Astute readers of the blog will note that I am historically a tea drinker. I changed to coffee in late June 2014: I discovered that I didn't mind the taste as much as I thought, and I like a slightly more potent caffeine delivery system.
[2]Break ups suck, each in its own special fucked up way.
[3]I've started singing more tenor, I guess, so maybe there's more to change after all.
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