I've been meaning to write about my new job for a while, but life has been busy. I'm not working with NFJS One, but instead working for a software shop here in North Carolina called Logos Technologies. For a variety of reasons, this year really burned me out, and travel was a huge part of that, so I did some shopping around. I talked to some shops about jobs with some travel, but local was where I wanted to be, and it's where I am.
I know many people who are adamant about being independent and not working at a day job, but if you know me well, you know I'm pretty flexible... after writing Ship It! and hitting the conference circuit pretty hard, I'm ready to step back, sleep in my own bed at night, and spend the evening watching TV with my two daughters. My commute is 15 to 20 minutes when traffic is bad, and under 10 if I catch all the lights just right. You can keep your hotel food and frequent flier miles. I'll take my old couch any day of the week.
Looking back, Will Gwaltney started working on Ship It! in (I'm approximating) in 2002 or so. The starting point was a series of articles I'd written on my home wiki. I was sure we'd have it done in under a month! (ha!) A year and half later, we had a book that actually sold a few copies. It's now in German, Indian Reprint, Japanese, Korean, Polish, and Russian. I still meet people who have no idea who I am, but look shocked and excited when they realize that I'm "that Ship It guy!"
Then I discovered the No Fluff conference tour. I did two cities the first year (Atlanta and DC). My first talk started so badly! I arrived at the conference center during the break before my talk was to start. I opened my suite case in the lobby behind a post so the attendees wouldn't see me getting my laptop out from under my underwear and clothes! Then I finally reached the room and all four attendees. In about 10 minutes, I lost one of the four! :) What a way to start. My voice was shaking, my points were lost... but after he left I found my footing and did a decent job. For that talk I had three excellent reviews and one horrid one. I like to think I've gotten better since then.
For the next few years I spoke at every NFJS I could, as well as a number of other events. I got to hang out with Dave Hussman, Bruce Tate, Dave Thomas, Neal ford, Scott Davis, Venkat... I can't even list everyone! I was privileged to visit tons of Java user's groups and Agile user's groups. I've been in nearly every state in the continental US, visited Canada a few times, and been recognized by Starbuck's counter help in other states!
As I ramp down my traveling and speaking, I'd like to thank so many of you for coming to hear me speak, for blogging about the talks you liked, for buying my books, and for helping to make the last few years an incredible experience. I have good friends in San Jose, Denver, Boston, Memphis, and so many points in between.
I realize this is rambling a bit, but what's the point of having a blog if you can't wander off topic from time to time? :)
Once I catch my breath, I'll start writing again. I've got an update to Ship It! and book on testing rattling around in my head. I still might do an updated version of the Career 2.0 book as well.
As I write this, my daughters are creeping down the hallway... you'll have to excuse me now. I'm going to play with my kids. :)