Friday, February 19, 2010

7 Years of Blogasmic Action

Earlier today, I was looking through old blog posts, reminding myself of issues and topics that I want to continue reflecting on actively. When I got to the end of the posts, I looked at the earliest date and realized that my seven-year blogiversary was this past Wednesday. At my vocalized comment to this effect, Marjorie asked what got me started on blogging. Interestingly, it ties in with my professional life over the past twleve years...

As a physics undergrad and employee of the University of Maryland, I was hired away by a large internet startup for my systems and programming background. Already a fan of Office Space, I got to experience the reality of cubicle life as the not-so-funny, real complement of that classic movie. However, it wasn't my personal experience of cubihell that had the biggest impact upon my psyche; it was the corporate atrocities suffered by various customers and partners of dot-boom era, high-rolling companies.

Already a passionate open-source user and contributor, it become one of my personal goals to make sure a greater number of people (especially those making decisions in companies) were informed about the software freedoms that were within their reach. Within two years of this epiphany, I had my own company and was open-source consulting for everything from small businesses to large international corporations and the Federal government. Everything I did was open source; all of it saved my customers from spending millions of dollars unnecessarily and the enslavement of proprietary lock-in.

It was at this time that I started blogging. My primary interest was to be a voice in the wilderness of consultants, finding other like-minded programmers, project managers, sales engineers, etc., who believed in "open business", transparency, and accountability. As time progressed, my blogging habits adapted to fill other needs in various communities. However, all of my professional decisions have remained true to that initial desire to work on technology that was not only free, but actively prevented the bondage of its users.

For the past year and a half, I've been working at Canonical, the company that funds and actively supports Ubuntu and the Ubuntu Community. Every time I work with a different engineer or a new team, I am blown away by two things: the incredible talent embodied in each interaction, and the dedication that each person has to improving how free technology is delivered to the world.

My blog posts have definitely changed in character over the past seven years. But I'm delighted that, where I once felt alone with my ideals, I can count true giants in the field among my fellow community members, cooworkers, and mentors.

Friday, February 12, 2010

txAWS 0.0.1 Released!

The first version of txAWS just made it out the door, thanks to prodding from Scott Moser, who is helping to get txAWS into Ubuntu Lucid Lynx. It's been uploaded to PyPI now too, so you can do the usual (easy_install txAWS), or you can download it from Launchpad.

For those interested in writing async code for the cloud, txAWS is the library for you :-) What's more, if you're interested in contributing to a Twisted-based project, this could be just the thing to get you started. The use of Twisted is pretty basic in txAWS (though we do adhere to various coding idioms pretty strongly, to enhance maintainability), and would be a nice introduction. What's more, there are lots of exciting features and work still to do, and you could really make a difference.