an open letter to the programming community, and other friends.

The audience for this is quite broad, so some of this will be old news to some of you, but the background is necessary. Shortly before Christmas, I found myself in San Francisco (I'm from Seattle), without a job, friends in the area, a steady place to live, or much money. I ended up doing a contracts for a little bit, but it didn't quite work out. Quickly enough I realized that to get into the sort of situation I want to be in over the long run, Seattle makes the most sense.

In the long run, I want set my own terms for how I work, and have significant say in what I work on. This may look like some sort of consulting, but if so it'll require that I'm able to turn down most work, as much of it won't be appropriate for these goals. It may look like some other sort of business. I don't know yet, but I do know it's my long term goal, what I'd like to be starting on, in some way or another, before I'm 30 (I'm about half way to 27 right now, for context).

I guess the apology fits nicely after all that. I asked a lot of a number of different people in the community, and created the opportunities for people to reasonably expect various things from me. I have, almost without fail, fallen through on those expectations. I feel the need to say that I'm sorry, but I just can't follow through on anything right now. Lack of money, and the instability it can bring, are taking a big enough toll on me that I can't manage a ton more than my job search right now. So, please, everyone who's given me advice, offered to pair with me, attempted introductions for me, etc., don't take it personally. I hope to get back to most of you, in some form or another, once I'm back on my feet.

I honestly didn't expect so many people to be willing to help in so many little ways. A number of times since December I have been so overwhelmed by the little and big bits of support I've gotten from this community. I'm pretty freaking sure that, over the past three months, I have cried a few times because of how grateful I was. I haven't really shared that with anyone, unfortunately, because, as I mentioned, I'm just barely getting by. Still, I want you all to know – whichever of you read this, at least – I absolutely appreciate it. You may not consider whatever thing you did to have been much, but it showed me that I'm finally part of a community that, in big and small ways, gives a shit about me. I've been hanging out on the web with programming communities since like 2003-ish (holy shit, a decade?!), and this is the first time I've ever really felt any sense of belonging. So, thanks. That helps a lot.

Love y'all. Really.