The next chapter

I don’t usually post photos of myself on this blog, so that’s the first thing I’m going to do:



I think its always nice to put a face to a name.

Two years ago I looked like this:


I was but a thumbnail in size!

There’s a method to the madness of course, and this being it: Today was my last day at Canonical.

Its been an amazing two years. Seriously. To put in in perspective, when I joined Canonical I was just eighteen years of age, just in my first year of university. My hair was three time shorter than it is now, I took one law unit per semester instead of three and I had only ever travelled to one other country for more than a few days.

Working at Canonical meant that there was quite a lot of travelling to do. I see it as one of the perks of working there. The whole company usually travels twice a year for the Ubuntu Developer Summit, and moreso if you have sprints in-between. One of the first things I learn was to deepen my but-a-child voice and put on some facial hair to convince United States Customs and Border Protection that I wasn’t twelve and also inside the United States for “business purposes”. Also not to carry around removable media because apparently software engineers were definitely prime traffickers of (and I quote) “ahem, adult movies” within Australian borders. Another thing to remember is that sometimes, you might get caught in the news . Or other times, you’ll leave a knife in your bag, forget its there, and it will go halfway around the world undetected.

I really don’t think the person in the second picture had any idea of what was coming.

The past two years have really been much more than that though. I’ve learnt so much over the course of my employment, invaluable skills working with amazingly smart and motivated people who want to see Ubuntu win. I’ve dealt with a period in my life that brought on some extremely sad words last year that I’ve sought to address in my own life. It should be no secret by now that I was a bit messed up mentally, but its important to be open about that because that’s the only way we can prevent it as a culture.

Canonical has been an amazing place to work. The people who you will find there are first-class, and its a real testament to the talent they’re able to attract.

Its really been a wild ride. So why did I leave? 

Sometimes, there are moments in life when you realize that things need to change, where one is isn’t necessary the best place for one to be. If we don’t re-evaluate our situation from time to time, sometimes its easy to get stuck in the same place over and over again, and that can really wear you out.

I think the realization for me hit when I was walking home from University at 1AM so I could start work. It occurred to me that maybe the amount of time I was required to put into each was less than the maximum amount of time that I had available in any one day.

Of course, it isn’t fair on anyone for me to pretend that this isn’t true. University has gotten a lot more intense lately, but the reality is that its my future and I want to finish this degree. So in the end I made a choice.

That doesn’t mean I’m gone for good, far from it.

It just means that I’m no longer being paid to work on whatever I was working on. What that means is that my focus will change to things that capture my interest and motivate me the most.

That doesn’t mean that I’m not working on compiz anymore.

I think you’ll still see me around, but I do want to diversify my interests. So I think if you want to see something that’s really cool and could really have an impact you should watch this space :). I won’t go into details about my ideas (because they’re very broad and abstract), but once I have a concrete implementation of something, I’ll be sure to share it with the world. And maybe if you’re interested in what I’m doing you can join me and we can do one of many things to make the world a better place.

Because we’re all in this together, aren’t we?



23 thoughts on “The next chapter

  1. As Bob Dylan wrote “condemed to drift, or be with held from drifting”. All the best to you. I left a “safe job” to go back to school. That safe job was at Kodak. Joining Kodak was one of the best moves I made, next to leaving Kodak when I did,

  2. It’s a display of great courage to understand what’s right for oneself and in turn those around them. I wish you happiness and joy in the wonderful things ahead for you 🙂

  3. Thanks for all the hard work you put into Compiz. It’s my favorite Window Manager. I use Compiz with XFCE and absolutely love it!

  4. All the best Sam! And good luck with the studies!

    By day you are just a bad-ass hacking ninja doing your job, but by night you assume you secret identity as rockstar lawyer battling crime in all its guises… or, wait, is it the other way around?!

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