I don't even know where to start with this.

I'm 45 years old; I'm not "old" but I've seen a few miles here and there. I've had so many jobs that I lose track unless I actively refresh my recall. In the past 11 years, 7 months, and 3 days, I have emigrated, made new friends, lost old ones. Been divorced, raised a child, met a partner, shared a life...

11 years. 7 months. 3 days.

I've worked for $4/h as a busboy at a goth bar, and as a door-to-door vacuum cleaner salesperson. No job, though, that I've ever had has lasted as long or meant as much to me as the time I've spent working at AWS.

What an amazing experience. I've had the privilege of working near, for, and with some of the smartest, most driven, capable people I'll ever have the privilege of meeting again. I've discovered a passion I never knew I had for quality and operations. I know more about how to fuck up at scale than I could ever have learned otherwise, and just as importantly, how not to.

From Networking (who ever thought that was a good idea‽) to Builder Tools, those 11 years (7 months, 3 days) with AWS (Amazon? ... no, it was AWS) have been a wonderful, satisfying labor of love, working for an amazing, opinionated, and driven developer population. I’ve never had anything quite like it, and I’ll miss it for the rest of my life. I found... well, no, no false modesty... I created a Python community there. I built it, with some help, but I don't think it's much of a stretch to say I was the spine of that group, and sometimes the brain. I'm proud of it; it's a self-supporting, inclusive group of developers distributed across a gargantuan megacorporation, and I think they'll make great things.

Part of building "tools" for "developers" -- those scare quotes cover a lot of ground! -- has taught me just how hard and how valuable it is to create software to sustain the creation of other software. We live in a time where computers are the turtle at the bottom of the stack of turtles, and I've had the satisfaction of being one of the bottom turtles on the stack. What an amazing thing to do with my life, even if it didn't end up being the whole career.

11 years. 7 months. 3 days.

It’s finally time for me to seek distant shores and move on. I'm excited, sure, but mostly this feels like mourning.


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