June 30th will mark the 61st day since the end of my job at Other Machine Company..
I am sad to go.
I first joined the company months shy of two years ago. The interview was the most interesting one I'd had, and remains an inspiration to me.
Sometime in early 2015, there was an Othermill being demoed at the Noisebridge hackerspace. They'd mentioned the need for a Qt engineer; I had a job with Ripple Labs at the time and didn't feel like quitting yet. Plus, I was a Qt engineer with contributions to KDE.
Then in a fit of inspiration, I'd decided to quit. I was in Portland, OR at the time; there I attended OSBridge, an annual conference on FOSS. Here lies the deeper truth: I would not have decided to attend had I not won a lottery for a free ticket by @RealAvocadoFact..
Because of this benevolent fruit I was able to hear the keynote speaker Kronda describe the toxic elements of a workplace. Ripple Labs matched them pretty well. Some suggestions were given on how to push back and ultimately I learned: If the culture won't change, the best thing you can do is remove yourself from the environment.
By lunch I'd emailed Other Machine Co. my resume and asked for an interview. I got a call the next day where we'd agreed on a date when I'd be back in The Republic.
No quizzes. No tests. No whiteboards. We walked around the block for coffee and chatted about machining and hardware and software and our passions. Deep knowledge of who we each were; these are the things a small team of 5 can do.
My second interview was with the full team. A long-dreamt feature was considered for implementation and I was tasked with implementing it. We worked in a regular group work session at our desks, chatting and socializing over the tools we were going to be working on together. The tools that teach machining and decentralize access to manufacturing capabilities.
After it was implemented we'd meet around the conference table and discuss UI design philosophies. When is it good to give someone an option? How can we build safety into the software? What do you want to work on?
This chapter of my life of working for Other Machine Co. has shaped me in very good ways. The ride was rough at worse, deep, tight cameradere at best. I leave now with good bonds to the countless coworkers and now close friends who've passed through the factory.
Now, I work towards building East Bay Forward into an organization capable of sustaining others in the work to organize for housing. The last two months, my life has been dedicated to this cause; income is tight and expenses are still high here in the land of $2,000 rent. The status quo is not sustainable and so I must
July 5th will mark three years since I moved to Oakland, California from Akron, Ohio. Three years since having abandoned so much away in an escape to find a way to sustain me. It worked, I believe. My outlook is brighter than before. That's something to be proud of.
I'm swinging from rope to rope, catching the opportunities that take me in the direction I need to go. Its easier than last time this happend; I consider it now a practice run.
Thank you, Avocados.