The Long And Winding Road
15 months ago I left the U.S. and headed out with my fiancee to Stockholm, Sweden to join NodeOne and experience life in Scandinavia. Since then a lot has happened. In those 15 months, in addition to acclimating to a new job and culture I became an initiative owner for Drupal 8, lost the fiancee, moved four times, traveled back to the US five times, visited six foreign countries (and saw Fucked Up play in three of them), gave over a dozen talks on Drupal, and overall lived a pretty goddamned amazing and incredible life. It taught me a lot about the things I value and what is important to me and those lessons could (and probably should) fill several volumes of blog posts.
One of the things I have learned is that I love building things, and I love making the things I build grow. Doing client consulting is cool because you get a lot of variety and it is endlessly fascinating learning about new businesses, but at the end of the day you give up the thing you built to someone else to play with, and that always bugged me. Additionally, once I started work on the Configuration Management project for Drupal 8, it really whet my appetite for taking on big challenges and helping to make them happen. Another thing came out of working on the Drupal 8 initiative - I realized how closely my professional life is coupled with the US. I found myself constantly feeling the need to travel back for code sprints and evangelizing opportunities, as well as struggling with far too many late nights due to time zone difficulties.
Also I met a girl.
Weighing all this (and some other stuff which I'll outline in detail another post) in my brain over a number of months, I finally came to the decision that I needed to go back. So sometime in mid-to-late February I will be returning to the US, landing in Portland to work on an idea for a product I've had in the back of my head for a number of years. It's funny how on the one hand doing a startup seems like such a risk, but on the other hand I have a good amount of savings, no kids, no house, and the Drupal market is unlikely to crash in that period. The more I thought about it the more it seemed silly not to take advantage of this opportunity.
I would like to thank everyone at NodeOne for making me feel welcome and affording me this absolutely amazing opportunity. They have built an amazing business and their commitment to Drupal is demonstrated by the fact that they were willing to give up 50% of my billable time to work on Drupal 8, culminating in the first core patch submitted just last weekend. I could not have done it without their help.
So now its back to planning and arranging yet another international move, and maybe just maybe some downtime. Not until after DrupalCon though :) See you all in Denver!