Last night was one of those nights where I wished I could sit down with lots of people and give them giant hugs and endless thank-yous. Friday was my last day at Red Hat after an incredible 2.5 years, and it feels really good to finally break the news to people; I wish we'd been able to get the word out earlier, but it's been a hectic last few weeks working on the wrap-up details while the semester's been ending (I'm still writing individual thank-you notes to Red Hatters in between multiple final papers) - so sometimes you acknowledge that perfection is impossible and work instead on making the good real.
I'm tremendously grateful to everyone who took a chance on me and helped me grow; if OLPC was where I took my first stumbles into the big, wide world of open source and learned to walk, Red Hat was where I learned to run, and to run alongside the best. The chance to grow both Fedora Marketing and FUDCon into mature, community-run entities, the chance to lead POSSE from an idea to a reality that's touched dozens of professors and hundreds of students around the world, the opportunity to play a crucial role in the early stages of Teaching Open Source, the chance to learn from everyone around me - these are experiences I couldn't have had anywhere else, and things I could not have done without my kickass teammates, mentors, and friends. The list is far too long to include here, but suffice it to say it's been the people who've made the journey as amazing as it's been, and I have no plans to say goodbye.
I'm still going to be in many of the same spaces I was in before (especially Fedora, TOS, and opensource.com), so in practical terms, what this means is that I'm swapping a .com email address for an .edu one so I can devote more time to graduate school and other personal projects along the same general theme of Awesomeness and Learning. And I'm still doing research on the open source way -- what are the elements of the methodology, and how can they be made systematically and measurably transferable and reproducible? It looks like answering that question (or whatever it turns into) will be a large part of the next few years of my life, and I'm looking forward to it and will definitely keep you all updated.
It's a big wide world out there. Time for the next adventure.