Monday, May 31, 2010

A New Chapter

For most of us here being islanders is a terminal condition.
But those who go away aren't cured.

They simply die of the same ailment on alien soil.

-- Frank Ledwell, The North Shore of Home

After more than a decade in St Louis, and much introspection, I am moving back to my home province, Prince Edward Island.

My friends and family know that I have been torn between (a) terrific friends and an increasingly hot tech scene in St Louis and (b) the distance from family and the tortures of holiday air travel. Thankfully, the burgeoning tech community on PEI has opened doors for me, and I've summoned the courage to recognize priorities outside of my career.

I'm tempted to thank individual people in St Louis, but the list is simply too long and I'll be sure to miss someone. Though there is some overlap, here are some key groups, relating to tech:

I've been attending the St Louis Java User Group for many years, and countless presentations. It is such an enduring fixture in St Louis, and I appreciated the sponsors (and frequent speakers) so much that I applied to work there (see below).

As a big Groovy fan, I've enjoyed the Gateway Groovy Users Group. It terrific to have a dedicated group for Groovy and Grails, and the organizers are first-class.

The biggest splash in the last few years is, undoubtedly, the Lambda Lounge. Some wondered if the St Louis area could support a user group dedicated to eclectic, hardcore nerdiness. The answer is a resounding yes!

A big thanks to everyone at OCI / Advantage. I've grown so much in terms of interesting clients, writing, giving presentations, and from observing my colleagues do the same. I love the college-style culture, and am simultaneously inspired and humbled by your talent.

Most of all, thanks to my friends from the various gigs, user groups, conferences, and pub nights. It has been a great run, with some fun stunts along the way.

I plan to visit regularly, so between this blog, Twitter, and return trips, we'll stay in touch.

To the geeks in the Maritimes: please get in touch! I'll be eager to meet up and talk tech.

ps. The quote is by the late Frank Ledwell, a former English prof at UPEI, and a beloved Island poet. I found the poem both charming and haunting when I first read it, in 1991, and have never forgotten it.


Dave Klein said...

STL is lucky to have had you here and PEI is lucky to be getting you back.

All the best!

Brian Gilstrap said...

Very sorry to see you go, but wishing you all the best. Hope you'll keep in touch using those internet tube thingys or somesuch... :-)

Michael Easter said...

Thanks Dave and Brian... It's been a pleasure to know you guys... Best wishes

David Jacobs said...

You'll be missed, Mike. But congrats on keeping your priorities straight.

When America's top hat eventually gets internet lines run across the tundra to your igloo, you'll have to let us know what it's like to live in a Democracy.

Ken Sipe said...

on one hand we will miss you... but on the hand it is fun having friends all over the world. looking forward to some future trip to "the island". I hope it is in my private plane.

Best of luck!

Alex said...

Bye, Mike. Sorry to see you go, but understand your reasons. It's been a pleasure knowing and working with you. Hope things work out well on PEI. Kim has family on PEI, so who knows, maybe someday we may come up to visit, and I'll look you up.

Luis Alberto Arias said...

Hey Mike,

Wow it was great to have met you a couple of years back in STL. I wish you the best in your new home and let me know if you get over to my part of the woods.