Goodbye Bend, Hello Portland!
My wife and I have lived in Bend for nine years, last month we spent our last weekend there together and just spent my last few days in Bend working on Ruby on Ales 2012. When siting here reflecting on all that’s happened in that span of time it’s hard to not smile about all that we’ve done. The year 2003 feels so close yet it was nearly a decade ago…
Everything we counted as part of our lives was in or near Bend, yet it never felt like “home” for us. Even with the lack of the “home” attachment, It’s hard to leave a town that you’ve spent so much time in. From knowing which store has the best vegan cookies to the preferred teller at our bank, we knew everything about that town. My daughter even named her favorite parts. We had the “boat” park and the “pirate” park and she named our house the “brown house”. She knew where her favorite toy-store was and how long it would take to get there.
I’ve been involved in the tech scene on Bend since Jeran and I arrived. From the original Bend Linux/Unix Users Group founding in 03 to the most recent Ruby on Ales conference just this week I’ve always been a giant supporter of local tech initiatives and groups. One of the things I’m most passionate about is making sure we as technologists have close ties to others with same interests in our communities. Twitter and Facebook make that easier today, but there is nothing like a quick chat and a beer to keep a group of hackers together.
Note: I’m still organizing the Ruby on Ales conference. No way I’m leaving that amazing event behind.
We’ve left our friends and family behind to move to Portland. I don’t know what it’s going to be like not having Josh, Vincent, Andrea, John, Scott, Coby, Jonan, Colton, Luke, Timmy and Matt right there whenever we decide to do something or need some assistance. What I do know is that I already miss these people.
I’m from Portland and have spent the majority of my life there. All of my family is in Portland (Except for my sisters.), all of my wife’s family is around Bend. For the longest time we’ve been coming to Portland for holidays and leisure. It felt like we were traveling to Portland to have fun and just stayed at home for work… and that never made sense to me. Rather then continue that pattern we decided to move to Portland in May 2011.
For various reasons we didn’t make it over that May. It was a mixture of not finding the right house to buy and losing faith in the long term future of G5. I didn’t want to buy a house and work remotely for a place I didn’t think would be around for a couple years. We put our moving plans on hold and sat in limbo for a few months while we waited to see how things would pan out with G5. During those months the environment eroded so rapidly that I don’t think a single person that left in 2010 would have recognized the place after mid-2011.
Up until September 2011 I hadn’t entertained the idea of finding a new job. In lieu of a new gig, Josh and I were toying around with taking nVariable to the next level and consulting full-time while working on Pint.me. There was a problem though… My heart wasn’t in consulting. I love focusing on entire lifecycle of a project and the hired gun role wasn’t appealing to me at the time. I believe that in the future I’m going to regret missing that chance because I wasn’t “into it”, but I’m happy to have not gone into something I wasn’t fully committed to.
At Cascadia Ruby Conf I had the chance to hear Rich Kilmer talk about some exciting stuff they were doing at LivingSocial and he really piqued my curiosity about what I might be able to do for them. It was then that I decided to start looking around at what opportunities were out there. There were two companies I was interested in: LivingSocial and Heroku. I put my hat into LivingSocial first and never really reached out to Heroku beyond telling my buddy Terence I was looking and to keep me in mind if they needed anyone on their Ruby team. To my surprise, shortly after reaching out to LivingSocial they had their recruiter call me. After a few months of missed connections, gmail spam folder rage and persistence from Rein Henrichs I was on a flight to Washington, DC for an in-person interview. The day after I had an offer, I quit G5 that day.
Once I cleared up the G5 connection my wife and I decided (well, mostly me) that the time was right to finally move to Portland. And now we’re here, ready to start a new adventure for all of us.. including the new baby on the way.
TL;DR - Lived in Bend for 9 years, Got a job with LivingSocial, Moved to Portland.