On Friday I spent my last day working for LinuxForce, a technology services provider just outside of Philadelphia.
I started working at LinuxForce on a contract basis in 2006, working on security advisory analysis, Debian packaging and on-site server installs. I was hired full time in February of 2007 as a junior systems administrator.
Prior to coming to LinuxForce I was a Linux hobbyist and got to know my boss via the Philadelphia area Linux Users Group (PLUG), which I started attending in 2002. Finally joining a company as a junior admin I was able to really flesh out areas that were lacking when I was just a hobbyist and didn’t have the resources or inclination to work on serious production systems (oh the difficult days before ubiquitous virtualization!). I also gained really great mentors in the senior admin who was there when I was hired and my boss who has always fostered an environment where we could learn and explore while still delivering high-quality service to our customers.
Through the years gained a passion for monitoring, automation, virtualization and solid system documentation. While I wasn’t sure what my career would look like when I started, it’s become clear over the years that my interest in systems engineering has bubbled to the top.
I also had the opportunity to seriously begin contributing to open source software, which has also obviously become very important to me career-wise. My work maintaining packages in Debian was part of my job and I had flexibility in my day so I could participate in Ubuntu meetings. I was also given paid time off twice a year to attend the Ubuntu Developer Summits and to attend open source conferences where I was speaking. It was very valuable to be working for a small company that was so willing to not only be wholly committed to usage of open source in all the solutions deployed but to also making such serious, direct investments in it.
As I wrote in this post it was growth and more local opportunities that led me to finally move on from LinuxForce. This week I’m in Philadelphia and I’ll be seeing my former boss and meeting the latest hire at a PLUG meeting in what feels to be a very fitting wrap-up of my tenure.
I start my new job on January 7th which I’m happy to report also leverages my open source and systems skills, but that’s a topic for another post.