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.