NASA Langley’s big 100 coming soon

NASA’s Langley Research Center is thinking big as it prepares to mark its 100th birthday.  Events will start in 2016 and the festivities will gather momentum in the centennial year of 2017.

Already, employees are feeling the spirit.  On Oct. 27, an estimated 1,000 people bunched onto the apron of the center’s historic hangar to pose for an aerial centennial photo.

This is pretty cool since I sure spent almost two decades working at Langley. And I have a family member in both zeros. Had I known this was happening, probably would have totally crashed the photo shoot. 🙂

http://www.nasa.gov/langley/feature/nasa-langley-sets-the-stage-for-2017-centennial-celebration

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justa.fyi (seriously)

No, the title of this post isn’t rhetorical, I snagged the domain name justa.fyi from namecheap tonight and have it redirecting to my blog now. Such a cool domain, shocked that it wasn’t already taken. Not sure what I’ll end up doing with it, but for now it will point here.

Had another domain in the works as well, but due to regulations from the country that holds that TLD, I need to be a citizen or have a local mailing address to register it. a12s be on the lookout for a ping in the near future.

Automattic Grand Meetup 2015 Recap

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I planned on penning a post about this much earlier in the week, but as it turns out, it took me a few days to recover and then I was consumed with work and things that needed to be done around the house. What am I talking about? Well the Automattic annual grand meetup, of course!

We met in Park City, Utah again this year. It’s a great resort, and one of the few that can accommodate 400+ Automatticians and our fevered thirst for Wifi. A speedy internet connection can make or break a meetup, and if you have subpar network services, we’re probably not going to use your venue. Resorts, take note!

So lets set the tone. I’m pretty sure it can all be encompassed by this single quote by Matt in our Slack announcements channel:

matt-marathon-noteThis actually applies to every single day, not just the first night, and personally I think calling it an “endurance trial” might be a more accurate description. Since we don’t work from an office and only get to hang out with the entire company once a year, it can be a little overwhelming to be around all your peers at the same time. At least that’s the case for me, and this has held true for every GM, especially as we continue to grow at a pretty good clip.

On day one, the travel day is pretty much what you would expect. Sit on a plane or in the airport all day (some flights MUCH longer than others), take a shuttle to the resort and check in. Head to the main meeting area where it’s shoulder to shoulder Automatticians. Grab a water bottle and a nametag, and jump into the crowd. Warmly greet old friends and meet new ones. It’s a pretty amazing thing that you have to experience to understand.

The rest of the week involves eating great food, watching your friends flash talks, working on a project, learnup or just performing your daily job. This year I chose to work on Akismet stuff, which I really enjoy. Due to a back injury earlier this year I didn’t participate in paintballing which was disappointing as it’s a tradition. I also didn’t do any extreme activities this year, last year that resulted in a friend getting hurt and spending a day in the hospital, so I took it easy this time around.

The accommodations were amazing, just like last year, this time around I had a larger flat complete with a conference size table and fireplace. About mid-week I realized that the fireplace made for a great standing desk.

Along with a great view. Here’s an overnight time-lapse from my room:

The party suites on the top floor of the resort was a mecca of activity from early in the evening through sunrise some nights. Not heeding Matt’s advise, I found myself unable to tear away until the wee hours of the morning.

On the final night a stage was set up in the grand meeting room where a dozen or so Automatticians took to the stage to perform, and it was nothing short of amazing. This was followed up by the Jane Doze who kept the party going.

After which, Matt took to the stage to say a few words about Automattic’s tenth birthday, and then cake!

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But it wasn’t all fun and games as it would appear. We also had our serious moments:

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All in all, it was a fantastic event, that no blog post could ever do justice. I’ll close this up with a few photos of friends, new and old. Can’t wait for next year! If you’re interested in being part of this organized chaos, we’re hiring!

By the way, looking through all these photos (and I have tons more) and remembering the week has made this the most fun blog post I’ve ever written. 🙂