Many of you know that I’ve been AppFolio’s Ruby Fellow for over three years. I feel like it’s been a great run, both for me and for AppFolio. I hope it’s been a great run for the rest of you. I know many of you have said very kind things about my articles about Ruby performance.

My time as Ruby Fellow is coming to an end very shortly. While I work for AppFolio structurally, in every other way I’ve been working for the Ruby community. You’ve been collectively a wonderful boss and I appreciate you more than I can say. I’m not quitting the Ruby community, but I am changing the structure of my employment.

The Ruby Fellow position, I believe, will continue. While I can’t just appoint a successor, my understanding is that AppFolio has some very exciting plans for it in the future. You can watch their blog or Twitter for a future announcement.

My articles will keep coming out every other Friday for awhile on AppFolio’s blog. I’ve left a bit of a backlog. After that you’ll see me here on where you’re currently reading. It’s my personal and personal-business blog and has been for a long time.

Wait, Leaving Why?

Many of you know I moved to Inverness, Scotland not long ago. In effect, that was the writing on the wall for my time as your Ruby Fellow. American tax law is a funny thing, and having a full-time UK employee raises the odds that AppFolio would have to pay taxes on all their UK income. You can look up “nexus” as a US tax concept if you want all the, uh, juicy, legal details. AppFolio was happy with my work but not with my eventual geographical location. I loved being your Ruby fellow, but moving my family was more important.

Luckily, it appears that my timing is good — again, expect an announcement about the Ruby Fellow position in a few months. And I’m not disappearing, either.

But AppFolio said they were happy with my work. I’ve been very happy with them as an employer, and I recommend them highly. They’re mostly only hiring in Southern California, which is their biggest drawback for most of you.

What’s Next?

First off, I’m taking January off. It’s right after a major Ruby release, it’s just post-holidays, and I haven’t had a genuine month off since around 2003. Longer, arguably. I’m not counting paternity leave, but that involves taking care of a newborn.

Many of you know that I’m writing and early-selling a new book called Mastering Software Technique. That will continue, along with my older book, Rebuilding Rails. In general, I plan to keep doing that sort of thing, including posting to this blog. There have been a lot of new articles there recently, too.

You’ll see me at fewer conferences for awhile. It has been a tremendous year of travel, and I’m ready for it to slow down a bit. Brighton Ruby is now my local Ruby conference, so I expect that to be a regular thing. I’ve bought tickets for this year already. But AppFolio is no longer paying for my conference trips, and so there will be fewer of them.

I’m hoping that between selling books and selling training and workshops I can pay the rent here in Inverness. That would never have worked in the SF Bay Area. It simply cost too much. But here, it looks very possible. In a year or so I’ll reassess and see if that’s working. But my hope is that I’ll find a nice balance that pays the rent, gives me time with my kids and brings benefit to all you lovely Rubyists that I’ve enjoyed working for. I would like to keep you all as my collective boss. That’s been one of the best things about this job.

Rails Ruby Bench and Rails Simpler Bench aren’t going away, but I’m paying my own AWS bill now. So you’ll see a bit less ambition now that it’s my hobby instead of my job. Certainly you won’t see a blog post about it every two weeks any more! That’s not a bad thing. I feel like you were getting collectively bored of it, and I was pushing it forward just to say, “see, I did something!” A change is good now and again. I’m not done writing about Ruby, but I am reducing my laser-focus on performance in favour of a broader view.

I have a bunch of future plans, but not until February. It’s time for that break.

Want to Keep Hearing From Me?

I have an email list. You can see the signup on the right-hand side there. It comes with sample book chapters and an email class. I’d be thrilled to keep writing to you.

I also use Twitter, as most of you know. Edit: these days, it’s usually Mastodon.

If you normally read me from Ruby Weekly, I expect that to happen less. Deep performance articles in a sponsored role is right in their sweet spot, and I’ve loved writing for you all. But what I’m writing now doesn’t yell their name quite as loudly. If you’re coming from there, perhaps you’d like to sign up for my emails?