Endings and beginnings

As of July 8th, I will no longer be working at Google.

The last four-and-a-half years at Google have been an incredible experience. First working as an SRE - Google's oncall / infrastructure role - and then as a Developer Programs Engineer, I've learned an incredible amount, worked with some amazing people, and done some exciting things. I've been with the Google App Engine team - first in a 20% capacity, and then full time - since before the product launched, and I think I've had a significant impact on the product and the community that's formed around it. I've greatly enjoyed interacting with everyone in the community and lending a hand where I can.

Ultimately, though, I've decided it's time for me to move on and seek out new challenges. With that in mind, I'm going to be working at Smart Sparrow, an exciting Sydney startup who are making waves in the education area. They're doing some really impressive stuff with E-Learning, and I'm excited to be joining them and helping shape things. Although I've worked at small companies before, this will be my first time at a for-real startup, and I ...

Shameless plug

Just a quick reminder that I've started my tour of NZ, and I'll be blogging about it at http://laidbacktouring.blogspot.co.nz/ - so check it out and subscribe, if you're so inclined.

This is the last time I plug the blog here, I promise*.

* I reserve the right to renege on this promise. It _is_ my blog, after all.


I've been blogging regularly or semi-regularly about App Engine on this blog since mid 2008, and I've been on the App Engine team for even longer, and I've decided it's time for a well-earned break.

With that in mind, starting January 30th, I'm taking eight weeks' leave from my job at Google, during which I'll be cycling the length of New Zealand! Not just on a regular bike, either, but one one of these. With any luck, I'll come back from my break revitalised and ready to bring more new and interesting things to the App Engine community.

As a result, I won't be updating this blog during my vacation. Nor am I likely to answer (m)any questions on Stack Overflow or respond promptly to email directed my way. My most capable and excellent colleagues, Amy Unruh, Ikai Lan and Johan Euphrosine will continue to take good care of the community in my absence.

I'll be blogging and vlogging my experiences riding around New Zealand while I'm gone on my new blog, Laid Back Touring, so for anyone interested in following my exploits, that is the place to look ...

A reminder

Just a quick reminder: If you've got topics you'd like me to write about, there's a feedback widget on the right hand side of the page. Submit and upvote suggestions there! A lot of the posts on this blog were based on feedback from users, and it's always more useful to be writing about something people want to hear about.


One of the questions I got asked most at I/O was "when are you going to start blogging again"? I'm happy to be able to say that the answer is "really soon now". And yes, this time I really mean it.

I'm away on holiday for the next 10 days, but as soon as I get back to work, I'm back to blogging, on at least a weekly schedule - perhaps more often. I even have a couple of kick-ass blog posts lined up about some of the new features. If you have ideas of your own, post them to the issue tracker linked from the left.

In the meantime, the I/O session videos are well worth watching.

An experiment in interactive blogging

First up, apologies for the recent inactivity here. I've had some pretty tough stuff to deal with in my personal life recently, and that's had to take priority over my blogging schedule. Rest assured that I do intend to return to a regular posting schedule, but in the short term, things may remain a little irregular. That said, there will be a post later this week, so it's not all doom and gloom.

Second, I'm now officially relocating to Sydney! Don't worry, I'll still be working on the App Engine team, but the Google office in Sydney has a substantial App Engine contingent, so I'll no longer be working alone in the Dublin office. It's also much, much closer to home for me, so I may get to see my family more than once a year or so. Finally, the weather is better. I expect to move early November, which will be another excuse for any raggedness in the blogging schedule.

Finally, the main subject of this post: I've decided to try a little experiment. I always have several post ideas in the pipeline, and readers often give me interesting new ...

Reduced posting schedule

As some of you will no doubt have already noticed, I've been posting here less frequently since I went on holiday than I previously was. Previously, my schedule was 3 posts a week - Monday, Wednesday, Friday. This let me turn out a lot of content, but it also consumed a lot of time.

Unfortunately, demands on my time are such that at the moment I can't keep that schedule up. Also, though there's still lots of App Engine and other posts I'd like to write, I'm not sure I can come up with 3 a week at the moment. For that reason, I'm going to be reducing the posting schedule, for now, to 1 post a week.

On the plus side, you can expect bigger, more detailed posts than was the average when I was posting 3 a week. An example of this would be the recent Damn Cool Algorithms post on Levenshtein Automata.

Also, due to unforseen problems with both of the posts in my pipeline currently, there'll be no post at all this week - but you can look forward to two posts next week, instead!

A short hiatus

This Saturday, I'm heading off to a Greek island to spend a little under two weeks with my gorgeous wife and a collection of good friends in what I hope is a well-deserved holiday. Relaxation will be the order of the day, and as a result, I'm not going to be blogging much, if at all, during that period.

Not to fear, though: I have several good posts planned, including new Damn Cool Algorithms posts, and you can look forward to seeing them after I get back.

See you all in a couple of weeks!