Marking One Year of Independence

§ March 16, 2011 05:38 by beefarino |

imageToday is the one year anniversary of my move into self-employment. 

The motivation to go out on my own was to improve my perspective on career and life.  For a long time I defined myself by the work I did – to turn a phrase, my living was my life.  One of my goals for this first year was to separate those two things, and I think I’ve done an excellent job of that.  In the past year I’ve been able to earn a decent living while volunteering over 100 hours at my kids’ school, managing several open-source projects, and speaking at eight different technology venues.  I’m spending better quality time with my family, and we are all noticeably more happy and content with our life together.

My focus for this first year was internal, to steer myself to the life I want to live.  Now that I’m feeling comfortable in this skin, this next year will focus on business growth.

Hard Reset of Career and Life

§ May 26, 2010 00:01 by beefarino |

The best way to predict your future is to create it. -Peter Drucker.

So I've been MIA for a while.  At least here.  I thought it would be best to jot down the happenings of the last 5 months, as things have changed dramatically for me in that time.

In March of 2010, I made the decision to become self-employed.  Well, technically speaking I work for the company I own.  I had lots of reasons for doing this, but it basically boiled down to making a living vs. living my life.  The facts: I was not satisfied with my full-time employment situation and wanted a change; I found myself in a very rare and positive position, with enough freelance work to sustain me and my family for a year; I have some personal projects I want to get up and running that require significant personal investment.  This is something I've wanted to attempt for some time, and I simply could not imagine a better opportunity to do so.  My new venture is Code Owls LLC, website forthcoming.  That's my logo there, thanks to  And I'm happy to report that after only two months I'm already having to turn away work.

Last Thursday (May 20, 2010) I presented an hour session to the Charlotte ALT.NET group titled "Distributed Version Control using Mercurial".  Reception was good, despite a botched example and the seemingly endless command-line pounding.  I plan to post a summary of the talk as a blog post soon.

I'm also excited about the upcoming CodeStock community event.  There are so many awesome sessions and panels to attend, choosing a schedule will be very difficult.  I'm also presenting two sessions, one on PowerShell as a tools platform, and another on getting started on the Arduino platform.  A big Thank You to everyone who offered their votes to my sessions - I apparantly earned an "Elder Award" by getting both sessions voted into the top 20!

I've also jumped in to a new local community in here in Charlotte, NC: the Charlotte Arduinophiles.  This is a group of local evil and benevolent masterminds that love to hack using the Arduino hardware platform.  Special thanks to Brady on getting this rolling; we are presently getting organized, and at the moment most of our activity is focused at, where we share our hacks and projects and look for feedback.  Rumblings from the current participants seem to point to organized hack sessions and contests; e.g., maze-solving bot design evenings.  If you are interested in joining us, regardless of your experience, drop me a note.

So there you have it.  Big changes but a much happier me.


Software License Agreement Survey

§ March 5, 2009 07:52 by beefarino |

I'm wondering how many people actually take the time to read the legalese to which they bind themselves when they install new software.

So please take a moment to fill out this survey.  I'll post the results in few weeks.

Filling Shoes and Killing Trees

§ January 19, 2009 03:09 by beefarino |


The recession has claimed another job, and it looks like I'll be taking over documentation efforts at the office.  Unfortunately, this takes a huge bite out of my time, as we produce roughly 2000 pages of material per release.  So expect some posts about writing good technical documentation along with my latest spike notes.


Not the job I would choose by any means, but it has to get done.  Of course, it makes me wonder:

...if our last professional technical writer is dispensible, and I'm the one taking over his responsibilities,  where does that put me on the ax-list??