I mentioned last week that my next professional endeavor was going to provide more time to work on AppFuse and Spring Live. Now I guess I should explain what my next big adventure is.
As most of your know, I've been writing Spring Live for SourceBeat. When I signed up with them in March of last year, their grand vision for the company wasn't just to write books - it was to become a training and consulting provider as well. They wanted us as authors to eventually write training that we could deliver on-site, as well as at our facilities in Denver. As far as consulting, they wanted to provide consulting in the true sense of consulting - where we give advice and help people implement open-source in their environments. Not the code-monkey kind of consulting/contracting, but rather the big dollar kind of consulting.
Now they've got an outlet for that venture.
Not only have they gotten funding for developing training programs and providing open-source mentoring to CIOs and CTOs, they've got the connections to make it work. Furthermore, we think we've established a team that will make this a tremendous success. Many of us have been independent consultants for quite some time - so we all have a certain desire to make things happen for ourselves without having any loyalty to a particular company, or person in charge. We've all decided to give up our independent status to build a company together - because we think this venture can actually provide more freedom than independent consulting provides.
If we do it right, we plan on doing training and consulting for a week or two per month, and then working on driving the open source movement the rest of the time. All of us expect to dedicate more time to the books we're authoring, as well as contribute more to open source projects. We also plan on writing more articles and trying to help out the community more - to promote open-source tools and make them easier to use through good documentation.
At this point, you might be wondering who "We" is. As of this point in time, Matt Filios is heading up the show. He's the current CEO of SourceBeat, and it's his ideas that've made SourceBeat a unique and fun publisher to work for. Starting this new company has been in his "idea bank" for quite some time, so it's great to see his enthusiasm and energy in getting this thing off the ground. He has a lot of connections and excellent business sense to make this new company a sure success. It's great to have someone in charge that you trust and feel confident about.
Having a business leader makes good sense for a company, but you also need a technology leader. For that, Bill Dudney has stepped up to the plate and will try to keep us focused and make sure we're not goofing off all the time. Bill's role is as Vice President per se.
From there, we're establishing a number of "Practice Leaders" that are experts in a particular area, and can provide training and high-level consulting for particular technologies. I will focus on my core expertise as the Spring and Web Frameworks Practice Leader. We have also added Bruce Snyder and Jeff Genender with their in-depth knowledge and expertise in application servers and databases, and will continue to add Practice Leaders in a host of areas, including operating systems (Linux of course), databases, and other applications.
The new company's name is Virtuas, and our headquarters will be in downtown Denver. Our new office is only a few blocks from my last contract, so I'm pretty pumped that I can continue to ride my bike to work. The best part about this new job is it's not really a job. It's starting a company, pursuing a passion, and doing the stuff I normally do at night and on weekends. I won't need to switch gears anymore when I go to "work", but rather just learn, promote and teach the technologies I'm passionate about. How cool is that?!