What's Next?

I don’t really know.

I haven’t blogged much in the past year, but several months ago I wrote a blog post about what I do in my job at University of Virginia Library. All of that is now “what I did,” because I’ve resigned from that position effective the end of the year.

I’m not going to detail the reasons; you can chalk it up to philosophical differences in terms of technical focus, personnel, and institutional organization (and its resulting inertia). These are not unique to UVa or its Library.

A lot of people in the Library (including my bosses all the way up the chain) are very sad to see me go. I am sad to see me go because there are some really great people here and we had opportunities to do some really cool things. In addition to some really smart and hard-working people on my team, I am happy to have had the opportunity to work with the UX SuperTeam of Two (Joe Gilbert and Erin Mayhood); that’s a team I would work with anywhere on anything.

There are also interesting people doing creative and thought-provoking things in other groups in and around the library—Scholars’ Lab of course, but also SHANTI and NINES, to name just a few—but my group never actually worked with these groups on anything in the Library (contrary to the popular belief that I went to UVa to work for Bethany Nowviskie, in fact you could count on one hand the number of work-related meetings we sat in together). That’s too bad.


I currently have no job waiting in the wings anywhere, nor did I when I made the decision that—having given it my best effort for a year—this was not a place I should be working. My near-term goals include developing an income stream of some sort, moving the family to the Washington DC metro area, and finding a way to do the following:

  • promote and lead development in open source where possible, rational, and relevant
  • inform, train, and generally evangelize the role of UX in the software development process
  • adhere to solid project management principles for the good of an organization, a product, its developers, and its end users
  • help organizations—especially small and/or technically understaffed—understand software development methodologies and begin to implement something that makes sense for them
  • other related things, with gusto

However, the immediate plan is to finish work on two new editions of my books, specifically working on Sams Teach Yourself PHP, MySQL, and Apache All-in-One, 5th ed. and Sams Teach Yourself HTML5 & CSS3 in 24 Hours…and maybe make an actual page on this site called “Consulting Services.”

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