I appear to have lived another whole life in the time since I last posted about my resolve to become more “open source,” to share my activities and my thoughts and feelings freely with the world
At the time of that posting, December 2014, I was nervous and giddy about starting a new career in tech. I studied and practiced every day. I did indeed attend code school and did well enough to be asked to teach subsequent cohorts. I loved the school and its mission so much that I stayed, first as an instructor and then as the Enrollment Coordinator, heading up the admissions process. Over the course of the next four years, I became the Campus Director of that school. I continued to hone my tech skills while also meeting amazing people who would become some of the dearest friends of my life. The time went by quickly, which is hard to notice when actually living it! I look back and marvel at how consumed I was by the excitement of collaborative learning and coding, of the stream of eager new programmers who spend 27 weeks with us, learning the basics before flying off to their new lives. The pace was fast, the work was demanding, and by the time I stopped and took a moment to reflect on that part of my life’s journey, I regretted that I had not found the time to chronicle each step of it here.
During that period I saw firsthand the challenges women and minorities face in the field of tech, and our school continued its initiatives and added new ones in efforts to level the field for junior developers of all stripes. We talked constantly about diversity and inclusion, about the accessibility of education and networks for job seekers. We sought to be a training and career-launching beacon to underserved communities, and I like to think that we hit that mark pretty often. It was a worthwhile way to spend my time. While I have since moved on to a new venture, I am very proud of Epicodus and the doors it continues to open for its students.
Which brings me to now, April 2019. Here I stand, some new skills under my belt and a longing in my heart to merge all my various life paths into one. I am returning to my literary roots, as my time in tech left no significant room for the arts, and I am hungry for it. At this stage in my life, I am ready to take what I’ve learned and turn it into an organization that helps boost writers and artists in their literary pursuits. With the help of my wife, Beth, I am founding a small press publishing company called Northwest Quest Publishers.
Beth and I met as English majors nearly 30 years ago, and our love of literature and storytelling has endured. We are also avid game-players, whether board games, tabletop rpgs like Dungeons & Dragons, or video games with deep characters and epic narratives. It seemed fitting that our publishing house should focus on GameLit, LitRPG, and portal fiction. Since we also adore the Pacific Northwest and its history, we want to publish works by and about the people of this region, especially those who may not be represented well within the genre.
We are completely new to the business side of publishing, and are bound to make many mistakes. In hopes that we can help other potential publishers learn by our strides and stumbles, I’ll be chronicling our adventure in these pages. Here’s to another round of Open Source Deb, version 2.0.