Some of you know this already, but most of you do not — and I prefer that you hear it directly from me first — hence this post to the plone.org site.
Google has approached me with an offer to work for them as one of their User Interface Designers. I admire what they do, and I have decided to accept their offer, and start working for them later this year.
I want to briefly touch on the various areas that are affected by this:
What about Plone? -- I am not leaving Plone by any stretch of the imagination. I get paid to work on Plone while at Google, which means I get a full day every week — paid — to work on Plone exclusively. This is more than I have right now (believe it or not).
What about "Plone Solutions":http://www.plonesolutions.com? -- I will still be one of the owners of the company and a board member — the difference is that I won't be doing *consulting* on behalf of Plone Solutions anymore, nor will I officially be an employee. The company has some of the most talented people I have ever worked with, and functions well without me in a consulting role. I am, and will continue to be, involved in the direction the company takes, and the software the company produces in my spare time, like "LinguaPlone":/products/linguaplone and "Ploneboard":/products/ploneboard.
What about "Plone 3.0":/products/plone/releases/3.0? -- Currently, I am scheduled to start working for Google around October, and I still plan to have significant leadership in the UI-focused 3.0 release. I am particularly excited about this release and think that it will move Plone to the next level in user productivity.
What about the "Plone Foundation":/foundation? -- I will still serve on the Plone Foundation board as long as you guys want me there, no changes here.
What about conferences and sprints? -- In general, Google has a very liberal policy when it comes to conferences and events. Most of their employees that wanted to go to PyCon this year attended, for instance. I will make sure I have time to travel to the relevant conferences and sprints when possible.
Why am I doing this?
To work with UI designers that I admire -- Google has (in my opinion) the best approach to web application usability at the moment — a minimum of fuss, and just *purely productive interfaces*. Right now I enjoy building user interfaces for Plone, but I also want to work with people that are more talented than me when it comes to UI. I still have a lot to learn (and I hope that feeling never leaves me :) — and this is a unique possibility to work with experienced and talented people to improve my skills.
To reinvigoriate my relationship with Plone -- I've been focused exclusively on Plone for several years. With this, I can step back a bit, see some new thinking, and bring fresh approaches to Plone's UI. Having a fulfilling job that concentrates on my core expertise will help make me more focused and efficient when it comes to my Plone involvement too.
To learn from the masters of AJAX UI building -- Working with Google will allow me to learn about tech that will be immensely useful for Plone in the near future. I am going to drink from the proverbial firehose. :)
I hope you all see this as a positive thing, and don't believe for a second that I'm leaving you guys, nor Plone, nor Plone Solutions. I am a stronger believer in our product and our company than ever, and I need exposure to different ideas — shake things up a bit — for us to build a successful future together.
The people in Plone Solutions have also known about all of this from the very start of the process, and have been very supportive of the idea. I would like to thank them for supporting my choice as strongly as they do.
I am incredibly proud of — and grateful for — what the community has accomplished with Plone so far. Let's take it to the next level!
— *Alexander Limi*