inessential by Brent Simmons

First Week at Omni

I’ve been at Omni four days so far — and it reminds me a little of the first episode of Red Dwarf. (I love that show. Because of Cat.)

Remember how when Dave Lister came out of stasis after a million years and everyone was dead? Holly (ship’s computer) kept answering Lister’s question: “He’s dead. They’re all dead. Everybody’s dead, Dave.”

It’s like that at Omni, except that everything’s nice.

Are the people nice?

They’re all nice, Brent.

Is this chair nice?

The chair is nice. Everything’s nice, Brent.

Is the food nice?

The food’s nice, the chair is nice, everyone is nice. It’s all nice, Brent.

Is the view nice?

The view’s nice. Everything. Is. Nice. Brent.


* * *

I’ve actually committed a little bit of code (to OmniFocus for Mac), but mainly I’m nibbling around the edges as I learn a new-to-me codebase. I haven’t been through an experience like this since learning the Frontier kernel in the late ’90s. (I’m eager to contribute more substantially.)

You can get a taste of Omni’s code by looking at the open source frameworks on GitHub. There’s a ton of stuff there, and Omni’s open source frameworks are one of the many reasons I’ve been a long-time admirer.

Another part of my learning curve is learning the app. I’ve been a happy OmniFocus user (on Mac, iPhone, and iPad) since pretty much the beginning, but I’m not a power user. I pretty much ignored contexts, never made folders, never flagged things, never did reviews, etc. I’m learning quickly. (It’s a great app.)

* * *

I’ve given myself this week to adapt to my new schedule. It’s a big enough change that I shouldn’t try and get everything perfect all at once.

So I’m eating as much of the (wonderful) food as I want and I haven’t figured out when I’m going to go for my normal jog. (Probably it’ll be first thing in the morning before work.)

I have a nice commute in the morning (the 40 from Ballard) and a crappy commute going home. I think my mistake is the classic rookie mistake — I’m commuting at the end of rush hour. I should wait just a bit.

* * *

My office is still sparse. I’ve brought in a couple things and I have a plant. It’s a big blank canvas right now, waiting for me to turn it into something that feels like me. The last time I had this experience was 1999 when I moved into my current house. (I might have to go shopping.)

And I’ve never had my own office out in the working world. I’ve literally never programmed while other people besides my wife were around, other than a few trips to Dave Winer’s office in the ’90s. This is very new to me. People can see me.

* * *

I’ve also given myself the week off from blogging and from working on Vesper while I adjust. But I didn’t even manage to go a whole week without blogging, and it’s a cinch I’ll be working on Vesper tomorrow night and on the weekend.

* * *

My job is awesome. I am happy. I’ve earned it.

PS Seattle Xcoders is a week from tonight. At Omni’s theater. I’ll see you there, or afterward at Cyclops. :)