Working for a company that allows you to experiment with different technologies can be a very satisfying (and sometimes stressful, considering the deadlines) experience. Working in such an environment also lets you encounter people that even in your wildest imaginations would never have thought of meeting in your lifetime.
A few years ago, while we were starting out (I was in the company even before it came to be one), my boss in our talks mentioned a familiar name, Jim Everson. For those who don’t know him, he’s the guy who led in the development of several educational games including the classic Broderbund game “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego”.
Where does this all lead to, you may ask? In a nutshell, last year, Jim was diagnosed with advanced melanoma. Which led to his ex-wife (my boss’ sister) helping him out in whatever way she can – well, she helped design a website for him.
My boss asked a favor from me, to help quickly get some open source auction software and customize it for the website’s use, which I gladly did (as I was acquainted with him, and talked with him through emails in the past).
If it was not for open source software, we would have started programming from scratch, and would have taken much longer to finish (and at that time, I was up to my neck with deadlines at work). And, since the source code was there to see and customize, it was quick enough to implement it to their needs.
To end, if you do see Jim on your travels (he’s now an independent mac consultant), ask him about his mouth watering lamb chops recipe – he makes one mean lamb chops!