Today marks my last day of employment at End Point. I was hired by End Point back in February 2008 after they had noticed my work on the Spree project (which was actually called Rails Cart at the time.) They offered to lend their extensive commerce expertise and to help nurture the project, much like they had done for a simliar project known as Interchange which is very popular in the Perl community. It has been an extremely productive partnership and during my tenure with the company the Spree project has really flourished.
My departure from End Point is based largely on personal reasons. After speding the last four years working out of my home office, it recently became apparent to me that I needed to make a change. The home work environment has become way too distracting as my son gets older and more demanding of my time. My office also sits in the center of the house so its pretty much impossible to isolate myself from all of the distractions around me. Believe me, if there was a way to make that situation better I feel I would have discovered it by now.
The only reason why I’m bothering to mention this on the Spree home page is because its possible that this departure will raise questions and concerns about the future of the Spree project. Let me start off by saying that I personally remain committed to the long term stability and success of the Spree project. I’ve given a great deal of thought as to how to best move the project forward. I actually think that recent developments are going to accelerate the pace of this project, as opposed to slowing it down. Here are some things to consider:
- Core Team: All members of the core team have permission to commit to the Spree core. Removing myself as the sole gatekeeper to what goes into the project has removed a bottleneck that was starting to effect the project adversely. We’re already starting to see reduced wait times for reviewing and committing code contributions. It also reduces my personal stress considerably. I can go away for a long weekend and the project does not need to come to a halt. The core team consists of four developers (including myself) plus some excellent candidates to be added in the future.
- Strong Community: We have a very strong open source community here at the Spree project. There’s an active mailing list where users help one another without having to rely exclusively on answers from the core team. That’s the sign of a strong community for sure. The issue tracker is buzzing with activity and we are getting a steady stream of patches (and new translations!)
- New Sponsorship: The Spree project will now be sponsored by Rails Dog (that’s me.) I’ve already invested some money in purchasing the
spreecommerce.comdomain name. End Point will remain an active partner in the Spree project and they will continue to provide their excelllent hosting services. By taking over sponsorship of the Spree project directly this should help alleviate any concerns that people might have about one single company being too closely tied to the project. Spree is a true open source project. It belongs to all of us and we’re all in this together.
- New Website: The Spree project will soon be sporting a new website. I’m going to be spending a considerable amount of my personal money into making this site a little more polished and attractive. The new documentation effort is going to be part of this process as well. So you shouldn’t be thinking "Oh noze! There goes Spree!" Spree marches on with even more resources and determination than ever before.
- Corporate Support: End Point has indicated to me that they intend to stay very active with the project. We can expect to see even more contributions on the mailing list and in the form of source code from these guys. In addition to my new company, there are many other companies out there indicating they are willing to provide support. The more companies using Spree the better for all of us.
My future plans will be taking me to a small company called Econify which is located in Washington, D.C. The owner of the company is actually a friend of mine from college. The office is located close to home and only two blocks from where my wife works so we’ll be able to commute together. They’re also offering a flexible schedule so I can have some predictable time off to schedule my family stuff around. My new company will be doing Spree consulting if anybody is interested. Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’ve got either a project or just need a few hours of consulting time to advise on a project.
Spree continues to gain momentum thanks to all of our hard work together. This month the website topped 10,000 visitors for the first time and we’re closing in on 500 watchers in GitHub. We’ve also received contributions from over 60 different developers. I’ll be taking a long weekend off starting tomorrow but then its back to business. I’ll be using the next two weeks to finish off our shiny new website which we hope to launch on June 15. I look forward to even more progress in the second half of the year.