It really made me think about how I changed as a person during the two years I spent in Ottawa. I arrived, 23, clueless about what I wanted to do and and what I was capable of. And I left, 25, sure about what I want to do next at least (a start) and so much more confident.
Maggie and I were talking the other day and she said she thought the biggest thing I’d learned in grad school is to make the best of a crappy situation. I went to grad school because I didn’t think I knew enough to join the real world. Fairly rapidly, I realized that grad school was not the place to learn it.
I still feel woefully unprepared for the real world, but, a lot more than I was previously. If I didn’t learn that stuff at grad school, where did I?
From the amazing tech community in Ottawa. Mostly at The Code Factory.
There is this great network of tech people in Ottawa. There are so many people going and doing interesting things. It’s awesome. Yes, there are a lot of government types. Yes, bureaucracy has eaten a lot of souls. Ignore them. They are harmless zombies. The real people are there, making stuff happen, creating cool things, interested and interesting. I did not, for the most part, find them in the university.
So to Ian, thanks for creating a space where people can gather to talk tech and all the other stuff that goes on there. Thanks for generously donating that space to Awesome Ottawa and for helping us get going.
Some other people who’ve inspired me, in no particular order.
Chris Schmitt, of Team Camp – balancing his entrepreneurial spirit with working for The Man. Andrew Ross, of FOSSLC – I really admire Andrew’s enthusiasm, energy, and commitment to Open Source. Kelly Rusk – Kelly is amazing – she knows everyone, is everywhere… doing stuff. ALL THE TIME. She’s also one of the women behind Girl Geek Dinners. Treena Grevatt – Treena is another person who knows everyone! And I so admire her drive and energy in pursuit of the start up thing. Everyone on the board of Awesome Ottawa – and everyone who took the time to put together a proposal. I read and enjoy them all.
Ottawa, I miss you. I miss sushi at my favorite place. I miss my kickboxing club. I miss the pool in my old apartment building. But most of all, I miss that community. Thanks for all the things you taught me. I’ll be thinking of you.