It is with very mixed feelings that I announce that my last day with the Galaxy Project will be December 17. On December 20 I start as Open Source Community Manager for Anaconda. In that role, I will still be nearby (hello Bioconda!), but I will no longer be involved with Galaxy on a daily basis.
People always want to know “why?” when you change jobs. I certainly do. In this case, I simply got restless. I do that. Prior to my 11 years at Galaxy, my longest job was 5 1/2 years at ZFIN. Before that my longest job, anywhere, was 4 years. I get restless, and I was actually getting restless before James died. I still wasn't that restless 18 months later when I saw the Anaconda position. But a friend of mine works there, and he loves it, and … and now I am hoping I will love it there too. I turn 60 next month, and I feel like I have one job change left in my career. I think this is it.
Before I turn in my keys, I would like to express some thoughts on the remarkable community that Galaxy is. At the risk of being pompous, verbose, and revealing my inner hubris, here goes:
Community, community, community
We have grown tremendously in size, reach, and culture in the 11 years that I have been a part of Galaxy. A big reason for this is that community and outreach efforts have been a priority for Galaxy since we first launched in 2005. James summarized this view nicely in July 2019:
The most important thing about Galaxy is this community.
Amen brother James.
I joined Galaxy at the start of 2011. Those of you who were part of Galaxy 11 years ago made it easy for me to hit the ground running. Those of you who joined since have stepped (dived?) right into the rushing river that is the Galaxy community. Thanks for swimming with me, and keeping me away from the snags.
We have achieved so much to be proud of as a community. At the risk of leaving 97 things out (okay 197 or 297 or …), I’d like to highlight two items that I think epitomize what we have created.
Galaxy Community Conference
First, the Galaxy Community Conference. I am exceptionally proud of this meeting and especially the culture at GCC: informal, collaborative, and supportive. I don’t think there is another conference that better reflects the values and contributions of its community than GCC does. Thank you all for your continued help with growing and evolving GCC over the years. Your care shows.
Galaxy Training Network
Second, the Galaxy Training Network. The GTN is a breathtaking tour de force of group effort and contribution. I am extraordinarily proud of the GTN, but for completely different reasons than I am proud of GCC: My most important GTN contributions were
- to help establish our culture of community empowerment in Galaxy,
- to get out of the way in 2016 when the community was actually empowered and had an infinitely better vision for what the GTN could be.
I launched the first iteration of the GTN in 2014, but that is insignificant in comparison to the two items listed above. It is the best feeling in the world for a community manager to have your community kick your ass with a much better vision than you ever had, and then to implement that vision in a stunningly successful way. Bérénice, Saskia, Helena, Björn, and the over 200 other contributors to the GTN: thanks for creating a world class training ecosystem (and for the kick in the ass 5 years ago). No one remembers the 2014 iteration and that is a good thing.
I could go on, pretty much forever.
Community, community, community. Still.
I am leaving Galaxy Community outreach efforts in good hands: In the past year and a half we have launched the GOATS Working Group (Galaxy Outreach And Training Support - I wish I had thought of that acronym :-) to globally coordinate our outreach and community work, and Beatriz Serrano-Solano joined the European Team as their community manager, and has been my daily partner in community outreach ever since. Many, many thanks to my fellow GOATS, and especially to Bea for all your support.
Going forward, you can reach the outreach team at email@example.com, and Johns Hopkins will be advertising an opening for a community manager soon. It’s a great job. Trust me on that one.
Thanks for everything, and for the best 11 years of my career. I hope to see you around.