It’s hard to believe 4 years have passed so quickly. Lots of memories and tough times finished. Saturday is my graduation with from the SIUe School of Engineering with a degree in Computer Science (Streaming live too!). I’d like to reflect back on some of the accomplishments I’ve achieved over the past few years.

Keryx – A GUI tool for updating Linux systems offline. This is by far my favorite achievement during my college career. It just started as a small project to help my life on dialup be a little easier and I thought it might be neat to open source it and give back to the community a little bit. 4 years and 60,000 downloads later, I would consider it a success. Sure it’s not the easiest tool to use but it gets the relatively complicated task done without too much trouble. All I can say is thank you to the Linux community for your support and donations. I’ve come to tears reading thank you’s from Keryx users and it makes me very proud to consider myself a member of such a great community. :-)

I technically worked for Google! Over one summer I got accepted into the Google Summer of Code program where I helped build a package management system like APT for Windows. This was such a wonderful experience and I couldn’t recommend it more. I got to work with people from Switzerland, Columbia, and India all summer working on something I loved. It was wonderful.

And if you know me, I don’t have the greatest respect for the education system. But while I may not have grown as much technically as I would have liked in school, I certainly did as a person. It’s tough doing something you don’t enjoy, and looking back, I probably should have taken a break or transfered schools. It just wasn’t for me, but during that time I got the chance to work on a lot of side projects and gain a lot of real world experience as a developer that I couldn’t have had I been focused on school.

Another thing recently I have really fallen in love with is Ruby on Rails. I’ve only been developing in Rails for just under a year and it has quickly become my favorite framework to work with. I’ve built a bunch of Rails apps, for work, myself, and even school. I’ve even been lucky enough to patch a bug in Rails 3.0.6 and get it accepted in to Rails core!

That’s just a handful of cool projects I’ve worked on, not to mention the awesome people I’ve met over the years. This is where things get real. I mean, this is where things get really awesome. School’s out and I can now focus on what I really want to do: make the world a better place. I will be joining the awesome team at the Genome Institute at Washington University and helping develop the tools used to research cancer and other genome related things. Along side of that I’ll be exploring some startup ideas I have had.

It’s times like this when you’re at a crossroads and things have to change. There’s not much you can do about it but take it in stride, make your best decisions as you go, and certainly have no regrets.

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