Working at Nerdvana

As I mentioned in my last post, I am leaving my current employer (Socialtext) for a new, extremely exciting position at Applied Minds (here’s a Wired article describing the nerdvana that is AMI). I’ll be building prototype applications for them and working with the Metaweb folks. I’m totally jazzed about this opportunity – Metaweb and freebase are super exciting technology, and I’ve never had the opportunity to do true R&D, where you have the time to experiment and explore the possibilities of the technology. I ran into some of the Metaweb folks at OSCON, and they were super cool. I’m really looking forward to working with them.

Not since the beginning of the web revolution (when I made little tools to view sales reports in Mosaic) have I had the opportunity to be on the bleeding edge of exploring the possibilities of a new technology. I’m planning to work with some Metaweb community members to help develop a Perl Metaweb client module. Other folks are working on a Ruby client module, and what I’d really love to see is the developer community coming together to define how a metaweb client library should behave (basic functionality, what calls it should support, etc.)

If we can start now, at the beginning, we can make it easy for folks to move among the dynamic languages and know what kind of behavior they can rely on with the libraries, making it easier for people to use the right language for their particular task without having to work around a new set of idiosyncratic object methods.

Of course, in order to do this I’ll need to actually get on the ball and start participating on the developer list, and I’m currently trying to get done with my Socialtext work. I’m somewhat tempted to just wait until I actually start my new job (September 4th) and let my brain have a bit of a rest between now and then.

Coming from a company with an Open Source focus, I suspect that there will be some adapting in my new position, as I’m working for Applied Minds (whose entire revenue stream is dependent on strong intellectual property) but trying also to help grow the Metaweb developer community and promote other development. I’m a strong Open Source advocate and a vocal member of that community, so I expect that we’ll do our best to share the right things to help the Metaweb community while keeping the proprietary pieces secret.

Dialogue & Discussion