New job adventures

January 25, 2015

About six months ago, I took a new job and left the position I’d held at the Alabama Supercomputer Center for roughly seven years. I’ve struggled whether I should write a post about why I chose to leave my old job or focus on the positive and talk about my new job. If you’re curious, this article at the Washington Business Journal covers some of the shenanigans that motivated me to leave my job with CSC.

In spite of all of that, I still struggled with the decision to leave. ASC’s mission to support the educational community in Alabama was a big part of what motivated me every day. I like the people I worked with, but during my time there I went from being mostly indifferent about CSC to being somewhat ashamed to say that I worked for them.

But on to the good news. Last July I started a new job at Digium, a small telecommunications company in Huntsville. You might be wondering why a company that makes PBX phone systems and drives the development of Asterisk would need someone with my background. Turns out they acquired a cloud services company toward the end of 2013 that was selling PBXs on their OpenStack infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure isn’t all that different from an HPC compute cluster that’s picked a different spot in the cost / performance / reliability design space, unless you’re building an HPC cloud.

It’s been a hoot so far and Amanda’s commented on the improvement in my mood so I guess it shows. My new role is more development-focused, so I don’t have to worry about day to day operations as much. We rolled out our first project that affects customers about a week ago. We automated the ordering of phone number and provisioning of SIP trunks (a VOIP phone line that can support multiple simultaneous calls) when a customer orders one on the website. They should be publicly announcing another of our projects later this week, so I should be able to talk about that soon.