Goodbye East Coast part 1

Hey world, how goes? This is part 1 of 3 in my whirlwind trip around the East coast. This is the trip to Boston, Part 2 is the trip around Virginia, and Part 3 is Maryland. Here goes nothing!

I graduated! and I’m moving to (fucking) Kansas! Just took an awesome trip around the East Coast, since I won’t have a chance to do it for another little while.

The first trip was to Boston and was awesomely coincidental. The day after graduation there was a Radiohead show at the Nissan Pavilion. I decided to give myself a graduation present and head to that. My friend Emily was going, and her friend from New Hampshire was coming down to go. So my roommate josh and I went with them to the show. (It’s annoying when your friends have no online presence, can’t link their names to anything except facebook, and I refuse to do that).

The show was AMAZING, it was pouring down rain and we had lawn seats. The experience was epic, the crowd huddled together in the rain for the love of the music. On the ride back from the show we were talking about life, and it turned out that Elliot went to school just south of Boston, and happened to be looking for someone to share gas money with on his ride back. He was leaving that Thursday, and I found myself a ride to Boston. I went online and realized that Barcamp Boston was happening the same weekend. SCORE! Now I have something to do, and a free ride there. All I needed was a place to stay.

My roommate Staiti and my good friend Johnny Mac are both Massholes, so I asked them if they had any recommendations for accommodation. J mac set me up with his friend Drew who lives in Cambridge and goes to Emerson college. I got his number and my whirlwind trip to Boston was off.

We left Thursday afternoon (avoiding rush hour in NoVA and DC) and got into Boston around 4am Friday morning. The dorms at Elliot’s college were empty, so I got to crash in my own bed in my own room, double score. I hopped on the commuter rail into Boston the next morning, and called Drew. I got into Central Station in Cambridge and met Drew and his roommate at Whole Foods. I walked in the door and they had Orangina for sale for cheap! Super double ultra Triple Score! Orangina is like crack to me, and it’s expensive and hard to find in Va.

So we go back to their awesome apartment (old brick and beautiful), and it turns out one of their roommates is in the Middle East for a couple weeks, and I get my own bedroom, with a TV, stereo, queen sized bed, etc. SET UP. So I crashed there for 4 days, taking a train home on Monday at 9pm. The trip was awesome and I got to know those kids really well. (It’s so nice having friends with friends that you know you can get along with, laid back people FTW!)

I went to Barcamp on both Saturday and Sunday and it was amazing. I’ve never been to anything like it, and it was an amazing experience. I met lots of like minded, incredibly intelligent people. A very novel feeling to be able to relate to people on a technical and social level. Lots of good connections made for hopefully starting a company in the future, and knowing amazing people. Namely Jonathan and Simon. One starting a startup, and the other already having a pretty successful one. Jay was also another interesting person, and he gave a really neat presentation about the intersection of everything. I could go on all day about all the neat people that I met, but those were the ones I got to talk to the most.

It was interesting being in a place where most people were representing someone. I was representing myself, but also was able to add legitimacy to myself saying that I was going to be working for the World Company (makes of Django). It was interesting how conversations changed tone a little bit with that ounce of reputation. It was a very real experiment in the conversion between student and professional (and if it keeps going like that, it won’t be a very hard transition). I look like a student and could play that card, and also have informed discussion about technical topics with a slightly more authoritative stance (hardly, but I noticed a slight change).

I really loved the community as well. If the people at the conference were any indication of my career choice, I think I picked the right career. I’ve known that for a while, but some outside validation is always nice as well. I’ve considered myself good at what I do (and knowledgeable in conversation about most things nerdy), but have never really had it put to the test. Getting job offers from two leading Python companies in doing what I want to do was some good outside validation, but events like this prove to be more so. The “thrown to the lions” approach, and very telling about how much you know.

I fell in love with Boston and could see myself living there someday. Seems like the San Fran of the East. The train ride back was at night and I slept most of the time, and only cost $80, probably cheaper than driving. The Amtrak had power outlets, but no Wifi. It was nice to have room to work on the laptop, with power, and having no internet actually lets you get more work done.

Hey there! I'm Eric and I work on communities in the world of software documentation. Feel free to email me if you have comments on this post!