Toastmasters Area 45 Contest 2012

I just finished participating in the Toastmasters International Speech Contest for Area 45. It was held at AOL’s headquarters building in Dulles, VA, which I hadn’t been in since early 2008 when I used to work for AOL.

Temporarily Unemployed

Ex-AOLAs of today, I am temporarily unemployed. Yes, this means that I am yet another ex-AOL employee, although my separation was voluntary rather than being the result of one of AOL’s notorious rolling layoffs. Fortunately, my unemployment will only last three days, after which I’ll start my new job as a Technical Architect for Voxant.

Dead Man Walking

This blistering article in the April issue of Fast Company exposes the management problems, lack of vision and business ineptitude that have transformed AOL from a high-flying Internet company and world-class brand-name into a slow-motion train wreck. The article is also strikingly negative about Randy Falco’s reign of error as the CEO of the organization.

Note: (2018/01/13) From my own experience at AOL, I think AOL is a technology company that never realized it was a technology company, with a tradition of hiring CEOs who never understood the Internet.

Joining Voxant

Voxant Well, after five productive years at AOL, I’m finally leaving for greener pastures. I officially submitted my resignation notice to AOL today. I’ll be joining Voxant as a technical architect, effective March 31, 2008.

AOL Ruby Users Group

I got a last-minute request to speak at the AOL Ruby Users Group, which is held the second Thursday of each month (March 13th for this month). So they’re getting a preview of my March 19th NovaRUG presentation. The topic will be “Implementing OpenID for Your Social Networking Web Site.”

Surviving the AOL 2007 Layoff

I was fortunate enough to survive today’s layoff at AOL, which was particularly brutal for the Dulles, VA campus. Half of the development team that I worked for got cut today. Many of my friends and co-workers also got the axe. While I am, of course, happy to continue having a job that’s a mere 5 minute commute for me, I can’t help but think that, in some very fundamental ways, AOL has lost its way.

The Art of Survival

AOL Unconference

David Keener did a presentation on JFreeChart at AOL’s Unconference. This unique event exposed AOL’s IT staff to a wide array of technical topics presented by some of AOL’s top technologists.

First Internal Rails App at AOL

David Keener led the team that launched the Exception Request Tool (ERT), the first internal corporate application to be fielded (and actively used) at AOL using Ruby on Rails. This follows on the heels of Ficlets (which later became and circaVie, the first two customer-facing applications fielded with Rails.