Everything that has a beginning has an end

In the summer of 2007 I was sitting in my office at IBM wondering what to do next.

I’d recently spent a year planning out a feature only to see a change in plans make that effort completely irrelevant. This was extremely frustrating – I wanted to spend my finite time on this earth doing something that helped the world, not just wasting my time to collect a paycheck.

And so I was looking for alternatives. I considered academia but what I really wanted to do was get my hands dirty building real systems. I wanted to write code, not just think about writing code.

The safe course may have been to change positions within IBM or even to change companies. But instead I was captivated by OpenSimulator, first as a hobby within IBM’s own OpenSimulator group and then quickly as a full-time self-employed consultant. What could be more fun than helping to create a super-complex 3D virtual world system at a blistering pace? And a system that mattered to real people out there who you could actually talk to, not indifferent enterprise customers behind a million layers of bureaucracy.

Now, 11631 commits and eight years later, the wheel turns again. OpenSimulator (and the Metaverse in general) has been an amazing journey but, as they say, we have grown apart. For whatever reason the area doesn’t fascinate me as it did. For better or for worse, that’s crucial for me to feel happy in my work.

I’m not disappearing completely but very likely for the immediate future my involvement will be at a low ebb (mainly answering mailing list questions and the occasional bug fix). My new field is quite a bit different (data warehousing for genetics and synthetic biology) but I will always have a soft spot for virtual worlds and the idea of the Metaverse.

Huge thanks to all the people I’ve met over the years – you’ve made it an amazing experience. Thankyou to all the people who helped me sustain it financially, whether through consulting contracts or donations. I also want to thank all the people at Avacon for helping put on some amazing OpenSimulator conferences and for being great personal friends.

Finally, a huge round of applause to everybody who has contributed to OpenSimulator. Of course, that’s not just code, it’s all the equally hard work of characterizing bugs, helping others use the system, writing documentation, etc. A system as complex as OpenSimulator is a huge team effort and utterly impossible for an individual or even a small team to produce alone. And the great thing about open-source projects is that they can carry on unperturbed as different people get involved and others (such as myself) move on to other things.

I wish you all the best for the future and I’m sure I’ll see you around on the Internets :).

35 comments for “Everything that has a beginning has an end

  1. August 9, 2015 at 9:18 pm

    I Wish you all the best Justin your contributions to the Opensim project will last a forever. Your a Huge part of what we have today.. Continue doing what you love, we will miss you dearly, Lets hope we have what it takes to keep this going without you.

    Best Wishes Josh Boam

  2. August 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

    MANY thanks for all you have done for OpenSim and its community Justin. All the very best for your new ventures, Ai

  3. Graham Mills
    August 9, 2015 at 9:34 pm

    Sounds like an exciting development, Justin. Many thanks for all you’ve done and hope to see you around the metaverse from time to time. Don’t be a stranger!

  4. August 9, 2015 at 9:45 pm

    Best of luck with your new ventures Justin. May your spark be rekindled and your journey prosperous.

  5. August 9, 2015 at 9:50 pm

    Thank you so much Justin and all best wishes for the future :)

  6. Aine Caoimhe (Mata Hari)
    August 9, 2015 at 10:24 pm

    Thank you very much, Justin, for the many, many invaluable contributions you have made to Opensim throughout the years. I hope your future work is even more rewarding and exciting for you and wish you nothing but success. Cheers!

  7. Micheil Merlin
    August 9, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Hey Justin. Sorry to see you go. I haven’t worked on Opensim in a long while, so haven’t been around lately. But, you contributed so much to the project that I know your efforts will be missed. Good luck with your data warehousing endeavors.

  8. Ralf Haifisch
    August 9, 2015 at 10:53 pm

    Great post, Justin.

    Thanks for your contribution – and for the wise decission to look for what makes you happy and follow that route.

    Cheers,
    Ralf Huelsmann (aka Haifisch in many grids)

  9. August 9, 2015 at 11:02 pm

    Thank you for all that you’ve done Justin.
    I wish only the very best in whatever you choose to do.
    Thank you for the many questions you’ve fielded from me over the years and the help you’ve provided.

    Terry Ford
    aka: Butch Arnold

  10. August 9, 2015 at 11:19 pm

    “As owner of The Great Canadian Grid I want to extend my congratulations on all of your success. I also want to thank you for all of your contributions, creations, dedication and hard work over the years for Opensim. Speaking for all of us here at The GCG, we wish you good luck and all the best.”

    Cheers!

    Rod MacDougall
    a.k.a Roddie Macchi
    Founder/Owner
    The Great Canadian Grid
    http://www.greatcanadiangrid.ca

  11. Jim Tarber
    August 10, 2015 at 12:05 am

    While it might be an end, or the start of an end, the important thing is the decision to start, and the time spent. Eight years and over 11000 commits is a wonderful contribution, which has elevated OpenSim and virtual worlds in general. I think the whole community thanks you and wishes you the best, and hopes to see it go on to some degree, even if it’s much reduced. All the best in your new work too.

  12. mewtwo0641
    August 10, 2015 at 12:32 am

    So sorry to see you go Justin! Thank you so much for everything you’ve done for the project! Be well in your new life and hope for all the best :)

  13. Gwenette Writer Sinclair
    August 10, 2015 at 1:31 am

    Justin, it’s been REAL. You have been beyond important to all of us in the opensim metaverse. Many warm mahalos for all your incredible work and patient professionalism. Your new adventure sounds exciting! Go Forth! Create & Code!

  14. Dadix
    August 10, 2015 at 5:42 am

    Thank you for what you done for opensim.

  15. August 10, 2015 at 7:41 am

    To say it with Hermann Hesse: In all beginnings dwells a magic force!

    All the best for you! And thank you so much for all, what you have done for us!

  16. Gavin Hird
    August 10, 2015 at 11:06 am

    Thanks for your massive contribution to OpenSim!

    Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish.

  17. Wanda Shigella
    August 10, 2015 at 1:27 pm

    Thank you for everything you’ve done for us! Stay curious and all the best for the new challenge!

  18. August 10, 2015 at 2:44 pm

    Can’t have been an easy decision – thank you for everything you’ve done to help OpenSim to get to where it is – I don’t think it has ever crashed on us and is one of the most stable elements of our systems! Incredible work from you and all of the team. Good luck in the future.

  19. August 10, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    Justin,

    I totally understand the drive to innovate which transcends the normal corporate rat race. I walked away from Aerospace for that reason among others. I truly want to make a difference and not just a foot note in a corporate strategic plan. :)

    Genomics is one of the areas that interests me and my biochem son now emerging from Texas A&M. Specifically my interest is in the domain of insect life. :)

    I wish you the best in your new endeavor!

    Jim

  20. August 10, 2015 at 8:34 pm

    Thank you for each and every one of those 11631 commits! Your work has been and will continue to be a great contribution to the metaverse. Good luck with your future interests!

  21. August 10, 2015 at 11:15 pm

    Justin, we will miss your wonderful contributions and passionate commitment to excellence. You and the Open Simulator core development team are our heroes, and we applaud your efforts and opportunity for growth.

    Be happy in all that you do! *waves*

  22. Merrie / Andress Renault
    August 11, 2015 at 1:19 am

    I wish you all the best Justin and I hope your new venture holds interesting things for you! Much thanks for your great work with OS.

  23. Nick Zwart
    August 11, 2015 at 7:58 am

    Justin, thanks for all the great work you have done. You were great.

  24. August 11, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Dear friend Justin Clark.
    Yes, first I want to thank You for his work, which really was something extraordinary, we are now able to compete directly with Second Life, that is, we can have virtual worlds and compatible functionality in quality or greater than the Second Life, all proving that Justin did a great job and deserves the respect and support of all of us.
    I think we should ask the Justin, do not abandon us not leave the opensim because now that is opensim rising like a rocket.
    We must encourage all users also help Justin, as a thank you for the work, I help with the money OSgrid and I would like to contribute directly to Justin.
    I think this work is really fabulous, Opensim is freedom is a tool for all users of virtual worlds, where we can create, we can freely express ourselves, we can also have a virtual world company, even with the small business owner.
    The benefits that my company has or had, I confess I do not have cash profits, it was not my intention, I am developer of a small school for special children in Brazil and Opensim has helped a lot to develop the creativity of these children and I also want to collaborate Opensim with the community and the profits in cash is not my intention.
    I want a free world where everyone can have access to the virtual world without spending too much money on the absurdity purchase in Second Life.
    I want to have a place for Brazilians, where they can express themselves in their own language, that’s wonderful, opensim allows all this, and we should all thank this great programmer, and great visionary Justin Clark-Casey
    I have the latest version of OpenSim, 8.2 and using Diva for the site as well.
    http://www.virtuallifebrasil.com.br
    So, dear friend, Thank you and I’m always believe in your success, and your job helping us.
    Hugs, a good friend in Brazil.
    Milton Teixeira da Silva.

  25. August 11, 2015 at 5:16 pm

    As a user of OpenSimulator since 2008, I am very grateful for your huge contribution. As a professional developer, I can appreciate the often big efforts behind even seemingly small commits, taking hours to identify the root of a problem, finding fixes for it, testing and selecting the “best” of the possible fixes.

    But your contribution goes beyond committing code to OpenSimulator. This blog presented the advances in OpenSimulator development almost every week for 5 1/2 years, in a far more readable format than the OpenSimulator bug reports and commit logs. You also contributed analyses and explanations of OpenSimulator and its existing and possible interactions with technology, science, education, enterprises and humans, especially in the early days of the blog. For a long time, this was my one-stop to keep up with OpenSimulator development.

    So, thank you, Justin, and best of luck in your new endeavours. I hope you will find them a refreshing new start, and at least as rewarding as you found OpenSimulator during much of the time you worked with it.

  26. Eryn Galen
    August 12, 2015 at 5:22 am

    Dear Justin,

    what news! I wish you all the best in whatever you do. If it involves you, it can only be interesting…

    Your work on and with OpenSimulator has been and will be greatly appreciated. You also have been a cource of inspiration for others, a helpful hand aside from programming – and a wonderful person!

    So many habe already expressed that you will be missed. And I am no exception. Thank you for everything you have done to help this project – and the people in it. Thank you for the work you put in – and the heart!

    Your soft spot is appreciated…
    See you in the metaverse – and maybe still on Skype :)

    Eryn Galen

  27. August 12, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    I want to thank you, Justin for all you have done for Opensim but I’m glad you wont have gone completely. I know you never considered yourself a leader but that is how many of us saw you which makes your departure extra hard for us. I wish you well for your future though. You will be greatly missed.

  28. Adil El Farissi
    August 12, 2015 at 6:55 pm

    I have no words to express my gratitude and thanks for the great work you have done, I wish you much success in your future endeavors
    (some Gflops of computing power for data warehousing genetics and synthetic biology? follow the white rabbit :) )
    https://boinc.berkeley.edu/
    http://boinc.berkeley.edu/trac/wiki/ProjectMain

    thank you again and good luck :)

  29. justincc
    August 13, 2015 at 12:04 pm

    I really want to thank you all for the very kind words. I hope to keep following the area and, who knows, maybe my path will one day bring me back to more active involvement in the Metaverse. Au revoir and not goodbye :)

  30. zz bottom
    August 13, 2015 at 3:31 pm

    Fair winds on your new project and know we will never forget and will always be grateful.

  31. Oddy Ottole
    August 14, 2015 at 10:08 pm

    Dude!!!

    You rocked the opensim world!

    Thanks for that, and we’ll meet again..

    GL&HF.

  32. JoJaDhara
    September 23, 2015 at 9:35 pm

    Dear Justin…thank you so much and wish you so much luck with your new focus!! No goodbyes but see you around ….and just keep staying away from glass doors *wink* :-)
    Hugz JoJa xx

  33. October 24, 2015 at 3:43 pm

    Justin – Just noticed your blog today. We should talk. I will ping you directly. Your new directions toward “data warehousing for genetics and synthetic biology” are exciting! Take a look at the new ImmersiveAnalytics.com site. Like to discuss with you. Richard

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