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And now for something completely different

I am my own worst critic. It helps you keep searching. Trying to expand. Trying to grow. And not settling into something that is familiar....[ ]

I want to keep moving and keep learning. And not know everything.

— Michael Stipe

Throughout my career I have always worked at places where I was passionate about what I was doing. Whether it was coming up with new designs or learning about some new technology, every path I have chosen has lead me into new and uncharted waters. And now I have decided to move on yet again.

Caktus has been a place of growth for me. I look back and see how much I’ve learned over the past two years while working with this talented team, and am truly amazed.

And while it was an extremely hard decision to make, I have decided to move my career in another direction.

Over the past few years I have grown to realize how important new standards in education are to me. It all started with Paul Graham’s keynote at PyCon 2012, which he followed up with an essay titled “Frighteningly Ambitious Startup Ideas.” One of the ideas he wrote about in his essay was titled “Replace Universities” in which he stated:

I don't think universities will disappear. They won't be replaced wholesale. They'll just lose the de facto monopoly on certain types of learning that they once had. There will be many different ways to learn different things, and some may look quite different from universities.

— Paul Graham

This really stuck with me because I am the product of a public university program whose capacity to engage students in new technologies was limited.

Since this talk, Massive Open Online Courses (also known as MOOC’s) have emerged all around the web. Coursera, Khan Academy and even Stanford have created engaging online learning tools out of this need for easily accessible educational resources. But where does that leave those who are not individual learners? Where do these platforms leave professional educators?

With that, I have decided to change the focus of my job towards education. Starting mid November, I’ll be joining the team at Coursefork, a collaborative tool for sharing curriculum, as Lead Designer. I am thrilled to be joining this talented team of developers and educators to help design this new platform.

Some of you might be wondering if I will still be working with Django in my new role at Coursefork. Possibly… but I definitely will be doing so in my spare time. I am also excited to announce that my colleague Mark Lavin and I are writing a book on Django for O’Reilly Media. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to help grow the community with a new addition to the Django library.

Needless to say, this next year is going to be an interesting and heartfelt journey. And I can hardly wait to get started.