Gallery Gang in NYC

I've just returned from one of the most rewarding experiences I've had in recent memory. Several of the core Gallery developers and support crew met up in New York City. For most of the gang, this was the first time they had heard each other's voices and seen each other's faces in person. These guys have become the best of friends by chatting online daily while they work on Gallery, one of the greatest open source web applications available.

I was pretty nervous coming into this weekend and wasn't sure what to expect. I have not given anywhere near what I'd like to contribute to this project. Despite feeling like a bit of freeloader, these guys made me feel incredibly welcome. During my trip home, all I could think is, "Now, I'd better *bleeping* earn it."

What Bharat, Gallery's benevolent dictator, has done is truly amazing. The project he started four years ago is more than an open source project. It's a group of incredibly smart, funny, down-to-earth people who have become a tight knit team, and more importantly, the best of friends. I wish more of my professional experiences had the same result.

So, after 3 years of development, the second version of Gallery is nearly ready for release. To celebrate all of the hard work the developers and support staff have put into G1 and G2, a gathering was arranged in New York City to celebrate, and celebrate we did :-) I tell ya, nothing will make you feel older than trying to keep up with a bunch of 20 somethings and a freak of nature thirty something with an amazing capacity to hold his beer and liquor :-)
I had two great days and nights walking around New York with and getting to know the team.

  • John Kelly is an upstanding guy from the Great White North. Given more time, I think I could have paid for my trip by playing him in pool for $10/game.
  • If this weekend was any indication, Dave Moore will be partying just as hard with his children when he's 64.
  • Christian Mohn is my kind of guy, a true heathen.
  • Robert Balousek has impeccable project management and motivational skills (DO IT!, FIX IT!).
  • Water is to a fish what beer is to Jesse Mullan.
  • Jay Rossiter really is brighter in person :-)
  • Joan McGalliard will now be known as Elizabeth, or Lizzy, since there are just to many 'J' developers on the project.
  • Andy Staudacher will be a qualified NYC tour guide after his two weeks in NYC.
  • Through Jens Tkotz, G1 will live forever. I'm looking forward to his report on America after visiting San Francisco and Atlanta.
  • Chris Kelly is EXTREME, and, as it turns out, a very penitent chap.
  • I'm convinced that Michael Schultheiss is a complete wild man underneath that calm exterior.
  • Dariush Molavi knows how to pick those stunt wives.
  • I've gotta hear Beckett Madden Woods tell a good Irish joke someday.
  • Alan Harder took the whole weekend in with a big glass of ice water, smiling all the while.

I've gotta thank Bharat and the guys for letting me be a part of this whole thing‚–THANK YOU!

I also jotted down some personal thoughts about returning to NYC for the first time in 14 years.

Take a gander at the pictures I took.