Joey’s Summer Vacation

by Joey deVilla on May 22, 2012

The view from my seat when I made the big decision last Wednesday.

Being Shopify’s Platform Evangelist has been a great privilege that I’ve enjoyed for the past year. There are no “B” players at Shopify, which means that I’ve had the honour to represent the best and the brightest. Wherever I’ve gone on behalf of the company, the mere mention of the name “Shopify” has commanded respect, admiration, kudos and high-fives, and all the credit has to go to the Shopifolks for making the best damned system for setting up shop online. Computer science may say that software is made up of data structures and algorithms, but I know better: it’s made of people, and these people are the best. Naturally, so is the software they create.

That being said, I need to take a summer vacation. At the risk of repeating the “it’s not you, it’s me” cliche, I need a break. I haven’t had a proper vacation in years, and it hasn’t helped that the last eighteen months have been crazy ones for Yours Truly. I’ll just gloss over the sordid details and quickly summarize:

All told, I consider these good happenings, but I need to take some time to collect myself. A lot of stuff has happened, and I’ve been leaping from one big change to the next without a break. I’m in great danger of bringing my “B” game to everything I do, and I need to make sure that that doesn’t happen.

Hence the vacation. It wasn’t easy, but I resigned from Shopify last week. They’ve been incredibly supportive and helpful in ways that I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to repay. Even though I’m no longer with the company, I remain their supporter, advocate and friend. I may even open a Shopify shop very soon (and if you ever need help opening one, you can ask me).

Damn, we’re cute.

I’m going to go hang out with Anitra (that’s her in the picture above; she was my date for the Filipino Centre of Toronto’s President’s Gala) in Tampa for a couple of weeks starting next Saturday. She’ll have work during the day, during which I’ll hit the gym, work on my writing (the Global Nerdy blog’s been going like gangbusters as of late)…

My new reading material (feel free to suggest others!).

…finally get around to learning how to write software for iPads and iPhones by actually writing (or trying to write) software for my iPad and iPhone, and of course, swimming in the pool pictured below:

I’m the only person I’ve ever seen in this pool.

In late June and early July, I’m going with my family to visit the Philippines. I haven’t been back in a dozen years; when I was married, I’d made peace with the fact that I might not ever see it again. Now that I’ve got the opportunity, the time and 145,000 credit card travel points burning a hole in my pocket, I’m going.

Me and new friends, April 2000 – the last time I was in the Philippines. Please control yourselves, ladies; there’s plenty of me to go around.

After the Philippines, it’s back to Florida to be Anitra’s arm ornament for a wedding, plus a little downtime to get used to the Eastern time zone.

After that, more learning, more writing, more working out, and eventually either landing a new job or making one. If you’re looking for a rock and roll accordion-playing tech evangelist in the late summer or fall, check out my LinkedIn profile and drop me a line!

In the meantime, the Accordion Guy and Global Nerdy blogs will go on, and when I’m not off in Florida or the Philippines, I’ll be in Accordion City catching up with friends. Perhaps I’ll see you!

I’m looking forward to my summer vacation.

This article also appears in Global Nerdy.

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Lord Lansdowne May 22, 2012 at 3:24 pm

Takes a lot of balls to just pick up and leave to do what’s right — despite our social construction telling us otherwise. Enjoy your vacation and give me a shout when you’re back. I still owe you dinner and drinks and haven’t seen you in way too long.

Kyle Hodgson May 22, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Very keen to see what you’ll do next. (It sounds like you are too. :) )

Enjoy the rest!

Rohan Jayasekera May 22, 2012 at 6:20 pm

When I left Sympatico after its first three years (it was no longer a startup, I’d experienced near-burnout, and the increasing incursion of Bell management could no longer be fended off) it was early June and I took the summer off, resolving to not even think about finding new work until September. It was one of the smartest things I’ve ever done.

Enjoy your vacation! And I hope to see you before too long and hear how it’s going.

Todd Lamothe May 22, 2012 at 6:54 pm

I was wondering what you were up to. I saw that you were no longer with Shopify this weekend via LinkedIn. Enjoy your time off and have fun.

Shai Coggins May 22, 2012 at 7:53 pm

You seem to be on just one big adventure after another, Joey. And, I wish you all the best. It sounds fantastic! Enjoy the vacation. :-)

Sean Kearney May 22, 2012 at 11:18 pm

Joey, you’re an inspirational character that helps me remind myself to stop and take stock of life and things when all runs crazy. And you remind me I can be myself while pursuing my dreams.

Heck I still remember your quote at a “Certain unnamed event” where everytime you turn off UAC…. well let’s just say I’ve saved a LOT of Kittens :)

Enjoy that vacation. You’ve earned it.

Dayv Mattt May 23, 2012 at 8:24 pm

Any chance you’d be able to stop by Korea on your way to or from the motherland?

Malcolm Bastien May 24, 2012 at 10:17 am

That’s awesome dude. I learned iOS programming from the Big Nerd Ranch book and really found it good. I also picked up Programming in Objective-C, but I already have a few more books on my list I want to get. Learning Test Driven Development and Cocoa Design Patterns is next, with Mac Ruby and Ruby Motion something I’d like to try after I release the app I’m currently working on.

Looking forward to seeing what you do and how the learning goes. I’ve found it very rewarding so far.

Once you make it back to Toronto I invite you to come try out crossfit with me where I train in the Junction.

Rafael Rosa May 25, 2012 at 5:14 pm

Salve,

Good luck in the new journey, I hope you enjoy it :)

Cheers

Damir Bersinic May 25, 2012 at 5:50 pm

Joey,

Nice! Love the idea of taking a breather and recharging. Summer’s the best time to do it. If you get a chance this summer, you should drop by my place, take a dip in the pool (almost complete so should be ready in a few weeks) and serenade my wife with the accordion. Would love to catch up and have you sample some of the char-broiled Croatian fare I’ll be serving.

Drop me a line when you get a chance. I should land in TO for more than a few days by the end of June (I hope).

Cheers…..Damir

Adam Farr June 2, 2012 at 3:20 pm

Mr. deVilla:

I stand aside in admiration. A tip of the hat sir.

Adam

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