Hello from Florida! (Part 1)

Hello from florida

I’m in Tampa, Florida as I write this (and as you read this, I’m back). I’m here on business: to visit Shopify customers and partners, as well as to represent Shopify at BarCamp Tampa Bay, where we’re one of the sponsors that makes the BarCamp Tour.


This trip makes my fifteenth round-trip flight this year. All but one have been business trips, with 4 on behalf of Microsoft and 10 on behalf of Shopify. Here’s a quick run-down of where I went and why:

Destination For whom Notes
Early/mid February

The Trip of Much Weirdness. Gave one of my best presentations at a Microsoft employees-only conference, got perp-walked into a “bad doggie” meeting with a CTO, went on a “non-date” that didn’t end well but will make a high-larious blog entry some day.

This one was rather lengthy: 11 days in total!

This was the trip that got me thinking “You know, as nice as the pay at Microsoft is, I’ve got enough juice to write my own ticket. What are my other options?”


A week after the previous trip to Seattle


A mere week after a 10-day trip to Seattle, I return for a 5-day trip, this time for the MVP Summit, where I hang out with Microsoft Most Valued Professionals from Canada and around the world, jam with a band at Safeco Field and partake in hijinks that while fun, are best left unblogged.


Early March (flew in and out same day)


Now it can be told: a one-day, fly-there-in-the-morning, fly-back-same-evening secret trip to do an interview with Shopify.



Another 11-day trip, this time to attend South by Southwest Interactive, where Microsoft was launching IE9. I helped out Carter Rabasa and the IE9 team at the launch party, helped at the Microsoft booth (Dare Obasanjo tweeted I was as much as attraction as the Kinect) and generally did IE9 and Windows Phone-promoting stuff.

I also signed my contract with Shopify while there, and filed my resignation from the cowboy bar at Austin’s airport.


Early April

In Friday and out Sunday to attend BarCamp Boston as an unofficial representative of Shopify (still a Microsoft employee at that point), along with Shopify developer James MacAulay.

The event is at a Microsoft building, which means my blue badge lets me open doors the other attendees can’t; I can walk around as if I owned the place. Sometimes, it’s nice to have the bathroom all to yourself, especially if you’re “dropping a noisy one”.


Las Vegas
Early April (flew to Vegas on the same day I arrived from Boston)

My last trip as a Microsoft employee. I flew to Vegas for the MIX conference to perform my final Windows Phone Champ duties, take a tour of Zappos (where I’d entertain their employees on accordion and participate in a corporate culture consultation) and drink Australian quantities of free booze. This trip was about six days.


Early May

My first official trip as a “Shopifolk”. I was there for three days to represent Shopify at MinneBar as part of the BarCamp Tour. Also a good chance to hang out with my friends Luke and Jenny.



A weekend flight from Ottawa (where I lived for the summer) to Toronto where I spent Friday hosting an internal workshop for Microsoft employees. It was strange coming back as a non-employee; I’m certain a number of managers were feeling a strange disturbance in The Force.


Portland / Seattle
Late May

Five days! I first flew to Portland for BarCamp, then took a train up to Seattle to spend May 2-4 weekend in a mountain cabin. Flew home from Seattle.




A four-day trip to attend BarCamp Seattle, hang out with my longtime friends (since Crazy Go Nuts University) George and Leesh, tour a distillery, go to the zoo and partake in some other hijinks.


New Orleans
Mid-late July

A four-day trip and my first business trip with friend and coworker Edward Ocampo-Gooding to BarCamp New Orleans. This one featured an airboat tour of the swamp, much silliness in the French Quarter, becoming the accidental leader of a Bastille Day Parade for a glorious ten minutes and being taken about town by some of the nicest and prettiest ladies in the south.


Late August

A five-day trip, this time with friend and coworker David Underwood to help out at HackVan, a Vancouver hackfest. We also gatecrashed the GROW conference and hung out with my old workmates from Microsoft, David Crow and Mark Relph. I also got to catch up with my friends Adam, Nancy and Chris.


Late August

A weekend trip, flown on my own dime (or more accurately, some Porter credits I had left over). Caught up with family, got to hang out with Jim Munroe, go to Fake Prom 2011, attend my friend Keith’s 40th birthday and get some Brenda time before she leaves for Lake Louise for a whole year.


Early September

Another BarCamp weekend trip, this time to BarCamp in Buffett Country (Warren, not Jimmy)! I also used this trip to talk to some Shopify customers.



Just got back from this one! A nice long weekend trip to BarCamp Tampa Bay, where I got to walk about Ybor, get some shopping in, interview customers and get shown about town by Anitra, who is a most excellent tour guide.


This coming weekend

BarCamp in the land of “boo-yah”, beer and cheese. There’s also the Harley-Davidson Museum!



It’s a crying shame that I don’t have my NEXUS pass interview until October 13th. It probably would’ve saved me a grand total of ten or so hours of waiting in line. Mind you, if I had a NEXUS pass, I ‘d have missed my opportunity to make some news at the crazy customs line back in March.