An old friend
I created this screencast back in 2007 to impress my old friend Steven Bristol.
I met Steven at a local PHP meetup in Jacksonville, FL. I happened to sit next to the loudest, most gregarious guy in the room, and for an introvert, I couldn’t have felt luckier. We chatted before the presentation and found common ground in both being recent PHP dissenters. We’d moved on to “Real” languages and web frameworks, he favoring Ruby on Rails and I favoring Django. Though Django and Ruby on Rails were often pitted against each other at the time, we felt equally aligned that both languages sat a step above PHP. With our shared superiority complexes beaming, we sat back; relaxed, Steven heckling the speaker, and I egging him on with hearty laughs. Sure, it was immature, but we were rebels, using open-source tools to stick it to the man (a time before Microsoft owned Github), and bucking the (php) system.
Ruby on Rails had an amazing screencast on its homepage featuring the boisterous creator himself, but Django had a smaller following with less animated founders, and no screencast, so I whipped one up to show my new friend Steve how Django works. That artifact, which you see above, was not meant to be public or be available for more than a week, but Steven generously wrote a blog post about it, and traffic still trickles through, thus it remains. And that is especially poignant now because my dear friend Steven is gone.
Despite only wanting to build web apps using Django, Steven ironically gave me my first Ruby on Rails job, and the lessons I learned with him still serve me today, as I continue using Ruby on Rails professionally. Never forget: “toggle-bang”.
I used to say that out of everyone in our small Northern Florida Ruby community I was a lucky one, because for some reason, Steven liked me. I wasn’t sure why, but as some will remember, life was better when you were on his good side. He always put a smile on my face, and could make anyone laugh—even when the stress of running a successful business was simmering just beneath the surface. Steven, Stephanie, you helped me grow and made me feel welcome, and you are sorely missed.