Category Archives: Travel

Obrigado BrazilJS

This past week I had the extreme pleasure of returning to one of my favorite countries to visit, Brazil, to speak at it’s premiere JavaScript conference, BrazilJS. I’ve been to Sao Paulo in the past when I keynoted PHPBrazil but while I was there, everyone told me that I needed to get down to Porto Alegre and now that I’ve been there, I agree with them. I’m going to break this down into three posts. The first about the country and the visit. The second about the conference itself called A little about BrazilJS. And the third about my talk called The Perf Doctor Is In.

Sao Paulo

Sao Paulo was, to be honest, a bit overwhelming. It’s the commercial center of Brazil with 11 million people and an absolutely insane amount of traffic. I was introduced, however, to to some unbelievably passionate and intelligent people in my short time there. I still have many friends from Sao Paulo from my short trip. I was introduced to cachaça (key ingredient in my favorite drink caipirinha – it’s sort of a Brazilian mohito), the concept of Brazilian BBQ (more on this in a bit), found out that two motorcycles can motorcycle cutting traffic in Brazilactually travel down the highway balancing a bookcase between them and fell in love with the country. My favorite day was when we got down to the beach and everybody relaxed. I had never even heard of foot volley which is volleyball with all of the ball handling rules of soccer. Continue reading

Off to Ireland…

It’s with great excitement that I let you know that I’m opening a new chapter in my families life. We’re moving to Ireland!

I’ve taken a job with Microsoft Ireland as an Architect Evangelist with a heavy focus on startups, web and cloud computing all of which are hot topics in Ireland right now.

Quick FAQ:

  • Are you staying with Microsoft?
    • Yes – I’m staying with Microsoft. Actually, I’m even keeping the same job title of Architect Evangelist.
  • Are you still going to be an evangelist?
    • See the previous question – I’m even keeping the same job title… 🙂
  • Are you Irish?
    • Some small percentage probably but not enough that it matters. My wife is about half Irish though. She’s traced back her family tree, O’Healy and O’Hearn, to Country Clare and County Roscommon but we’re not in contact with any remaining relatives in Ireland. Most of them are in Canada, Australia or the US so honestly, that wasn’t one of the major factors in us moving over.
  • Then why Ireland?
    • I’ve felt a deep connection to Ireland since the first time that I visited almost two years ago. I really enjoy the people, the culture, the scenery and the spirit of the country. There’s a true “Work Hard, Play Hard” mentality that’s been my philosophy since I was a kid. I’m really excited about the opportunity to work with the extremely innovative and passionate people in Ireland.
  • Isn’t Ireland’s economy in a touch of trouble right now?
    • Dude. I currently live in Michigan. I understand poor economies. Besides, that’s one of the reasons that I’m really excited to work with startups in my new position.
  • Where will you live?
    • For right now we, Phoebe and I, are concentrating on looking in the South Eastern part of Dublin which would place us within easy striking distance of the Microsoft office and a short train ride downtown. Also, as Phoebe has pointed out to me more than once, that’s where Bono lives. 🙂
  • Is this a permanent move?
    • Honestly, no idea. We are selling the house in Michigan (anyone want a big and cheap house in Manchester, MI?) as part of the move so this is a long term (well over a year) move. That does not mean that we’re moving over forever but we don’t have a specific length of time that we are looking at.
  • What’s your biggest concern?
    • I’ve got two. Selling my house in Michigan  (the housing market here is, to put it lightly, soft) and getting decent coffee. I’ve already been warned that I’ll likely have to convert over to tea but that’ll be at tough sell for me. It’s not that I have anything against tea, it’s more that I’m such a coffee addict and I’m fairly particular about it.
  • Are you going to disappear completely?
    • Yeah, you know me. I hide on the web and never go to conferences… No, wait, strike that and reverse it.
    • No, you know me. I’m very active on the web and go to a ton of conferences and I don’t expect that to change.
  • When will I see you again?
    • It depends… If you’re in Ireland, soon! If not, I need to work out my travel and conference schedule still. I will be at CodeMash and I’ll be at Symfony Live in Paris. Beyond that, I’m not sure yet.

I’m really looking forward to living and working in Ireland and making all kinds of new friends. I’m sad to be moving away from my great friends and co-workers here in the US, Michigan in particular but technology is a wonderful thing and we can stay in contact.

My email address won’t change. It’s josh(period)holmes(at)microsoft(period)com.
Connect to me on Plaxo and that’ll update my phone number when I get the new one.
My twitter handle is joshholmes.

If you’re in Ireland, all the same contact info applies – please reach out. I’m looking forward to meeting you!!!