Leaving Apple

After seven years, I’m leaving Apple. Today (November 1) is my last day in office.

Those seven years have been good for me. I started off on the Clang Static Analyzer, and eventually moved onto the secret project that became Swift. As someone interested in programming languages and compilers, Swift was…I don’t want to say the chance of a lifetime, but maybe the chance of a decade, at least. I got to shape and contribute to a language used by people all over the world during its early years, and it’s been a heck of an experience. To everyone in the Swift community, thank you and also I’m sorry for the bugs.

With few exceptions, the people I’ve worked with in Apple’s compiler teams have been friendly, intelligent, and knowledgeable, and the majority have been compassionate, fun, and helpful as well. I could talk about a whole bunch of people who made an impact on me but that would go on for a while, so I’ll keep it focused to my managers over the seven years: Ted Kremenek, Joe Pamer, Ewa Matejska, Anna Zaks, and Devin Coughlin. We’ve certainly had disagreements, but I’ve always felt like they all had my back and tried to do the best they could by their employees. (For example, work/life balance is very important to me, and every single manager was not just okay with that but pushed to make sure it happened.)

Okay, let’s take some pre-scripted questions:

“First, and most importantly, will @hypertalk_txt continue?”

Yes. The HyperTalk book is mine, not Apple’s. I’m going to finish this project, dangit!

“If your team’s so great, why are you leaving?”

I’ve been here for seven years, about six of which have been working on various parts of Swift. I’d like to branch out more and try learning something new. (I’ll explicitly acknowledge that my freedom to do so is a form of privilege.)

But there’s another piece to this too. The world’s not in a good place these days, and I’d like to do something that’s a little more directly contributing to improving things.

“So where are you going, then?”

Uh…not finalized yet. I’m sure I’ll let you know. (But meanwhile, I volunteer with Citizens’ Climate Lobby and Black Girls Code and I think those are both worth looking into as far as volunteering goes.)

“Are you still going to be working on Swift?”

Short-term, no. All of my responsibilities working on Swift for Apple have been handed off to my coworkers; the recent projects I’ve, say, posted about on the forums have had someone else involved too. (If I was reviewing your PR or helping you with a bug, sorry for leaving you in the lurch; please tag in someone else. I think most of these are covered, though.)

Long-term, I still like programming languages and compilers, and Swift is still one of my favorite languages. I think there’s a good chance I’ll be back as an open-source contributor. But no promises.

“Are you taking a break?”

Kinda! Mostly don’t talk about personal activities here, but I’ll have some time off before the next thing starts and have a handful of things planned.

To my now-former coworkers…watch out for Radars. I mean Feedbacks.

I think that about covers it.