We’ve gone ahead and hired our first full-time, dedicated systems administrator. His name is John Dalton, but you know him as Felius, a LibraryThing member since September 14, 2005—two weeks after we launched! When he bleeds, he bleeds LibraryThing.
John’s mission at LibraryThing is simple:
- Make things stable
- Make things fast
John isn’t a miracle worker. A lot of our problems are in code, not systems (ie., blame me)*. Being without a dedicated, full-time “sysadmin” for so long has given him a lot of work to do. And our continued growth is scary. But we’re overjoyed to have him on board, and expect great things.
A few more things:
- John lives in Tasmania, Australia. Seriously. This presents fewer problems than you might think. Although he’s fifteen hours ahead, everyone at LT works like a maniac, so our work days overlap a lot. And what is to our US and European members late-night maintenance and downtime takes place during his lunch hour.**
- As we promised when we advertised for the job, whoever discovered our next employee would get a $1,000 book spree. We allowed people to find themself, which is what John did. Don’t you wish you worked for LibraryThing, or at least sent me a note about this guy Felius? He promises to be the first user of our upcoming wishlist feature. Then he’ll get his wish.
- Favourite authors include Neal Stephenson, Arthur C. Clarke, Neil Gaiman, Bill Bryson and Simon Winchester.***
- When not watching a dozen terminals or poring over columns of sar output, or reading, John’s interests include spending time with his wife and two young boys, gaming, playing cricket (badly) and occasionally performing in the Tenor section of the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra Chorus.
*John is also a programmer, but we’re not going to be calling on these skills regularly. There’s enough pure systems stuff to do.
**Between John in Tasmania, Casey is Seattle and Giovanni in Germany, we can now officially claim that the “sun never sets on LibraryThing.” We can also claim some really complex accounting. John is even paid in Australian dollars, which fluctuate rather wildly against the dollar.
***He and I share Alfred Bester, Clifford Stoll and Paul Graham—right on.