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The best job I’ve ever had

I found this old stream of consciousness recently. It had a special resonance as I prepared my talk for DDD North. I worked for a couple of Summers at the amazing TIC Summer Camp in Washington DC. It was the best job I ever had. It was also insanely hard, in the best possible way.

Memories of TIC
Still the best job I’ve ever had and I’ve given up hoping there’ll ever be a better one. My first year at TIC was my first time in the US. Karen picked me up at the airport. On the drive to her house I mentioned Visual Basic, and there and then in the car, the deal was done. We would be teaching Visual Basic. That’s how things work at TIC.

During my second year I suggested that computing and multi-media should be split with each having it’s own director. It was done. No arguing, no meetings, no debate. If someone suggested something and Karen couldn’t see a really good reason not to, she trusted the people she hired. For the Summer of ’96, there were two directors, and I was one of them.

And the campers, the amazing campers, teaching the Pythagorean theorem to a junior so his wrestlers could hit each other still stands out as a great memory.

The other staff, the lunch time chats, the nights out. Getting on the Metro one night with Martin Stephen’s like we’d done dozens of times before, but managing to go the wrong way, and ending up in the wrong part of town with no more trains to get us home, and managing to get home safe and sound anyway.

Being on what can just about be called a boat, in the middle of the Potomac, in the middle of the thunder storm, and realizing that if we sink, we’re taking most of the senior technical staff including two directors with us, but getting home safe and sound (if a little wet).

Swapping puzzles with Vasha Kristov, being led astray by John Mueller, Eating Fried Chicken after dark in Rock Creek Park with Adam Holt, being asked to leave by the Police. But getting home safe and sound.

Always getting home safe and sound.

If I could take one trip in a flying DeLorean, Washington DC in 1994 would be very tempting.

TIC Still exists, and has gone from strength to strength.


Martin Stephens

I remember the night well was it really1994! Aren’t we old!!


Hello There!

That particular night was 1995. It was my second year. I still vividly remember the “This train doesn’t usually go above ground does it?” moment.

When we found a cab I called shotgun because I saw the woman asleep on the back seat before you did. She was the driver’s girlfriend I think. He had to drop her home on the way.

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