Three Years at Glowforge!

Tomorrow is my three year anniversary at Glowforge working as a software developer and erstwhile manager!

When I started there were about fifteen people. Since then we've hired a lot of folks, some folks have left but there are a lot more of us now. That doesn't even include the many people working at partners like our main manufacturer.

When I started there weren't many Glowforge printers and they were all partially hand assembled and no customers had one. Now there are tens of thousands! Our customers are the best and they make beautiful things that I would never have thought possible.  You can even buy a Glowforge at my old place of work (and absurdly get Prime shipping).

I sometimes make things myself (either at work or the one we bought). My things are not usually terribly beautiful. I do make a lot of political in-jokes though like these Vision Caca buttons!

Image of a set of Glowforge printed wooden buttons with a Vision Caca logo on one side and instructions for reporting street issues on gthe other side.

Vision Caca buttons

This batch were all handed out to various folks in the local safe streets advocacy community. If you want one, let me know! Making a batch is pretty easy with the Snamarks feature which I was very pleased to work on (mostly in the backend infrastructural sort of way, not the clever parts).

Life has been pretty complicated the last year outside of work, even leaving aside having a kiddo in preschool and my mother moving into the backyard cotrtage. I spent the early part of the year dealing with a lot of political stuff. At the same time, I started getting an eye inflammation issue looked at that was resistant to the "normal" treatments that usually work. It continued to progress throughout the year with the doctors not fully understanding it, despite many many different kinds of tests. No treatments are really working: mostly they have just kept it from progressing faster (and the drugs involved have their own bad side effects). The result is that I am effectively blind now in my left eye and my right eye also has issues requiring accommodation. It's possible we'll recover near normal vision in both eyes but we don't know for sure. I've stopped driving (not sadly) and biking (quite sadly).

I'm learning new skills like Braille just in case: I can recognize the full alphabet and numbers, albeit pretty slowly. My coworkers and managers at Glowforge have been excellent at understanding and giving me the room to still do a good job at work while being flexible (so many doctors appointments). Glowforge isn't a perfect workplace (how could it be?) but it is definitely a place where you can "bring your whole self to work" in comparison to other places I've been. I've had to dial back a lot of my activities and focus. My partner and family do a lot to keep me as healthy as I can be, but the people I work with have also done their part. Sometimes they fix accessibility bugs that annoy me, even when they weren't on the roadmap and aren't really a customer issue. :)

So there's a little life update. Yes, it's a little promotional (btw: we're hiring!) but noting a three year anniversary is important to me because of why I took the job. Especially right now when I'm facing down a major life change that eats away at me sometimes, this anniversary means a lot more than they typically do for me.