The Times


Derek Willis


October 16, 2007

I originally tried to write something about this with the weightiness I felt it deserves, but it turned out to be, as a friend accurately assessed, “corny.”” So I’ll just say it: I’ve accepted a job with, where I’ll be joining a talented group of developers to build Web apps.

This move says less about, where I have had the privilege of working since February (and in collaboration with since 2005) than it does about the opportunity in front of me. I have been deeply impressed with the recent moves that the Times has made to further embrace the Web, and I will be fortunate to be able to call upon more than a few exceptionally talented colleagues. Resources being what they are these days in the news business, this chance was too good to pass on, and I’m very excited about what lies ahead.

Web development at WPNI remains quite alive, thanks to the efforts of people like Peter Harkins and Alyson Hurt. I won’t particularly enjoy having to compete with them. Web development has the support of the newsroom leadership and I would not hesitate to recommend WPNI to anyone who wants to test the possibilities of journalism on the Web. I cannot say enough about my colleagues and their dedication, particularly Adrian Holovaty, who encouraged me and gracefully endured scores of questions.

Some other details: yes, the Times will be a Rails shop, which means I won’t be using Django professionally, but I’ll still be using it for my own stuff. I’ll be working from home, which is a very nice arrangement. And one of the great aspects is that after a three-year hiatus, I’ll be reunited with my good friend Aron Pilhofer, who works on the Times’ CAR team. My first day is November 26. Wish me luck.