Remembering Progeny

Two weeks ago, I heard that Progeny Linux Systems of Indianapolis had closed its doors for the last time. The end was a long time coming – in fact, six years longer than I predicted. All the same, I paused last week for a bit of nostalgia. Working for the company in 2000-01 gave me my first sense of my potential and gave me a sense of self-worth at a time when I badly needed it.

I first heard of Progeny through Bruce Perens. I was talking to him over the phone for a story I was doing for Maximum Linux. When our business was done and we were chatting, I happened to mention that I was looking for work. At the time, Perens (whom I'm calling by his last name so that this entry doesn't sound like a Monty Python skit littered with Bruces) was running a venture capital group that had just funded a startup run by Ian Murdock, the founder of the Debian GNU/Linux distribution and his partner John Hartman. Would I be interested in doing marketing and communications for the new company?

Somehow, I managed not to gibber incoherently with excitement, and told him I would. But I admit I danced around our townhouse when I got off the phone.

A phone interview and a week or so later, and I was on a plane to Indianapolis, unsure whether the job would work out. I was a bit worried about the cost, since I had quit Stormix Technologies a month previously, but determined to enjoy the adventure.

I was met at the airport by Ian and John and a couple of coders – John Goerzen and possibly Branden Robinson. They whisked me away to a Greek restaurant, where I quickly realized that these guys had serious chops. I had thought for a while that Stormix was the big time, but I realized that, in going to work for Progeny, I was jumping leagues.

Somehow, I convinced them that I would be an asset. I may not be able to write code for a “Hello, World

______________________

--
Bruce Byfield (nanday)

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

nice article

Anonymous's picture

I have the same feelings for my first company - it was 1998-2001, of course during the dot com era and I thought the company was gonna go big time. It didn't but I had more exciting projects than my friends who took more conservative jobs.

White Paper
Linux Management with Red Hat Satellite: Measuring Business Impact and ROI

Linux has become a key foundation for supporting today's rapidly growing IT environments. Linux is being used to deploy business applications and databases, trading on its reputation as a low-cost operating environment. For many IT organizations, Linux is a mainstay for deploying Web servers and has evolved from handling basic file, print, and utility workloads to running mission-critical applications and databases, physically, virtually, and in the cloud. As Linux grows in importance in terms of value to the business, managing Linux environments to high standards of service quality — availability, security, and performance — becomes an essential requirement for business success.

Learn More

Sponsored by Red Hat

White Paper
Private PaaS for the Agile Enterprise

If you already use virtualized infrastructure, you are well on your way to leveraging the power of the cloud. Virtualization offers the promise of limitless resources, but how do you manage that scalability when your DevOps team doesn’t scale? In today’s hypercompetitive markets, fast results can make a difference between leading the pack vs. obsolescence. Organizations need more benefits from cloud computing than just raw resources. They need agility, flexibility, convenience, ROI, and control.

Stackato private Platform-as-a-Service technology from ActiveState extends your private cloud infrastructure by creating a private PaaS to provide on-demand availability, flexibility, control, and ultimately, faster time-to-market for your enterprise.

Learn More

Sponsored by ActiveState