Damian - Knoxbug

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Hello JT, Allan and Benedict

Please excuse the tardiness of this letter. It was my intention to write this as a thanksgiving message to the show but work has been intense.

This past Thanksgiving (USA) had me pondering about all the things I’ve been thankful for this year. The one that stood out was the BSDnow podcast. I’ve been watching JupiterBroadcasting content for years now, and BSDnow from episode 1. It has been the best thing I’ve ever done.

I was already BSD curious when the show started thanks to Allan’s commentary on TechSnap. So when BSDnow started, I was super excited. It has literally changed my life for the better. 

BSDnow was the catalyst for my learning more sysadmin skills and about Unix in general. For the last 10 years or so, I’ve been a lone web developer in a small town doing sites for local businesses. So being armed with a digital ocean account and the skills and tips I’d picked up from the show has been priceless. Getting to know tools like ezjail, beadm  and all the ins and outs of working with a FreeBSD system has been the only way I could manage multiple sites with the proper workflows and still stay sane.

Armed with these new skills I was ready for more and the most amazing thing happened. Former show host Kris Moore mentioned that they’d love to have a local BUG. When I found out that they were only an hour away, I naturally I volunteered to help organize. Thus KnoxBUG was born. KnoxBUG has been a great experience and we’ve been extremely fortunate to have access to prominent BSD community members as guest speakers. I’ve been doing KnoxBUG since spring 2016 and it’s still going strong. To get an idea of what it’s been like, you can check out http://knoxbug.org/ or https://www.meetup.com/KnoxBUG-BSD-Linux-and-FOSS-Users-Unite/

Finally, I was approached by Kris this past June to do some contract work for iX Systems which I naturally accepted. The job went really well and I got to work along side Ken Moore and JT!  Since then I’ve been hired by iX Systems full time! I’m now working on the new FreeNAS webui full time and Kris Moore is my boss! 

So as you can see, watching BSDnow has been one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself. I’m truly grateful beyond measure for the work that you guys do and for the FreeBSD community in general. It is a fantastic operating system and the community is welcoming, kind and extremely knowledgeable. 

I hope you guys all have a fantastic holiday season. 

Yours truly,
Damian Szidiropulosz   (Pronounced: Sid - er - op - pull - us)
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