Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Oz Linden to Retire

After over eleven years at Linden Lab, Oz Linden, the Lab's VP of Engineering, will soon be stepping down. He made his announcement in the Second Life forums earlier today. He would call his time with the Lab "one of the best career decisions I ever made," and he would not be taking another job but retiring.

About 11 years ago I was working for a big multinational that had acquired the startup where I'd been for several years, and decided I needed a job with more fun and more job satisfaction. I put out the word on my professional network and got a response from a colleague who was a Linden at the time. I interviewed with several people at the Lab (half my interviews were in-world using an account I'd had for some years), and after much thought I joined the Lab as the Director of Open Source. It turned out to be one of the best career decisions I ever made.

My job evolved over the years, but through it all I got to work with brilliant, passionate, and committed people and got to know many residents. I've never worked anywhere that was as much fun (a Linden who returned to SL after some time away said recently that he'd forgotten how often the SL team laughs in the course of a normal day). More importantly, I got to work on a product users really enjoy using and that makes a big difference in the lives of many of its users - for me there's no greater source of job satisfaction.

Some time ago, I reached the point that I could afford to think about retiring but decided to stay to finish moving SL to its new cloud platform. I can't imagine a better last act in my working life than ensuring that Second Life has this better platform for its future growth. Now that project is done (well, except for a few loose ends), and it's time for me to move on to the next phase of my life. 

I want to emphasize in the strongest possible terms: my decision has nothing at all to do with the change in ownership of the Lab; the timing really is a coincidence. If anything, I regret that I have overlapped with them for only a few weeks; in that time (and in the time leading up to the change) I have come to respect and appreciate the skills and energy they bring to the company.

There aren't many jobs that come with a new nickname; this got me one I'll always cherish, but it's time for me to set aside my Linden last name. I leave Second Life in great hands, and have every confidence that it has a great future. 

Oz would say his last day would be Friday February 26, 2021, the last weekday of the month.

There were a number of well wishes following his announcement,  "You'll be missed, Oz. Thank you for everything, and enjoy your retirement." "Thank you for everything you did for us." "He's done more than leave his mark on the grid. Oz has touched thousands of lives in ways he will never know. For that, we are all grateful. And for the ways he has touched my life that I am unaware of, I am grateful." "Just don't COMPLETELY leave us, okay?" "One expressed pessimism, "Not gonna sugarcoat it. This is 100% bad for SL. Oz is one of the good ones."

Jessica Lyon of Firestorm, "Oz! It has been a great honor and privilege to have worked with you the past 11 years. I remember you coming in as a liaison for third party viewers during a time of great chaos in the TPV space. You created order, structure and in doing so, kept the Open Source nature of Second Life alive. You will be missed by many! Enjoy your retirement! You have earned it."

Tonya Souther of Firestorm, "Thank you for being there, for advocating for open source, and for understanding even when we didn't agree. Best of luck wherever you go next, even if it's just a chair by your pond."

 Coyot Linden, "So long and thanks for the fish. It's been great working for you." 

Alexa Linden, "And now I'm crying again... Oz, I can't thank you enough for the mentorship, encouragement and friendship over the last 11 years.  I am so fortunate to consider you family and I am a better person for having worked with you.  I wish you all the best in your retirement!" 

Dakota Linden, "Thank you, Oz, for everything you brought to Second Life and everything you have contributed to the platform. Your experience has been an excellent asset to Linden Lab and Second Life and you will be missed by a great many people. May your next adventure bring you as much satisfaction as this one has and may you always look back on this time with fond memories as we will remember you with the same. Be well, friend."

Perhaps Oz Linden will stick around in Second Life as a regular resident. Wherever he goes, hopefully it will go well.

Hat tip: Panterapolnocy

Bixyl Shuftan

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