Bob Summerwill for Headhunters (2020)

IMG_0360[View of Stanley Park and Grouse Mountain from Dunbar, Photo by Bob Summerwill]

NOTE – I am not actively seeking work, but I am always open to opportunities.  There are numerous ways to contact me if you think there is some interesting possibility for collaboration, but please DO READ THIS POST FIRST.  That will save both of us from wasting our time in discussing an opportunity which does not meet my basic requirements (ie. anything which requires me to relocate from Vancouver).

This is a follow-up to my Bob Summerwill for Headhunters (2017) article which was written in December 2017.  Not a great deal has changed in the meantime for my requirements and what I have to offer, but I felt it was time for a refresh anyway.

Since November 2017 I have maintained a full Conflict of Interests statement which enumerates the many roles and professional relationships which I have, whether financially compensated and otherwise and my cryptocurrency holdings.

During 2019 I also added my CRA (Canada Revenue Agency) personal tax filings and a list of individuals whose work I sponsor (all Github Sponsorships at the time of writing, but with Gitcoin donations likely to be added to the mix soon).   I also moved from a list of organizations which I recommend and endorse to a (very long) list of individuals who I trust and a much shorter list of individuals who I do not trust and who have hurt me or hurt the projects I am involved with.  I still have a bunch of hyperlinks and details to add to that list to make it more useful.

My Resume page is out of date, but my LinkedIn profile is very up-to-date.  The About page on this website is always up-to-date as well.

What does Bob need and want?

  • I am primarily motivated by global-scale moonshot projects which move humanity forward.   Examples of inspiring projects would include the Internet, the Web, Linux, Wikipedia, Bitcoin, Ethereum/ETC, Tesla, SpaceX, OpenAI, etc.
  • I have enjoyed working with Vitalik Buterin, Joe Lubin and Barry Silbert but I have little to no interest in working for anybody.  The sole exceptions, I think, would be Elon Musk and Satya Nadella.   I would consider leadership roles as an employee at SpaceX or Microsoft if the opportunities were impactful enough.
  • Short of such dreams, I would likely only work for global non-profit organizations (Ethereum Foundation, ETC Cooperative, EEA, Free Software Foundation, Creative Commons, Linux Foundation, Internet Society, W3C, Open Source Initiative) or United Nations organizations.
  • I have no interest in working for companies whose business models are walled gardens, such as Apple, Google, IBM, Amazon, Alibaba, Tencent, Facebook.
  • I have been boycotting Amazon since 2014 and will never be a part of their monstrous enterprise.
  • I am Vancouver-based. That is non-negotiable. That is where my home and family are. I have been remote working since October 2015. Travel is becoming more possible as my children get older but is always an imposition on my family life. See my travel history and planned travel for a taste of my current tolerance.
  • I have no interest in being an employee ever again (caveat SpaceX, Microsoft), and am only considering Consultant, Contractor or Advisor arrangements or better yet, completely informal collaboration and friendship.
  • I deplore software patents. I am not willing to sign NDA agreements. Trust me or do not trust with private information as you see fit. Companies do not own their employee’s brains. Ideas should be free. Unnecessary secrecy is repugnant. It is execution which has the real business value, not the ideas themselves, which are two-a-penny.
  • Money does not motivate me. Being in a position to progress humanity does.
  • I am willing to accept cryptocurrencies or cryptoassets as payment for my services, as long as I have sufficient $CDN income to cover the cost of living in one of the least affordable cities on the planet with three children to raise.
  • I have volunteered as Vice-Chair on the EEA Technical Spec WG and hope to be approved in that role for 2020 soon.
  • I am likely to run for election again on the Hyperledger Technical Steering Committee (TSC) in 2020 as I did in 2018 and I hope to succeed this time.
  • Increasingly I am coming to understand that technology alone is insufficient and that systemic changes need strong advocacy and indeed “politics”.  That may be distastefully to many technologists who just want to be left alone to “do their work” but those human factors are a reality and I am trying to embrace them.  My work might take me more in that direction eventually.   Standing for election in Hyperledger is maybe a trial run for further roles of that nature.   Lots of people can develop software.  Not many people are deeply technical and have interpersonal skills to talk to non-geeks and also enjoy that kind of advocacy.

What does Bob have to offer?

  • Four and half years at the heart of the Ethereum and blockchain ecosystem, with key roles at the Ethereum Foundation, ConsenSys, the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA) and long-time affiliation with and now active involvement at Hyperledger.
  • Extensive connections and positive relationships. Great breadth of blockchain knowledge.
  • Over two decades of varied professional software engineering and problem-solving experience. See the Projects section of my LinkedIn profile for a full accounting.
  • Work on application teams, in central technology roles, technical leadership, on shared initiatives, and on global-scale open source projects.  Huge breadth of technical knowledge. Always learning.  Deep knowledge of configuration management, automation, DevOps and software engineering best practices.
  • Optimistic, enthusiastic, friendly, social, chatty demeanour (usually!) and good interpersonal skills.
  • I have very thick skin.  Just give it to me straight always.  I am a big boy.  I enjoy the vigorous debate.   Like Anthony Scaramucci I am a front-stabber.  Some people may see such a forthright style as rude, but to my mind it is just honest.   I have a history of speaking truth to power, and it usually works out for the best.
  • A completely open book. Not afraid to ask hard questions and to point out “elephants in the room”.
  • I am a Prospector (ENTP on the Myers-Brigg Type Indicator)
  • Blogging and social media presence. Loves to write.
  • PSA – Bob is already living in the future paradigm to a certain degree, which sometimes causes some tensions with the present.


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