Tom Ortega II

Archive for June, 2007|Monthly archive page

Community: What does it mean and how can I help?

In 360Flex, Community, Silicon Valley Living, silvafug, Technology and Software on June 28, 2007 at 7:05 am

I like communities, but do you? When you hear the word “Community”, what comes to mind? Do you participate in communities? If so, why? If not, why?

With Silvafug and 360Flex, I’ve come to realize that I like to serve the community. It makes me feel good that I can help you all learn some new tech skills while providing a place for you all to network. I think it’s equally important for us as people to develop socially as it is for us as developers to grow mentally.

I have an idea on what to build next, but I thought I’d get some feedback from you all first. Is there a void in the community space that you think needs filling? Is there something I can do to better serve you all? Just hit up the comments or email me personally at and I’ll try to answer as best I can.

Otherwise, stay tuned for more info on my next community adventure. I hope you’ll find it as exciting as I do.

Leaving eBay to start a new Workday

In 360Flex, Business, eBay, flex training, silvafug, Workday on June 12, 2007 at 7:02 am

It’s official. My last day as an eBay employee was Friday, June 8th. My first day as a Workday employee is Thursday, June 14th.

This is the first time I switched jobs for a strategic purpose vs. disliking the company. As a whole, the team I worked with at eBay was great. The North Campus where I sat most of my eBay life is beautiful. The work was fun and rewarding, especially during the “crunch” times.

I grew a lot during my tenure at eBay. Silvafug, free Flex training and 360|Flex were all hatched during that time. Heck, eBay even hosted the first 360|Flex conference!

If it was all so great, why leave?

One thing is size. I’ve been in corporate life for quite sometime now. I miss the days of knowing most, if not all, of a company’s employees. Knowing a team of 20 at eBay was nice, but was a drop in the bucket in number of total employees. At Workday, knowing 20 would be roughly 1/5 or 1/6 of the company.

Another thing is the amount of customers I can impact. At eBay, my direct customers were the various internal users of my apps. Indirectly, one could say that all the eBay buyers and sellers were my customers too, but I never felt that vibe. At Workday, I’ll be joining the UI team and will directly serve Workday’s customer base. I can help make the lives of these people more simple, fun and efficient. As the numbers of customers grow at Workday, so will the number of people I help. After serving a few hundred customers directly with 360|Flex, I found that serving large numbers of customers directly is something I enjoy.

I’ll be moving out to Walnut Creek for my new job. It has a slower pace feel to it than San Jose does. It also has a ton of restaurants that I can’t wait to try!

Adios, eBay: It’s been a blast!

Hola, Workday: Let’s make amazing things happen!

Wishing the internet was alive and well in 1992

In Kids, Technology and Software on June 6, 2007 at 5:25 am

I have so many blog posts in the works, but this one has to take priority. In high school, some folks drink it up and party. My friends and I didn’t. Not that we were straight edge (most of us didn’t even know what straight edge was) nor were we mormon (of which at least I am now), we just didn’t drink as strange as that may sound. What we did do at parties was have fun. Having fun was usually a creative endeavor and on one such occasion, we made music videos. We had props, actors, lighting, custumes, the whole nine yards. We made two music videos: one for a U2 song (Numb off of Zooropa) and a Cure song (can’t remember the track). I was the director. It was great fun, but the tape has long since vanished without a trace. If the internet was around back then, we would’ve uploaded it and it would have possibly lived this long (minus format wars and the internet bubble).

Regardless, Steve Borsch’s post sent this my way:

(Sadly, there is no support to embed Vimeo in WordPress, so you’ll have to click the link instead:

Man, I miss my youth. Or maybe, I just miss friends who wouldn’t mind being this silly with me. My favorite bit is the guy at the end who found it more important to finish his beer than participate in the video. Priorities, baby. =) From what I gathered, the workplace is the Busted Tees. (Who just snagged $100 of my hard earned cash for some great t-shirt gifts. You’ve been warned!)

As a person who is constantly making up music videos in my head for the 600+ CDs that I own, it’s exciting to see stuff like this. I have all that I need to create the videos (a mac, video editor, sound tools, a camera, etc.) except for one important item: time. Creating this lil video of my son took me four or five days alone. (Notes: Yes, we’ve now cut his hair and “Goke-goke” means “Dip-Dip” as in the stuff you dip chips into.)