Anne van Kesteren

Leaving Opera

Seven years of employment today. Per invitation from howcome the summer prior, I arrived in Oslo July 4, 2005, and joined Opera, maker of browsers. I still have my keycard from that time:

[Legacy keycard Opera Software from Anne van Kesteren.]

I cycled a lot that summer with Aleto, played board games with Hixie, and wrote some tests for Web Forms 2.0. I also joined my first W3C Working Group through chaals, Opera’s then newly hired W3C Advisory Committee representative. That summer Opera celebrated its ten year anniversary and we had a big party at the Oslo fjord. Due to signing my permanent contract a little late, I received an unnumbered blue t-shirt. The other t-shirts went up to 250, so I think I was employee 251, though the numbering was a little hazy. After the summer I left with a Thinkpad to study and work from home in Utrecht.

Over the past seven years I have visited the headquarters a lot. Usually around the summer and Christmas parties, but also at various other points in the year. runeh established a wonderful Taco Sunday tradition for whenever I was in Oslo and together with hzr we once brew a batch of beer called Flying Dutchman (they did most of the work, I took some photos and bragged on Twitter). Lachy taught me skiing. In the sense that he verbally explained a few things and then left to ski on steeper hills while I rolled downhill until I managed to stand up most of the way. Again my sincere apologies to those I hit. Nowadays it goes okay though, and we speed-ski downhill at Tryvann. Not quite record breaking, but fast enough to get extremely excited and nervous about crashing into the icy hill.

Whenever chaals was around (pretty random occurrence) he organized dinner parties where everyone would cook whatever, though later on it was usually chaals who made the awesome food alone. And later on again Lissy joined, made wonderful things, and perchance inspired Lachy to start a cooking career. It is great knowing the Australians. Many bacon cheeseburgers were also enjoyed at various establishments near work. So many in fact that jgraham (when he visited from Sweden) became convinced it was all I ate. (While in fact as chaals knows I only eat yogurt.)

Aleto and I kept cycling in the warmer periods and I went through four bikes (most stolen, one neglected) while we did. When the weather is good Oslo is pretty awesome for cycling, with lakes and forest uphill and a big fjord to cycle along downhill. Occasionally there was kayaking, soccer in the parks, and sailing in howcome's 404 (both old and new). And of course parties. In apartments, clubs, bars with quality beer, at work, a bar with opera singers, parks, etc. More so in the beginning than later, though the one this June at work was epic.

Per my birthday my resignation will have gone in effect. So farewell my beautiful colleagues, keep changing the world, keep making the web a better place, and have a good time while doing it. Elsewhere, I will do just that.