Goodbye. And thank you

This is my last editorial for ComputerWorld Canada. I will put this issue to bed on a Wednesday and on Thursday walk out of a company at which I’ve worked for six years.

I have decided to pursue a career as a freelancer. I’ve taken on the editorship of a new publication and I will be writing pieces for others, and I suppose I am excited about that. I mean, I am excited, it’s a great opportunity, but right now, at the tail end of my third-last day, I’m feeling pretty melancholy about leaving this place.

I will miss the people who work here, some of whom have names you know from their articles but many of whom are unknown to readers. I’ll miss the regular tyranny of bi-weekly deadlines. I’ll miss you, the readers, who have been unfailingly supportive of the publication and generous with both compliments and criticism.

It is at this point that at least some of you are getting ready to turn the page, not overly interested in sentimental ramblings through yesteryear. Well, let’s move on to something a little more relevant to your jobs.

First, working here has created within me a great respect for IT workers. In few other professions are workers required to swim through such rapidly-moving waters. The pace of this industry is exciting and downright fun, but I’ve met many of you who are struggling just to keep your heads above the water. You’re qualified for your jobs, you work hard, and you care about quality, but that’s not enough. You also have to kick through endless waves of technology that seem determined to leave you floundering.

It’s a tough situation and I respect the effort and dedication I’ve seen.

Second, I leave here with a heightened appreciation for the importance of the work you do. It’s not widely acknowledged by the public but IT matters. It touches lives everyday, it drives safety, it provides amusement, it powers the economy, it connects remote communities. It is increasingly central to every facet of Canadian life.

We could, of course, live without computer technology; we did for a very long time. But it’s amazing to note how pivotal technical excellence has become. And that is a tribute to all of you.

Third, there is, of course, ComputerWorld Canada itself. When I started here as a staff writer, ComputerWorld was smaller, less colourful, and sat at second place in market share.

It was a good magazine with quality content and a solid reputation, but it was still relatively young in its field.

Six years later, the magazine is bigger and stronger, and proud to be the undisputed leader in its field. We have a larger circulation than our competitors, more pages than our competitors and, above all, better articles than our competitors.

We’ve improved our look, expanded our staff, moved into new publishing ventures, and won major industry awards.

But ultimately, we’ve been successful because we have always kept one goal in mind: to help our readers do their jobs. No one here would pretend we’ve achieved that goal completely, that we can’t still do a better job, but I can leave here confident that readers get value out of what we give them.

And confident too that the incoming editor, Gail Balfour, will continue to improve the magazine.

Thank you for your on-going support, and goodbye.