Amitai is creating learning experiences, Open Source software, and combinations thereof.

Ways to support my public-facing work:

More about my public-facing work:

Open Source software…

1. pkgsrc

My mission: Run your own systems, no matter the OS, with the software you need installed and updated.

My work: Heard of OS-level package managers (like APT or Homebrew) that install, update, and remove third-party software for you, taking care of dependencies too? pkgsrc (pronounced “package source”) is a cross-platform package manager that supports a long, long list of Unix-style systems. I’ve used pkgsrc on NetBSD servers, Mac laptops, a Linux box without root access, and a bunch more. I was a key contributor to pkgsrc gaining OS X support in 2001 — back when lots of third-party code needed patching for this very strange Unix platform — and have been continuously involved since.

I maintain over 100 packages and am a member of the leadership team.

One happy outcome: In a user’s words, “Damn, you made it easy to get [qmail] up and running.”

Watch a lightning talk about one popular use case in Your Dev Toolbox, Everywhere.

Read about the long-term thinking that makes pkgsrc so gratifying in Area under the curve.

Clone pkgsrc from GitHub.

Try it by cloning pkgsrc and following the bootstrap instructions (skipping the CVS checkout step).

2. notqmail

An awesome MTA finally has the awesome getting-started experience that it deserves. Thoughtful, flexible, and powerful.
Nathan Arthur

My mission: Run your own mail server, own your own data, and contribute to a decentralized internet.

My work: Heard of email servers (like Postfix or Exim) that deliver your messages to and from other people? qmail came on the scene in 1996 — when most sysadmins had been suffering with Sendmail’s configuration syntax and frequent security holes — and changed the game. While qmail hasn’t been updated by its author since 1998, its design lends itself to being adapted gently and elegantly to meet present-day needs. My contributions have been focused on encryption, authentication, spam protection, portability, modernization, build automation, and overall ease of use.

One happy outcome: Along with a handful of qmail devotees, we’re creating notqmail. We hope that, in the course of time, notqmail will prove to be the collaborative Open Source successor to qmail. Our 1.08 release was coordinated to fix security vulnerabilities reported by Qualys (and inherited from qmail 1.03).

Watch how I first got attached to qmail as a Unix newbie, and how I’ve been relentlessly improving its integration ever since, in Maintaining qmail in 2018.

Read a summary of what I shipped by 2018’s end.

Clone my code from GitHub.

Try it by getting qmail-run from pkgsrc and following the instructions displayed afterward.

3. ikiwiki

My mission: Create your own website, own your own data, and publish however you see fit.

My work: Heard of static site generators (like Jekyll or GitHub Pages) that make websites from text files? Ikiwiki came on the scene in 2006, before SSGs were even a thing, and it’s so flexible as to include some optional dynamic features. On the strength of my contributions over the years — the CVS backend, the rsync plugin, modern podcasting support, and several other plugins not yet merged upstream — I’m an ikiwiki maintainer.

One happy outcome: The NetBSD Project wanted to host an official wiki. Constraints led us to ikiwiki. My CVS integration made it possible. Someday we’ll move on from CVS; meanwhile, a decade later, the NetBSD wiki keeps making itself useful.

Watch me live-code adding a new text input format (announced the previous day at the same conference!) in Web Architecture for Unix Lovers with Ikiwiki,

Read as I test-drive my way to iTunes-friendly podcasts in TDD by example: an ikiwiki feature.

Clone my code from GitHub.

Try it by getting ikiwiki from pkgsrc and following the setup instructions.

…learning experiences…

1. 2018 Summer Coding Tour

Unique opportunity to be in the presence of someone who will make you a better, smarter version of you. And he doesn’t charge near enough.
Kent Beck

Love his open, interesting approach to problem-solving during coding. I can’t even describe it. It’s just inspiring.
Jim Holmes

My pitch was simple: You provide room and board. I mob and/or pair with you for a week. We do it because we both expect to gain. That’s the whole deal!

2. Conference Speaking

My speaker bio opens with “software development coach, legacy code wrestler, non-award-winning musician, and award-winning bad poet.”

3. Consulting, Coaching, and Training

You won’t find a more supportive, encouraging human with whom to explore and problem-solve.
Faye Thompson

Amitai’s a star. I officially endorse him.
Michael D. “GeePaw” Hill

…and podcasts.

1. Agile in 3 Minutes

Poetic gems. Insightful, concise and elegant.
Tobias Mayer

30 seconds in — I’m sold!
Marcus Hammarberg

My mission: More meaningful conversations about what matters at work.

My work: Agile in 3 Minutes is a micropodcast about thinking and doing business effectively. I don’t offer a precise definition of “Agile,” because I don’t believe we need to judge whether we are or are not. What we need is to make risks visible early, make informed decisions often, and deliver value early and often. If you’d like to have your thoughts happily provoked, this show is for you.

One happy outcome: In a listener’s words, “Before Agile in 3 Minutes, I couldn’t get my team to have a conversation about important topics. Now I have to timebox it.”

Watch me performing the first two episodes on the big stage at CodeMash.

Read the essays at your own pace, as a Leanpub book.

Clone my code from GitHub.

Try it by starting anywhere you like. (For an overview, I suggest 1: Effect.)

2. Other People’s Podcasts

I’m a frequent guest on Ryan Ripley’s Agile for Humans and have appeared on many other shows talking about software coaching and consulting, teams, open source, legacy code, etc. My site has the full list.