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Brad Fitzpatrick – Creator of Livejournal.com

Technology has played a huge role in the growth of the Pacific Northwest over the last 40 years and Brad Fitzpatrick is one name that historians will remember along with names like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs because he’s responsible for creating Livejournal.com.

About Brad Fitzpatrick

Born in 1980, Brad grew up in the Portland Oregon area and ultimately went on to major in computer science at the University of Washington in Seattle.

By the late 1990’s the Internet was still the “Wild West” and Brad capitalized on the demand for easy to use blogging platforms by creating LiveJournal.com.

LiveJournal quickly became one of the most popular blogging platforms online, attracting millions of users in little time.

What started out as his passion project quickly turned into a full-time job and Brad was able to become an internet success story when he sold out his interest in LiveJournal to Six Apart for cash and stock.

Shortly after selling LiveJournal, Brad Fitzpatrick moved onto Google.

Image credit: GeekWire

Time with Google

As the creator of livejournal.com, it seemed unlikely that Brad would join a company like Google because he previously posted about how the company “swallowed up” great open source programmers who went on to never being heard from or seen again.

Once he started working for Google himself he set off on a “mission” to find out what happened to these great minds and confirm if they were still contributing to the tech world.

Brad famously posted his findings to LiveJournal.com about what happened to the “missing” open source programmers after they joined Google.

Just as there are rarely absolutes in anything, there are no absolutes about open source programmers’ activities after joining Google. The main reasons for them sometimes disappearing, as far as I can tell, are:

  • Many open source programmers are just programmers. They like working on fun, hard problems, whether on open source or otherwise.

  • They’re busy. Google seems to suck everybody’s free time, and then some. It’s not that Google is forcing them to work all the time, but they are anyway because there are so many cool things that can be done. I often joke that I have seven 20% projects.

  • The Google development environment is so nice. The source control, build system, code review tools, debuggers, profilers, submit queues, continuous builds, test bots, documentation, and all associated machinery and processes are incredibly well done. It’s very easy to hack on anything, anywhere and submit patches to anybody, and notably: to find who or what list to submit patches to. Generally submitting a patch is the best way to even start a discussion about a feature, showing that you’re serious, even if your patch is wrong.

What’s Brad Fitzpatrick Up to Today?

Besides his ongoing work with Google, Brad hasn’t completely eliminated his innovative side projects. Far from it. He’s stayed busy on a variety of side projects that solve everyday problems and make our digital lives easier.

One side project that he’s been involved with recently is Perkeep (formally Camilstore), an open-source online tool for storing digital information online.

To learn more about Brad Fitzpatrick click here to visit his website or click here to find him on social media.

For more information about other cool people from the Portland Oregon area click here to bookmark our website.

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Peter Jacobsen – Pro Golfer