picture of Josh Dzielak in 2016

Hi! I'm Josh Dzielak, writing here about technology and culture. Find me also on Twitter, Medium, Speakerdeck and Github.

Not Goodbye. Until.

Last week marked the end of my journey with Keen IO. What an incredible two and a half years it's been! I want to thank the founders, employees, investors, and community for the opportunity to be a part of something very special. It was a privilege working with each and every one of you. I'm so excited for the future of this company and the wonderful people behind it.

Keen is an experience I'll always treasure, and was highly formative. Every reservoir of talent, heart, and grit I have was tapped and tested. But each time replenished—topped off higher than before—by the thrill of success, or the outpouring of support when success was still another peak away.

When I joined Keen in January of 2013 we hadn't made a buck yet. The majority of events we collected were from an eastern European game developer who refused to pay us. This month, May 2015, Keen will accept billions of API calls from thousands of developers, a large number of whom pay for our service. My how we've grown.

I architected the core of the distributed system that stores and queries these terabytes of data. It remains one of the most flexible yet powerful big data systems in the world. The day it went into production—after thousands of commits, a half dozen design iterations, weeks of fussing over every last detail—was the high point of my technical career. I want to recognize the patience and support that came from Dan, Kyle, Ryan, Michelle, Micah and others during that time. Your collective belief in me was the wind in the sails. All I had to do was steer.

Today, Keen's technology is in very capable hands. Teams of brilliant individuals are adding power and reliability to the product every day. Keen's developer community and open source efforts remain well represented by some of the biggest hearts in the business. The teams doing this work are organized like the technology they develop, with an emphasis on autonomy, wholeness, and peer-to-peer communication. Every team at the company works this way. It's one of the reasons I'm betting big on Keen in the years decades to come.

I'm sad I won't be seeing these smiling faces every day, but I'm very excited about some of the new smiling faces I hope to meet. I'm embarking on a self-guided study of spontaneous creativity and human interconnection. My discoveries—if I'm fortunate enough to have them—will be shared through art, writing, and conversation. I'll keep you in the loop here and on Medium.

To the Keen family and the wonderful people I've met in my (tri-continental!) Keen travels: I will miss you, but I'll also be right here just doing my thing. Stay in touch and don't hesitate to reach out. There are no goodbyes, only until next times…


Photo booth how did we fit six people in here?

The OSS Streak Ends, Day 67, at Burning Man

Streak and Burning Man are in the title but I assure you that this post is G-rated AND family-friendly. As of August 23rd I had contributed to open source for 66 days in a row:

Github snapshot

Then, like any Whole Earth Catalog-carrying cyber-counter-culturalist living in northern California, I went to Burning Man. 2014 was my 3rd year, and a truly special one thanks to these good-looking, hard-working campmates.

Amazecamp Group Photo

The trip did, however, mark the end of my commit streak, a streak that had started back in June.


My goals were to boost productivity and give back to a movement that has given me so much. I hoped it would inspire others to do the same, and it did.



As of today, October 30th, Lloyd is CRUSHING IT at 555 days!



Dieter is still going strong at 291! Coincidentally, he was just in SF this week from Belgium, so I got to buy him a beer:

Beers at Mikkeller

That's us in the back. Also pictured is the Mild-Mannered Mustachio of Community, @elof, and a friend of Dieter's on the left.

Other developers chimed in with words of support and encouragement:



These messages were inspiring and validating, and they made the decision to end the streak in August really difficult. I had planned to keep the streak alive at Burning Man. Really. I brought my laptop. There are camps with WiFi. I would set aside one hour a day.

Heh. All wishful thinking it turned out, little more. As soon as I landed on the playa I just couldn't bring myself to think about opening a computer. Burning Man is where I come to get far away from tech, and a partial departure just isn't the same. So there and then, the first Sunday night, I let the streak lapse and promptly partied until sunrise.

Whole Earth Catalog

I do own a copy! I bought it eBay a few years ago. This particular volume is The Last Whole Earth Catalog.

The Catalog and I

Access to tools.

OSS Streak Update, Day 13

Today is the 13th day of my 365-day Github contribution streak.

Day 13 Streak Picture

The first commit I made yesterday turned into something bigger, a new command line interface library for Keen. I wrote a post about it over on the Keen blog. The tool itself, keen-cli, is on Github.

In related Keen news, we just announced a major milestone for our company. We've partnered with Aaref Hilaly and the excellent team at Sequoia Capital to bring custom analytics to even more developers and organizations. I couldn't be happier to be a part of this ambitious, humble, and growing team.

Open Source 365 - Ship Every Day for a Year

Five days ago I resolved to start and maintain a year-long open source contribution streak. After testing the waters for a few days I'm ready to announce my goal publicly. From now until June 18, 2015 I will make at least one commit to an open source repository every day.

Follow me on Github and keep me honest. I'm at 5 days so far. Only 360 more to go.

dzello's contribution streak

I don't know what obstacles I'll encounter on the way to 365, but I'll try my best to overcome them. Even if it means frantically tethering over a headphone jack from a remote airport in Southeast Asia at 11:59pm PST. Or coding in a car on the way to the Grand Canyon for a family trip.

Listen to your log files with aud

Today I am open sourcing a tool called aud. It's a concept I developed while working on distributed systems at Keen IO. aud helps me process log files aurally, without having to stare at tiny, fast-scrolling text all day.

The way it works is simple. You pipe text to aud on the command line, just like grep, and it'll emit a tone each time new input comes in. Here's an example that plays a middle C note for 10ms as each line of an http log is written:

$ tail -f access.log | aud -n C -d 10

Source code and detailed instructions are on Github at dzello/aud.