donated HeliOS a 2200 square foot building for our use, we were stunned. I had personally spend 3 years begging and pleading dozens of Austin business owners, property managers and private individuals just for a corner of some warehouse for our use.
Of course, there was always the danger of the same thing happening there that happened in the shared space at Lakeway. As their business grew, we got squeezed into such a small space that it became unusable. It was simply a place for us to store stuff. We did most of our real work out of Skip Guenter's garage and workshop.
So when we began construction and renovation of the new place in Taylor, we realized we had a HUGE amount of space that would not be needed for storage or physical work. So instead of traveling all over the greater Austin area to give classes, we set up this large left over area for our classroom. While we do concentrate our efforts on Eastern Williamson County, anyone who wants to make the drive is welcomed to attend.
Scheduling the classes wasn't easy at first. We wanted to hold the three day, one hour a day classes for every other week. They run from Tuesday to Thursday, 7-8 PM.
That would have been a doable thing until Diane suffered two strokes and renal failure. As important as HeliOS is to me, I cannot in good conscious leave her alone when she needs someone there with her.
So what were we to do?
Thanks to several community-minded folks that have worked with HeliOS in the past, we are able to offer our classes on the above schedule, with a qualified and dedicated instructor for each night.
Let me introduce you to the HeliOS Project Instructors.
David Ashley has almost 30 years of IT experience on a wide range of platforms. He has worked as a software developer, consultant and IT instructor during that time. David currently work for IBM in Austin as a software tools developer for AIX and Linux. He is also the project lead for the Open Object Rexx Project (http://www.oorexx.org/) which is an open source implementation of the Rexx language and contributes to other open source projects as well. He has been married to his wife Lynn for over 40 years and they reside in Austin, Texas along with a house full of dogs and cats.
David also volunteers for the Dogtoberfest of Austin and the We Are Girls Project of Austin. It is a common thing to see one of David's Shelties pacing the floor with David as he teaches his class.
Carolyn is a PHP developer with Drane Associates here in Austin, She lives in North Austin with her husband Jason. She has been an invaluable volunteer asset to HeliOS for two years now. The term "invaluable" gets used and tossed around a lot but in our case, the term invaluable is far from hyperbole. Carolyn has been a part of the past 7 major HeliOS events and she now teaches the Thursday evening class for our 101 offerings. She is professional, phenomenally intelligent, witty and probably the most important to me, Carolyn is dependable. We would be hard pressed to do many of the things we do without her.
I know I will pay for this in the most extreme of measures but I've got to be truthful here.
In reality, Justin IS Batman.
When not fighting crime, he spends his time doing web development.
A few years ago, we were offered 65 Sony 21 inch Trinton monitors by the gaming company Edge of Reality.
Bringing those 81 lb monitors down three flights of stairs brought me to my own Edge of Reality. Had it not been for Justin:
)1. - I would not be vertical and expelling carbon monoxide today
)2. - getting those monitors into the possession of HeliOS just would not have happened. Justin was the only one in the position to volunteer that day to help me get them picked up.
So thankfully, we have the instructors we need. Of course, Skip or I can fill in when needed.
If you would like to look over the pdf version of our class material, you can download it from here.
I want to personally thank these great folks for not only bringing a whole new level of professionalism to our project, but allowing me to spend more time at home with someone who needs me.