Farewell Farset

Andrew Bolster

Senior R&D Manager (Data Science) at Synopsys Software Integrity Group and Treasurer @ Bsides Belfast and NI OpenGovernment Network

Today, I’m no longer the Treasurer of Farset Labs, and in the next few days, I’ll officially have left the board of trustees of the charity that I helped form over 13 years ago.

Farset Labs started as a Google Group that I started in 2010. It took until 2012 to get our act together, along with some entertaining hackathons riding on the backs of our friends at Dragonslayers.

Over the past decade-and-a-bit, I’d easily say that Farset Labs has been the keystone of my life and my career, and I’m pretty sure that (before the renovations in 2019) you’d find my blood, sweat, and definitely tears staining various parts of the building.

I could (and do) spend days talking about the weird and mostly wonderful stories of the place, from a IoT party-bus infront of city hall, smoking BBC Micros, musical plants, Gaeilge robots, remote controlled wheel-chair-iots, treatening childrens lives with drones, and more, but to get those you gotta take me for a drink.

But it’s not been without its pain, and at this point, I’m no longer in a position to give the organisation the time, care, and patience it deserves. For the past long while, I’ve been more of a hinderance than an aid. Stories are great, but being the old curmudgeon in the corner doesn’t help anyone.

Farset Labs was built by amateurs for amateurs. By hackers for hackers. By students for students. Not by wisened “Senior Managers” of corporate multinationals who barely have time to look at their own homeassistant setup let alone manage someone elses. So, it’s time to step aside and into the shadows to let todays ‘hackers’ do their thing their way; not ‘the way we used to do it’.

But you’ll take my membership from my cold dead hands.

If you’ve read this, you either care enough about me or Farset Labs to re-up your membership or to consider otherwise supporting the org. Especially if you’re a wisened professional like me who rarely has time for the fun stuff. Chuck a few scheckles at the kids who can ‘hack it’. Your soul will thank you for it.

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