Yesterday was my last contractual day at Moodle, as I’ve been using up my remaining annual leave since Friday 19th June. This post is for the record, as my post celebrating the release of v1.0 beta on the MoodleNet blog was taken down.
In late 2017 I was happily consulting with various organisations when I was approached by Moodle to lead a new project. The ‘brief’ was a couple of pages of notes with some general thoughts which I turned into a white paper. It detailed how Moodle’s existing moodle.net repository could become a federated social network and decentralised digital commons. So, in January 2018 I joined Moodle’s management team, working four days per week, and slowly building a talented (part-time) team.
The history of what the MoodleNet team achieved can be seen through the 2018 and 2019 retrospectives. I’d like to thank Mayel, Ivan, James, Karen, Ale, Antonis, and Kat for being amazing colleagues. It truly was a pleasure working alongside them. This year, the team ensured we released v1.0 beta and successfully integrated with Moodle LMS v3.9.
(As a quick aside, Moodle’s legal counsel has been kind enough to get in touch. They reminded me that my contract included a confidentiality clause which remains in force after it ends.)
In May 2020, I resigned. A few days later, there was some unrelated drama which involved a tweet from Moodle’s CEO which I wrote about in Weeknote 23/2020. What hasn’t been documented anywhere, and which I’m not going to go into here for the reason given above, is what subsequently happened internally at Moodle HQ. Suffice to say that all but one of the talented and committed MoodleNet team decided to quit.
There’s more I could say about what happens when organisations get external funding. I could talk about some of the mis-steps the team made while experimenting and innovating. I perhaps could even discuss psychological safety at work. Ultimately, though, once I’ve finished my course of therapy, I will look back on my time at Moodle with pride. The team we managed to assemble took MoodleNet from an idea through to something pretty amazing. I’m so pleased most of the team are exploring other avenues to continue working on it.
I learned a lot at Moodle and I’m looking forward to using the best of it in my work through We Are Open, the co-op I helped set up four years ago.