About

Portrait of Ryan AbelI am an analyst with a large national retailer with core experience in contact centers, open source communities, technical writing, process/reporting automation, business intelligence, and IT. My job affords me interesting opportunities to use technology to automate away or streamline business processes, and drive company and team improvements with reporting.

Prior to my current role, my longest job experience was working at a large independent new and used bookstore, which offered a unique experience among retail jobs. A large bookstore is a repository for vast amounts of human knowledge, and people come to bookstores seeking information on every subject imaginable. Helping someone find the tools to discover new knowledge, and the exchange of information that takes place when two people can connect over an idea led to very rewarding experiences. It's that feeling that I strive for in writing.

The culture of re-purposing and information sharing that the Internet and open source have facilitated is one of the great accomplishments of modern technology. I've spent a lot of time volunteering for open source projects—writing and editing wikis, blogging, bug triage and QA, administration, and community development—and the organic self-organizing environments found in open source communities have been extremely influential on me. I was an active community contributor to the Maemo community, Nokia's sadly short-lived open source smart device platform, prior to the platform's demise.

Interests

Rationalism

Health and nutrition

Sustainable agriculture

Photography (GeneralAntilles on Flickr)

Politics

Automation

Remote work and how to develop a remote work culture.

Writing and the written word

Open source

Python

IT administration

Data wrangling

Contact centers and retail, a fact that surprises me to this day.